An old friend stopped by and it was good see him.  He is a precious relationship that has had meaning from 40 years ago.   We were young then and full of energy and possibility.  Thank goodness for the passage of time and God’s grace to still be alive to be wiser to appreciate the promise and possibility that we’ve been able to realize along the way.

As college mates we marched in the band together and interacted on campus during school activities.  We enjoyed college football rivalries and going to the big game.  We mastered registration (the old of doing it with the long lines) and kept up with our class regimen. We lived next door to each other where we shared the fun and mischief of dormitory life.  We achieved in the midst of all of the college craziness. We graduated!  We were all smiles then with not a worry in the world.  We were playful and mischievous with only ourselves, most of the time, to think or worry about.  It was a great time in our lives.

We’re men now:  husbands, fathers (of daughters mind you), grandfathers, employed with seniority, and people with influence within and beyond our communities.  We’re ‘known in the gate’ for lives that have meaning beyond our play and enjoyments.

Thankfully, we’re older and wiser now.  The experiences of life have taught us many great things, things we’ve needed for this life, but things that could only be had through the course of life and experience.  Real feelings and real focus have been the means of our learning experiences.  One has to listen and observe well to understand with clarity so much better ‘under the circumstance or condition.’  And these situations, circumstance, conditions, or even feelings became our teacher and we were and continue to be the disciple.

My friend’s appearance was a reminder of the grace that is ours to experience life daily.  His walk through the door brought memories of what once was but now is.  And what is seems so much better with the beautiful landscape of life.  Our grey hair, a more tempered walk, a distinct look of insight or perception, the use of choice words of wisdom, a realness that only life can bring, an embrace that warms with passion, eye contact that conveys I’m really your brother, and a departure with mixed emotions of love and longing.

I cherish friendship!  I cherish my friend!   It is not a daily interaction but one that is near and dear to the heart, enough to overcome the passing of time.  We’re friends today . . . I think we will be friends tomorrow!


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