Last evening, deep into vacation, I drove two hours to spend some time with old friends. There I was reunited and talked and laughed and shared a marvelous meal with two families that I met first through the husbands and fathers thereof, and through them came to know and cherish their amazing spouses and wonderful children.
Somehow, most of five years had passed since we were last together. This was hard to believe, though on reflection easy enough to understand, as those have been the years I have migrated to New York and worked on resettling and renewing.
I value friendship above almost all else. And there really is something particular about old friends. There is something special about those friends whom you may not see for months or years at a time, through months and years of change and challenge and God-knows-what-else. But when you do come together once more – and you know what I am going to say – it is as if you have been in one another’s company all along.
And in a way, you have. You have carried them in your heart. And there, the passage of time does not rob. It only enriches. It reveals the deeper gifts that take time to unfold, be made known, and mature. It reveals just what a treasure these people are.
Last evening reminded me of something that I have long believed. People, men and women and children, human beings: these are real sacraments of the presence of God. These, together, are genuine icons of the face of Christ. They are no less precious than that.
Today, as though to remind me that God’s generosity is never exhausted and that God is always giving, I was privileged to accompany a friend to an important appointment. The bond that makes that accompaniment possible is strong. The experience of being together is transforming.
We make one another more human, by the connections forged between and among us, and allowed to strengthen – even in the background – over the years. I bless all those tangibles and intangibles that draw us closer to one another. May our eyes and ears be always open to see and hear them, and to let them work in our hearts, remaking them again and again.