With each “season” ending, I’m left with a growing group of them.
The former roommates, the best friends for a time, the ones who get married and move away, the schedules that change, the lessening phone calls, and then we’re left with a whole heap of far off friends.
I discovered pretty early (oh, age zero) that change was not my favorite thing. We moved around a considerable amount before my eighth birthday, and I was over it. A kid needs family security the most, but a kid also needs to be able to have some steady friends. So then we stayed in the same spot from 2nd grade through high school, and ironically enough, I couldn’t wait for change.
I blame college for the largest chunk of these people, but thankfully life doesn’t end after graduation, and I have met some significant heart friends in the post-grad life too. I’ve written about them here, here, here, and this one lives really far away.
But THEN a reunion happens. Maybe an old roommate comes in town for a spontaneous Six Flags adventure (check), or maybe the closest friends of them all gather from around the world for the first time in years. Oh, the joys of quality time!
We spent way too much time together in college, so it made more sense to classify ourselves as family than friends. We took the liberty of pronouncing it fam-ih-lEE, thus the “typos” seen on twitter/instagram last weekend.
It just made sense. Seemingly no time had passed. We told the same stories, laughed (or didn’t laugh) at the same jokes, predicted the same behaviors or reactions, and delved again into the deepest debates.
It made sense, being there, all in the same room. We were not surprised to see Kevin had built an impressively realistic flight simulator in his upstairs study. (Seriously.. ask me about it. Wild.) We were not shocked to hear anyone’s recent involvement in Kingdom work.
Can I take an aside to press the point that these are the movers and shakers? I have a journal entry from late Fall 2008 praying for these people. I prayed the Lord would use them to do big things. I prayed for courage and obedience and faith and trust. Now we’re scattered everywhere from Dallas to Houston to Bangkok, and big things are happening. For some reason, the Lord has chosen a small group of people, and scattered them out so that His Name might be glorified.
Reunions are great.Then, they end. And again, I’m left with a lump in my throat and silence for the first time in 48 hours. Those are the moments I hate the most. Those are the times I long for heaven the deepest.
But we don’t stay on the mountain. Jesus told us to go. The greatest reunion of all is coming, and it’s coming for forever. The hope is deep, and it drives us to follow. This hope compels us to gather more to follow, who gather more to follow, who gather more to follow.. So we rejoice with the far off friends when they are near, and then we find hope to rejoice that we are far off yet again.
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.” -ephesians 2:13
((all the good pictures here were taken by Scott. That weird table one with the weird light in the background? That one’s mine. I ‘borrowed’ the others.))