This weekend I had the opportunity to meet for dinner with a small group of friends from high school. Most of us had not seen each other in many years, but we all picked up our friendship like a favorite coat that had been lost in the back of the closet but still fit perfectly. Our conversation felt easy and the laughter was warm to the soul.
But we hadn’t gathered just for the fun of it. One of our number is very ill with a terminal cancer, and we had met at a restaurant to encourage and love on him. It’s been 41 years since we all went our different directions, but we are still loyal to each other with a fierce and binding love today.
Like you I’m sure, I have friends with whom I’ve shared amazing friendships that have endured time and change and even goodbyes. But I also have relationships that died for the lack of presence or even ended before the parting of ways. Some friendships died a natural death; while other endings felt harsh and cold.
And as the wife of a pastor, friendships have not been as easy as they were in high school and college. Many of them have come with strings attached and unspoken expectations and conditions. And many of them have turned out to be not what I thought they were.
But I am so very grateful for the friends who have been loyal to me through the good and the bad, the easy and the hard, the closeness and the distance.
My dinner with friends has gotten me thinking about loyalty and true friendship and sacrifice. And as I read the story of Ruth this weekend in my daily Bible reading, I knew that I wanted to memorize the familiar passage of chapter 1, verses 16-17. We generally hear this passage at weddings, but really it’s a proclamation of biblical loyalty.
I believe God calls us to be loyal, first to Him, but then to one another, especially within the household of faith. That loyalty calls for sacrifice and devotion and commitment and perseverance. I’m thinking on these things for the next couple of weeks as I add this scripture passage to my memory and meditation album.
I look forward to reading your selection for the next two weeks, as well. Please know that I read every comment. Thank you for sharing this journey with me.