"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." 1 Peter 3:15

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Written in the snow

It is funny the thoughts that come to mind when we miss friends. I knew that one of the great challenges of moving to such a small town by myself would be the challenge of loneliness. This loneliness has dredged up some very random memories; particularly memories from my days at Prov; a small school in Manitoba, Canada--just a few clicks south of the edge of the world.

I was thinking of one of my dearest friends from those days, my bud Dom. I haven't talked to Dom in years, but I love that guy. He was a lot like an older brother. The memory that plays in my head is one night driving back to Prov in the earliest hours of the morning on a brisk winter's night. ...Well, its not so much our drive back, but the moment in the parking lot after returning. I can't even remember where we had been...but it must have been a coffee shop because by the time we got back, nature was calling. So we did what any college aged guy would do in freshly fallen snow in the wee (funny that I chose that word) hours of the night with no one else around. There, in the quiet parking lot we signed our names in the snow with recycled coffee "percolated" through our systems. As I wrote my name, it looked very similar to my handwriting in kindergarten. Some of the letters were almost distinguishable. I just barely finished the e and r of Tyler. When Dom had finished I walked over to see the work he had left behind. Fully expecting a choppy, scribbled "Dom" the yellow letters spelt out "Dominick" in perfect cursive hand writing. No man could pee his name better. It was like he had signed the Declaration of Independence (even though he couldn't...he's Canadian).

Out of all the great moments I shared with Dom--adventures, theological discussions, moments of support and accountability, challenges, laughter, secrets, and prayer--this is the memory that jumps to my mind. Were there other moments that were more significant to our friendship? Most definitely (we weren't that weird) but even those dumb little foolish moments with friends become significant and special. I am thankful that I can look back on them.

Memories of friends are a special gift that have provided comfort in times when I've felt alone. They remind me of God's goodness and provision. God has blessed me with some truly amazing friends. I think when we share friendships in the body of Christ, we feel joy--so thankful that we could be so fortunate as to have such a special friend. I can think of so many moments of pause; looking at my brothers and sisters in Christ and thinking, I can't believe how blessed I am to call these people my friends! We see the Holy Spirit in our friends, and so what attracts us to them--what we love in them--is God shining in and through them. This is why there is such a great bond in the body of Christ.

Just as God brought beautiful people into my life in the past, I see God answering my prayers now for relationship. I am in awe of the beautiful, unexpected ways in which He provides friends. I am excited for all the new stories--both the significant life transformation ones, and the stupid silly moments I'll look back on years from now thinking, "...well there's a random memory. Man, I miss that guy."

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