|Daniel and Tonita|
Friendships begin in the strangest ways. Some begin in school, where you discover new books at the same time or you realize that you love the same kind of music or tv shows. Sometimes these friendships are even with a brother or sister – if you can believe that that is possible. And it is. But old friends – not a friend who is old, although that is certainly possible and will of course happen in time, but friends who begin of old and remain friends – old friends are able to pick up where they left off the last time they met.
As we have traveled from midwest state to mountains to Texas to California, we have been able to touch on all of our old friendships and revel in them. Shirley and her sister, Mary, are able to share stories of going to school (or not) and share their hearts with one another. Scott picks up his story with his best friend, Bret, and makes new ones along the way. Sometimes we even meet people who in an evening seem to have become friends as of old.
Years ago on the last trip we made with both boys – we call it ‘The Road Trip’ and can date all our other trips by that trip – we stopped in to spend the night with a family in Grand Junction, Colorado. They had offered to put us up for the night, having heard of us from Scott’s best friend, Bret. An evening of singing, playing guitar and meeting a loving great big family of kids resulted in a continued encouragement throughout the years. And then suddenly, at a meeting in Greeley, Colorado, you run across one of the kids grown and are able to share this friendship again.
Or in Texas at the house that has become our away-from-home home. Shirley walked down the aisle in Arkansas to marry Scott on the day that her classmates walked down an aisle to receive their diploma (she received hers in the mail). That evening they left as Mr. and Mrs. Scott Raab and drove out of Searcy, Arkansas. They stopped that first evening in Hot Springs, Arkansas, but drove on the next day. The car they drove was a cobbled together piece of iron riding on tires bought by Scott’s mother. They found out later that second night as they arrived at their destination (two old friends from Canada where they would spend the next two weeks) that the car had gassed them all the way across Texas.
|E.B. and Jean|
So the car never drove again, but we went the very next day to services at 11th & Willis church of Christ and were touched by the mission-mindedness and love of the congregation. The next week on Sunday we returned and met E.B. and Jean Dotson with whom we became old friends and whose home became our home whenever we stop in to Texas. Popcorn and m&m’s with a movie is a standard time together, along with long conversations about how God is working in the world and how we all can serve Him better.
While in Texas this time we also drove down to meet with Tonita and Daniel Stovall – two more old friends. Tonita was Shirley’s roommate, Daniel sang at our wedding and both of them connected us to our supporting congregation in Minnesota. We have shared our lives from afar througout the years and are thankful to be able to meet – if only for a few hours at a cafe in Comanche, Texas.
We don’t always choose the people we meet. Sometimes it simply happens. But we do choose with whom we will continue these friendships. We are so very thankful for the old friends we get to see again on our travels. Care well for these friendships (I am sure you have them too) and be thankful. Enjoy each moment, even as it is a simple moment for a short time.