Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Walking Each Other Home

I enjoy Tuesdays because I often meet with two friends--one a quarter century younger than I and one a couple of decades older than I.

Mentoring is fashionable these days, but I don't think of these as mentoring relationships, though they do have elements of that.  These women are not accountability partners, though they sometimes hold that function.

They are simply friends.

I'm an introvert by nature, so I don't use the word 'friend' lightly.  The label is reserved for those with whom I have a close and honest relationship and the number who receive that label is not large so they are very dear.

My older friend and I meet in late afternoon and generally read through and ponder a book together chapter by chapter--something that draws us deeper together into the heart of God.  Sometimes she offers her perspective from a different season of life, but mostly we share our souls as equals--co-heirs of the grace of God. Together we turn our eyes to Him and try to know Him better.  When I enter her home I breathe in the peace and find a respite from the hurry of life.

Then there's the mornings at Panera with my younger friend.  She has a young family and an extremely busy schedule, but she's willing to share part of her every-other-week one day alone with me.  We just talk.  You might think that sounds unfulfilling, superfluous, and non-productive.  But you would be wrong.

After exchanging quick pleasantries our kindred souls dive deep very quickly into the puzzles and pleasures and plights of living and loving our Lord.  Yesterday as we shared mutual spiritual struggles there were tears that are rare for us--a catharsis that was gentle and brutal all at once.  We confessed to one another that in the midst of the fight we cling to what we know--that God pursues us and loves us and He is faithful.  Wiping her eyes, my friend said something deeply profound, "I just want to know that I'm not alone."

Yes. That's it.  When Paul instructs us in Galatians 6:2 to "bear one another's burdens" this is the burden-bearing I desire most of all.  To know I am not alone.

Later that afternoon I talked about this with my older friend and she was reminded of a beautiful quote, "We're all just walking each other home."  She couldn't recall the source but knew it wasn't a Christian quote and quipped, "He might not be talking about the same home."

She's right.  I googled it and it's attributed to Ram Dass--a Hindu spiritualist.  Nevertheless, the truth and beauty remain.

"We're all just walking each other home," and it's worth taking the time for the walk.

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