Like so many, we had planned get-togethers - with two dear men precious to me from being on the trail together, of "Journey's Out" together to Africa, and later - a woman who'd made the journey with us in the earliest days.
We'd not accounted for the weather of this recent weekend, and both wisely called to bid for another, less blustery and icy Saturday morning.
As the weekend went on, my heart kept turning back to those three friends from long ago with whom we'd planned a time of reunion after long years. With the two men we said, "We'll do it again, when the one, coming from far, will be in town." With the brave woman traveler, it was the same, "Too dicey now, we'll do it another time."
Because these are friendships Jesus has wrought, and preserved, I have no doubt we'll try again. Surely such gathering together can be made to happen!
Then, I looked about this gracious place where Molly and I live, called "Covenant Living," and I thought, "Oh yes, we'll try." But the days are short for us old folks, and as we say, "You never know." It is a dying place. It's a last years' place. Not many days pass without another among us quietly passing away. Just yesterday Molly reported, "I met Bev downstairs, who's been so close to Dennis - her cousin. Tearfully she reported 'Last night Dennis died. He was in his chair watching football, fell asleep, and just died.'"
Just like that. "What a good way to go," some said. But, like so many deaths, it was unexpected - even though you know that's the way in life. "Here today, gone tomorrow." All of us one way or other.
So, will I see my two pals of the trail, or my regal friend who took a chance on us to brave Kenya, so many years ago? I wonder. And I want to, because they are precious to me. They are, all three, a part of my life. I don't want to forget them. I want to catch up on these later years. I want to hear the whole story of their lives. I will try to make it happen. "Soon and very soon."
In so many ways the lives of those around us are our lives. What friends do, and say, and think about becomes the context for our lives. Just as the news, on radio and television create a context for our existence, our thought - about ourselves and the world.
The world we live in profoundly influences our being. How we feel on a given day is affected by what's going on out there - in the news, in the neighborhood, in our friends' lives, and our families' lives.
All those precious people who affect us in how they live, what they do, what they believe, how they behave.
It should call us to care very much for them all. We pray for "the news," for friends near and far. And to look to our own lives.
Mercifully, Jesus ever calls us to His life, to follow Him in it, to walk with Him, and think with Him, and pray with Him. High Adventure right there. A way of keeping close, to the precious friends.
Bless you, my friends.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES