“Friends are friends forever if the Lord’s the Lord of them…” I’ve been reminded of this truth in the past week. Old friends, new friends, we can truly BE friends when we have the Lord in common. I’ve met many new friends via this amazing technology that allows communication around the world in an instant. It’s fun to interact and learn through iron sharpening iron as we discuss our various understandings of our common Lord. But this past week friends have touched me deeply in ways I did not expect.
To be vulnerable on the internet can be costly. We can’t always be sure we really know the person on the other end. I received a package in the mail this week from a fellow blogger. My son answered the door when the package arrived and brought it to my blogging spot (my bed) with the words, “Don’t open it – it might be a bomb!” Deciding it was a good moment for suspense, I dramatically slit the package open and slowly pulled it apart reminding him to say his prayers. We lived…and faith in my fellow blogger was rewarded with a beautiful gift that has helped to restore my soul, and lift up my head. (Thanks again, friend!)
I had another connection this week – a blast from the past! As a music major my first year of college, I made many friends through one of the traveling choirs. My bestest friend came in the form of a very tall Canadian woman – I’m sure her ancestors were Vikings. Barely reaching five feet and distinctly Irish, we made an odd couple. But kindred spirits were discovered through our love of the Lord and His working in our vulnerable teenage lives. She abounded in joy and her exuberance for sharing the Faith led her as an upperclassman to become the college’s Spiritual Life Leader. Twenty-four years later…enter Technology…and we are now in touch once again. And guess what she did? As iron sharpens iron and our commonality being the Lord, she challenged me once more. She is still a spiritual life leader through her church, having become an editor for one of their periodicals.
Hoping to catch up quickly and wanting to know how she views life two decades past, I read her editorial in the most recent issue. The topic concerned pilgrimages – physical and spiritual. Some of us have had the opportunity to make physical pilgrimages and have been changed through them. Others of us have not ventured far from home, but have still encountered a pilgrimage of sorts. Spiritually, few of us are where we were two decades past. Said another way, we’ve grown in our spiritual lives. We’ve moved beyond our spiritual roots and have branched into diverse trees. Some are massive oaks with graceful branches, some birches with pure white bark, others have grown into towering pines with prickly needles. My question is hers…
…discover for the first time—the pilgrimages you have made in your life. What did you learn about yourself? How was Christ present with you on that journey? Where did the Spirit meet you? How did the experience make a difference in who you are or where you are today? Don’t worry if you didn’t take a plane to visit the birthplace of your ancestors, or walk five hundred miles to see the Shrine of St. James, or touch the Western Wall. Your soul has been traveling. May God give you the 20/20 hindsight you need to see how richly blessed you’ve been along the way. -Taken from the editor of Hungry Hearts.
One of my physical and spiritual pilgrimages can be found here.