Monday, August 09, 2010

Who's fighting by your side?

Saturday, my family attended the wedding of a young couple in my church. The groom was the first person I met here when I moved out. At the time he was a young teen with a serving heart, seeing an unfamiliar face looking around not sure if he was at the right place. He took me under his wing and made sure to introduce me to those who would later become some of my "closest" friends. He didn't know it at the time, but he left a life-long impression on me. Now, eight years later he enters into marriage, a new kind of relationship, a new kind of battle.

Coincidentally, Sunday was the going away party for the Best Man at my wedding. I was also his Best Man. After I moved out here, I stayed with him while looking for a place to live. We led our Singles Ministry together. We stayed up late most nights. We studied together. We led people to Christ together. But I wasn't at his party. Instead I was on a plane, on yet another business trip. He will be moving overseas, on to his next adventure. I'm not sure if I'm ever going to see him again in this life.

That, sadly, is typical. I'm not close to many people. Not as many as I should. While I'd lay down my life for just about anyone, I'm not sure many would for me simply for the fact that I've let few others in. My best friend and I started to grow apart after we were married, further apart after he divorced, and even further apart when my children were born. I found out he was moving second-hand, though he did tell me it was coming. Honestly, these words are hard to put on the page. I'm on the verge of tears just sitting here.

But this wasn't (entirely) meant to be a confessional. Recently, Jay Cookingham has posted a series based on the documentary Band of Brothers. In his first post, he measured his life by adding up the years he has been friends with his BoB. He counted them up to 313 years. Sure, he's got a few more years on me. And I could make the excuse of only living where I am for eight years. But even with those excuses, I couldn't even name 13 of my closest friends. This point was also made in the sermon a week ago. But that challenge was simpler. I couldn't name three. Like I said, this isn't meant to be a confessional. Instead I am convicted. I am intentionally going after friendships I take for granted- recognizing that by standing side-by-side in the fight is what bonds brotherhood, not simply being part of some arbitrary group.

Friday night we were over at a friends house for their daughter's birthday party. While there a brother confronted me about hanging out. Something we've been talking about doing for far too long. We had a good conversation that night. It won't be the last. In fact, I'm picking up my phone right now.

My question of the week this week has three parts:

Who is your closest friend and how long have you been friends?

Do you have at least three close friends that you can turn to when your back is against the wall?

Can you name 13 in your Band of Brothers (or Sisters)/Mighty Men/or whatever you wish to call it?


Peter p said...

I have no close friends.

It makes me very sad.

Fatha Frank said...

Peter, you and I are a lot alike. I need to make a road trip up and pay you a visit. Let's pray for each other for meaningful relationships.

Anonymous said...

i think i have some phone calls to make...