There are only a few people I have known in my life who have been such a blessing to me from the first moment I met them, that I surely would not have become who I am without them. I would like to mention just a few other than family and children.
My wife didn’t change the direction of my life, she empowered me to walk it. She taught me how to love, and how to live with grace, forgiveness and selflessness. She taught me how to adore my Savior, how to depend upon Him and dine upon His grace. She is the most gracious and giving person ever born. She is the reason eternity excites and entices me, because I want to spend it with her. She taught me the art of inclusion, of embracing when you would rather exclude, and of gathering when you could scatter.
My friend Shayne taught me what friendship really is. It isn’t just hunting or fishing together, or sharing a hobby – it is spending hour after hour in the Spirit, speaking of glorious things, loving the fact that we both love Christ, and that we both would do anything He asked us to do. I am quite sure that our friendship predates this life and will stretch into the eternities.
I have recently made friends with a man of faith who has touched my life deeply. His views and visions and understandings are born of the same fires that have shaped my own soul. I have never met someone like him. His life has been harsh, with almost all of it filled with intense pain and life-threatening events. His spiritual journey has left him with one overpowering emotion – alone. Instead of becoming bitter, or resentful, he has become kind and loving. Instead of looking inward, he looked outward and saw grand visions. Instead of battling for healing of the flesh, he found healing of the soul, and the unspeakable joy – and then was given the almost back-breaking burden of silence.
We came to be friends by chance, or better said, by divine intervention. The power of our new friendship is that we have lived parallel lives, seen similar things, been taught the same truths, glimpsed into the same heavens, and set upon identical paths. Our lives exhibit amazingly similar trials and blessings, which makes us both feel a little less alone, and a whole lot less crazy. We find our conversations to be – what are the right words – delicious, illuminating, liberating and spiritually turbocharged. In a sentence he teaches more than books can contain because some of these things are unlawful to write. And, like many of you have commented in this Un-Blog, we have experienced one of those rare and glorious moments when the weary but willing set down their burdens of silence for a moment, and simply embrace the joy of finding someone on the path who understands.
© April 2011, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved. Non-commercial reproduction permitted.