Picture above posted to facebook on Sunday, May 31 and added here Thursday, June 4.
Picture above received and posted Saturday, June 6.
Packing up the dreams God plantedThere's more to the song -- you can find it online by searching "Friends are Friends Forever," lyrics by Michael W. Smith. Years ago it was often played at graduations. Sunday was graduation of sorts for Toni and I as we move on to new adventures too.
In the fertile soil of you
I can't believe the hopes He's granted
Means a chapter of your life is through
But we'll keep you close as always
It won't even seem you've gone
'Cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong
And friends are friends forever
If the Lord's the Lord of them...
Anyway, I was thinking about friends tonight as I drove back from my sister's home in Plymouth to Cokato. I had brought a second trailer load of bins and boxes there for storage. Among the boxes and bins are photo albums and old church directories. And mementos of friends who are not nearby now. We've been in 3 different towns since our kids were born, and lots of others before that. A part of our heart is in each, and with each loved one scattered here and there.
And now we're getting ready to move again. I know I will want to keep all the friends and acquaintances that we have known and loved here. I know myself and how I am, and I will keep them. And when we are connected with JESUS, His love, His forgiveness, His peace, His joy... all that... when we're connected in Jesus the welcome never ends.
I'm one of those who doesn't throw people away. I can back up when I need to, when folks back up from me in obvious ways I can stand back and wait. Even so, I'm always praying and hoping and doing what I can to make sure there is no need to stay apart. When there have been estrangements, there can be healing. I know, I've seen it happen and expect it to happen more and more.
Friends can be friends forever. Especially when we recognize and bow to Jesus as Lord. We love each other with His perfect love - love that does not give up.
As we read this morning at 6 AM prayer from First Corinthians 6, our hearts are open. Always. Sometimes others are closed, but if they are, we will wait. God does want us to stay as friends!