The Warmth of Friends

… we thank
thee most of
all for warmth of
friends who come to call…

That’s a portion of a prayer that I memorized as a child. Not because I had to, but because it was printed on a decorative cutting board that was always in our kitchen or dining room. I was always looking at it, and it stuck.

Now, these many years later, the verse on friends rings truer than ever.

Cutting Board

But Lord, we thank
thee most of
all for warmth of friends
who come to call, to
share our bread or cup
of cheer, for friendship’s
always welcome here

I probably mentioned earlier that my wife is the non-blood-relative in my life whom I’ve known the longest. (It’ll be 40 years in October.)

One of the lessons we both had to learn early in our lives is that friends come and go. Very few are life-long. Those that are, or become so, are especially valuable, of course.

I’ve had many friends enter and leave my life, and I’ve come to a realization that that’s ok. I cherish the time our lives intersect.¬†That doesn’t mean I don’t mourn the loss — friendships are things of value, and it’s not always pleasant to acknowledge that they’ve run their course.

People change. I’m not the same person I was “then”, and neither are they.

Change is perhaps the only constant in our lives, and there’s no reason that our friendships and acquaintances wouldn’t be part of that.

Today I’m grateful for the friends in my life — both past and present. I grateful to learn and grow and laugh with each of them for however long.

(I’m also grateful to have run across a photo of the cutting board. The original, like so many friendships, has sailed into the past.)