Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December 7: Good Friends

Let me just say, I have good friends.

On Sunday night, after my daughter's birthday party at church, I was facing a really long clean-up by myself.  My wife had to pick up my son from the babysitter, and I had an entire church hall to return to usable condition.  I was not looking forward to it.  Then, a friend showed up and stayed with me until the floors were swept; the popcorn machine was cleaned; the garbage was taken to the dumpster; and the boxes were loaded into the back of my car.  Good friend.

At work, I have someone who keeps me honest.  I've known this person for close to 15 years, by my last count.  She knows when something is going wrong in my life, without me having to say a word.  She will listen to my troubles.  Tell me when I'm full of shit.  She knits hats for me, and runs races with me.  Good friend.

There's another person who I've known for close to 20 years.  She's been through some really difficult times in the last few years, and she's seen me through some of the worst times in my life.  She makes costumes for plays and programs I direct.  If I need somebody to keep me organized, she becomes my very own, live Franklin planner.  She pisses me off.  I piss her off.  But, when I'm down on my luck, she'll come along and pick me up.  Good friend.

Another person lives about four hours away from me.  He's a pastor.  When he lived nearby, we would meet on Thursday nights, eat onion rings, and write poetry.  He has seen me at my absolute worst, and loved me anyway.  He has seen me angry, depressed, despondent, despairing, and loved me even more fiercely.  While he's not great at remembering birthdays, he still calls me every week or so to check in.  Good friend.

I work in a band with another person.  Even though she's musically gifted, can listen to a song and immediately play it on her guitar, she still makes me (a mediocre keyboard player) feel like a rock star.  She values my opinion and thinks my poetry is amazing.  She recognizes my passions and lets me pursue them.  Good friend.

I could keep going.  There are so many more people I could tell you about.  The thing I wanted to remind myself this morning is that I have really good friends.  People who I know I can count on.  There's a line in the movie Stand By Me that goes, "Friends come in and out of our lives, like busboys in a restaurant."  It's true.  I can't be sure how long the people I just wrote about will be in my life.  So I just want to acknowledge the blessings I've received from all my good friends.

Marty is one lucky saint.

Stand by your friends

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