Friends & reminders

We spent the weekend with friends of ours who live in Northern VA.  It was glorious.  Their lives are really different from ours–they’re from the South, have 4 small children who say “sir” and “ma’am,” and they live in community with a number of other grown ups who help make their house a home.   It was like a visit to a foreign land, and was more restorative to my soul than I can even describe.

I read a great quote a few weeks back:  “Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.” It was offered in the context of children, and how who kids hang out with can have formative power, for better or worse.  Here in Boston where people move with some frequency and everyone believes something slightly different about how and why the world spins, it can be challenging to find real friendship connections that endure.  Not impossible, just challenging.

One of the things God showed me this weekend was the power of hanging out with friends who remind me to stay immersed in faith & audacious hope.  Of course, we can’t duplicate each other’s lives, and I’m not talking about longing for stuff (a particular house, car, outfit, etc) But there is a FEELING, something in the air, that our friends in Northern VA have that inspires me to remember God’s promises.  It’s a sense of peace, and a determined conviction that following Jesus is the best way to go even when it leads through rough terrain.  And there’s a joy that went beyond “eat, drink & be merry” (although we did a fair amount of all three) and ran deeper, through each of them (even the little ones), into us, and out into the world.  That’s good stuff.

My prayer for this week is that we (our friends, us, you) can receive thankfulness as a gift–an awareness we don’t drum up through our own effort–and enjoy a wide-eyed, little kid-like view of how many possibilities there are, and how God has a bunch of them hand-picked for each of us.

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