Friday, April 4, 2008

Friends -- the Face of God

One thing that spending time in dialysis does (even if you are the caregive and not the patient) is that you begin to think a little bit more... when doing is not the primary mode of operation anymore...

Sabine reflects quite a lot on what all this is and means. She sees a blessing in her illness (now I know this may startle some of you) but it is true. And now I have come to see the very same thing. This terrible "train wreck," this viscious disease can also be a door to a deeper understanding of God as well as life.

This morning two old friends called me: Noble Wray and Pat Kappenman. Noble is the Chief of Police in Madison whom I worked with for many years and Pat was a fellow pastor when I served St John's in Portage. When people reach out to people, something magic happens -- the mundane becomes the spiritual.

In each case, as I do each time you reach out to us, I felt the outreach of friendly arms and warm hearts -- how often we miss that in our day-to-day hurried existence. How often to we hear from our friends (especially same-gendered friends) that they love you?

These past months have heightened my awareness in so many ways of the importance of friendships and community. God is always a heighty concept. And we struggle to define (and often to ignore) God in our lives, but in "times of trouble" God comes to us not always in a startling angelic vision, but in the deep, awesome intimacy of a friend saying they care...

Thank you all our dear, dear friends -- ALL of you!