Daily Thoughts, February 23, 2002
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Friends?

I have known some crazy people; boys’ intent on stretching the boundaries far beyond prudence, and girls needing to be everything a boy could be and more. As I grew older I along with others assumed that friendships and relationships would mature into new bonds that would be stable, respectable, and (can I utter the words) predictable? The good news is that everyone my age is now graying, balding, and looking more respectable. However I am not sure anything has changed!

I love my friends. Everyone stretches a boundary and makes me more of what I am than I otherwise would be. Unfortunately, this is both the good news and the bad (I am smiling by the way as I write this). What I would like to suggest is that friends often echo the colors we know are within, even if we hide, deny, and otherwise try to disguise.

Given that the warning Solomon left with us is especially blunt. “Better to meet a grizzly robbed of her cubs than a fool hellbent on folly.” (Proverbs 17.12) Frankly I am not worried about one or even two of my friends bent on being fools, it is myself that I worry about!

I know that God loves me unconditionally yet I find love playing the judge.

I understand that God is a healer and restorer yet I often fight with him as a tyrant.

I have first person experiences of God’s presence and still I scream at him for abandoning me.

God comes with forgiveness extended in peace; am I willing to forgive myself?

God knows me inside and out and love me beyond comprehension; do I love myself?

The awesome fact is that there are no good or bad answers to the questions, just understanding. Knowing what is already true frees me for two opportunities. First, I can open my arms and find that I am already in Gods! Second, I can extend my arms to those around me, ready to give mercy not justice, acceptance not conditions, and love never anger or hatred.

Friends? Always.

February 22, 2002
February 24, 2002