“My friends are the beings through whom God loves me.” – Saint Martin
My friend, Bill, came to visit me a couple of weeks ago. I hadn’t seen him in 10 years and in those years, he got married and has moved to three different countries. I still live in the same house, but over that time, I’ve had two children.”
Needless to say, we had a lot of catching up to do. At first, as Bill was settling his bags in the guest room and talking with my kids, it felt surreal – like paint from one palette had spilled on another. Then when Bill and I went to dinner, it felt like we were working hard to find stories that conveyed the essence and meaning of the lives we live.
I experienced it as practice of the deepest kind of listening. I had to draw from far-back memories of living abroad when I was a kid, and again for a short time in college. And he had to relate experiences he’s had with other parents to try to know the life I’m living. But we both showed up to do that practice and it didn’t seem forced or contrived.
I don’t understand the mechanics of my deep connection to this friend. I wrote about him about a year ago in It’s Love Calling because we usually only speak to each other once every five years or so. Bill and I connected instantly when we met 25 years ago but have not spent a lot of time together in any of the intervening years. The what, how, where, and why of it are completely inexplicable and changeable – only the who stays consistent.
And in between our calls and visits, so much life has happened that it takes conscious effort to pick out the thread of what’s important to say. Yet this weird connection remains vibrant and meaningful.
My conclusion when I talked with Bill last year and wrote was that our connection exists to remind each other that we are lovable without having to perform for it. That there is a Oneness that we can both touch from our disparate lives when we are quiet and still. Somehow this friendship exists as evidence of and a waypoint to it for each other.
I’d add one thing to that conclusion – it’s a gift to have someone so connected yet disconnected come immerse themselves in my life for almost 24 hours. It shows me that every once in a while we receive the gift of being seen from the outside. Someone who knows us and can see our growth – but they have to stay on the outside in order to bestow the gift. I feel the love of God through my friendships, as the quote for this post describes – and every once in a while God makes a special one to deliver perspective as well.
Bill left this note, “Thanks for everything, Wynne. What a pleasure to spend time in your love filled life. Your family is absolutely amazing. Cheers and Blessings.”
Well, I’d probably describe my family as four parts love, one part chaos – and what a gift that he was willing to jump into our chaos to feel and see our love.
As I write this, I still have so many questions about abundant love, connection, and what humans can evoke in each other. But it feels like I have a better sense and shape of the mystery and have extended the notes that I want to cultivate because I’ve written this. It’s expressive writing at its best and if you are interested in the topic, it’s what Vicki Atkinson, Brian Hannon and I discuss on Episode 8 of the Sharing the Heart of the Matter podcast: Episode 8: Expressive Writing to listen on Anchor. This podcast is also available on Apple, Amazon, Spotify and Pocket Casts by searching for Sharing the Heart of the Matter and new episodes drop every Friday morning.
Please subscribe! Next week’s podcast is Mitch Teemley talking about having the audacity to believe that others want to read, watch or listen to his stories. It’s really good!