I ran into a friend of mine yesterday I hadn’t seen in a long time.
We have a very unusual relationship.
He’s been my best friend.
He’s also been my worst enemy…
We stood face to face and acknowledged one another.
Yesterday our relationship was somewhere between friend and tolerable acquaintance.
He looks much younger than I remember even though the gray around his temples would suggest otherwise.
His compassionate eyes still have that sparkle but they also looked tired and lost, longing for something of which I wasn’t quite sure…
I inquired, “How ya doing?”
His response of, “You know…” left me wanting to scream, “No! I don’t know!”
That awkward moment finally eased into a gentle conversation about life, family and transitions.
He seemed a little out of sorts, a little off balance, as if his “A” game was playing at a “C-” level.
He is a man of great faith and devotion. Talented and gifted in many ways. The best I could tell was he had taken some hits lately and simply needed a few “W’s” in the win column to get back on his feet again.
I tried to offer some assurances.
His green/hazel eyes stared back at me, penetrating my deepest intentions with a look of, “I’ve heard all of this before.”
His hearty laugh broke the tension and I laughed with him. O how many times we have laughed out loud about so many of life’s events and peculiarities.
Our shoulders seemed to relax the more we talked.
Before we knew it a good chunk of time had passed.
The silence that announces the conversation is over for now arrived…
We stared at one another, “best friend, worst enemy” and then he gave me that look…
that look that belies the circumstances, issues and feelings of the day and offers with supreme confidence that God willing, he will be back, he will run again, he will even soar as if he were an eagle!
He flashed me that brilliant smile..
His left eye gave me that knowing wink I have come to love for many years…
It was time to say goodbye…
And with that I turned and walked away from the mirror…
Laugh often and Fear not!
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.” (Psalm 51. 10-12)