lenten journal: finding a friend

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Ginger and I went to the movie the other afternoon and as we were coming out of the film I mentioned it reminded me of a friend from Fort Worth who was a minister at another church whom I used to call in the middle of the afternoon and get him to go to the movies with me. When I got in my car, I called him — after twenty years — and left a message. The next afternoon, he called back. Here’s one of the ways I have unpacked the experience.

finding a friend

I called an old friend this week
because I remembered him as
I came out of an afternoon movie
— after twenty years I called

to say I remembered him
trusting somehow the tethers
of friendship and forgiveness
had held strong in our silence

I was standing in the middle
of the grocery when he called
back  and found me among
the dried beans and mushrooms

he has grown children I have
never seen; he had to ask where
I live now — and yet when I heard
his voice I heard my friend

there is no way to make up
for all that was lost or missed . . .
but grace does not require
we keep score, does it?

choosing instead to celebrate —
beyond our failures and faults
and all the might have beens —
that we found each other

who knows what we will
make of this second chance
we have both spent years
and lives apart and away

and I am not aiming for
a greeting card moment;
I do want to say thanks
for finding what was lost

yes. thanks.

Peace,
Milton

3 COMMENTS

  1. This is interesting. I took a photo of my older daughter, this week, holding up a conversation heart that said “BFF.” I decided to post it on fb and tag all the people I could think of who had been a best friend to me at one point or another. I guess I tagged 40 people, but I’m almost 40 years old, and I started at birth. I even cheated, a little, and included my favorite relatives. I said all that to say: the exercise cheered me up a great deal, and some of the very people whom I haven’t seen for over half my life are just as real to me, today, as they were back then. I guess it’s all about the moment shared. I’m thankful to be in touch (even if only on fb) w/ my BFFs from elementary school, and I’m glad you called your friend. I’m not surprised he loves you, still.

  2. Brandee,

    The feelings are a compelling mix of gratitude — for the lasting connection — and grief — for the time lost with each other. The good news is we are connected again.

    Peace
    Milton

  3. This makes me miss our times in your house at Fort Worth cooking something and hanging out. I miss my old friend, Milton who was so dear to me during my high school years. I would love to drop by and have a cup of coffee and talk for hours. I smile with every blog and thankful that you keep writing so I get a small piece of you often. Miss you bunches.

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