The Gift of Friendship

Yesterday I started the day with an unexpected phone call from a friend I had been missing speaking to, as he is currently out of the country. I was still basking in the warm feelings evoked by that conversation when another friend, in from out of town for a program at the law school this afternoon arrived and we had some quiet time to visit. Much of the afternoon was spent with him and/or another mutual friend, who arrived for the same program. After the actual program (a dialogue on Faithful Citizenship and the election), which was terrific, a number of us went out for dinner together. So a day of conversation with friends. A day of sharing. Talking about both the good things and the rough things one or another of us has been experiencing. Encouraging each other, caring for each other, and also, gently, challenging each other. In so many ways expressing our love and support for each other.

My prayer this morning is one of intense gratitude for the wonderful friends I am blessed with. In words taken from a prayer of Joyce Rupp’s (from Prayers to Sophia), I pray:

Faithful Friend,
today I am immensely grateful for friends
who come in all shapes and flavors,
who love me as I am with my strengths
and with my never-may-be transformed foibles.
I am keenly aware of their touches of goodness.
Their warm, considerate elements of care
are comfort and encouragement to me.
They leave my heart more open and alive.
I think you for every friend I have,
for each one brings me a unique gift of love…
Today I hold in my heart those whom I call “friend,”
and I entrust them into your compassionate care…