I have realized recently that I have been blessed with some of the most amazing friends. So many people have come along side me at different times and somehow just stayed. Space and time seem to have lost meaning and the moment we are in communication or in the same place we comfortably continue moving forward together. I still remember thinking in 7th grade that all I needed to find was one friend. One friend who felt the same way I did about Christ being the real deal. The guy I found a friend in was Eric Seevers. I don't know if I've ever told him this, but I know I've told many others. Seeking out friends might be part of why I have ended up with some good ones, maybe it was just destiny, I don't really know. In any case, I want to share one of my favorite quotations by C. S. "Jack" Lewis:
a perfect Friendship this Appreciative love is, I think, often so great
and so firmly based that each member of the circle feels, in his secret
heart, humbled before all the rest. Sometimes he wonders what he is doing there among his betters. He is lucky beyond desert to be in such company. Especially when the whole group is together, each bringing out all that is best, wisest, or funniest in all the others.
Those are the golden sessions; when four or five of us after a hard
day's walking have come to our inn; when our slippers are on, our feet
spread out towards the blaze and our drinks at our elbows; when the whole world, and something beyond the world, opens itself to our minds as we talk;
and no one has any claim on or any responsibility for another, but all
are freemen and equals as if we had first met an hour ago, while at the
same time an Affection mellowed by the years enfolds us. Life natural
life has no better gift to give. Who could have deserved it?”- The Four Loves
More than any individual friend, I've been blessed with an amazing group of friends with whom I've shared quite a few Golden Sessions as Jack calls them. One of my favorites was in fact not in a warm place at all. We decided that being manly men and all we should camp out by a pond without tents. The catch is it was in December and the pond was frozen over and the ground was covered in snow. We still built a fire, many in fact. We still laughed hard, talked about crazy ideas for the future, and brought out the best in each other.
I have had a very difficult time writing this because I have so much to say and so much to be thankful for. Its like having a traffic jam in my head or something. I do want to focus on one more point though. It centers around this verse:
A friend loves at all times, and is born, as is a brother, for adversity.
- Proverbs 17:17 Amplified Bible
With that said, I want to talk about two of my best friends. They are the kind of friends that when I bring them up around my Grandma Baber, she always, always reminds me that "they are such good friends, honey." When I was critically injured on a Saturday in late September 2008, these two crazy cats dropped every aspect of their lives got into a car and drove hundreds of miles to support me. That first visit they didn't even get to see me, but they stayed for days on end in the waiting room and brought encouragement to my beleaguered family. I remember the first time they got to come into my room, they brought in a guitar and sang hymns with me. I knew that last sentence would choke me up, dangit. These two men, Charlie Nixon and Zach Davy, not only loved at all times, but they loved even stronger when adversity hit. They are two guys who I refer to as "bru," (the term we stole from Blood Diamond) which has come to mean my friend who is closer than a brother. I will forever be thankful that God brought them into my life and that we still get to walk together in our journeys.