My best friend in the world is named Josh. We grew up together across the river on cattle farms in rural Rock Island County. He’s the kind of friend that I’ve kept up with even when we were both moving all over the country. Josh is one of those friends that, even if a year or two passes, we pick up right where we left off when we see each other.
There’s a comfort in that kind of friendship, to be sure. But, at the same time, he baffles me. He’s an engineer by trade, working to make solar panels efficient and inexpensive enough to make renewable energy a viable solution for tomorrow’s needs. And, if we’re standing outside on a brisk day and I mention that it’s cold, he’ll say something like, “literally, there’s no such thing as cold. It’s just a relative absence of warmth and what we experience as cold is warmth leaving our bodies.”
I think friendship is a profound spiritual gift. God created human beings to be in relationship with each other. And a good friend, one who cares about you with God’s love and compassion, is something to be treasured. When I’m cold, Josh is contemplating physics. And, something about that is good for my soul. If you’re in the midst of a challenging season of life and feel like a lot of the good things around you are leaving like your own heat into the cold atmosphere, reach out to those friends who love you for who you are. Sometimes one conversation can make all the difference between the cold of loneliness and the joy of being together.
As fall is upon us and the air gets colder, sometimes I think about Josh and smile. Friendship is a beautiful thing that is worth nurturing. I bet it’d be worth taking the time to call that friend you haven’t talked to in a while just to say hello. I bet it might just warm up both of your lives (though maybe not literally). And, if you’re looking for a community of people who are likely going through a lot of the same things you’re going through in your life, try out your neighborhood church. I believe that we were created for community, and you never know when you’ll meet a new friend that just might make your life a whole lot better.