Yesterday, driving home from running some 400 meter intervals at The Dome (which is an indoor track in Anchorage) my cell phone rang. It was in the bag in which I carry my Dome stuff so I fumbled for it (keeping a fierce eye on the road mind you) and with barely a glance to see that it was long distance, I answered it. After a few brief words of hello, which from men are usually a combination of a long “heeeey” and a grunted “howya doin’?” the fellow on the other end asked “Do you know who this is?” Uh, no.
I made an excuse. I have a nearly 62 year old mind and I don’t remember things as well. Give me a clue? “We had years of good times together.” That didn’t help. After a few sentences more, I recognized his voice. It was Joe.
About 6 or 7 years ago, Joe retired and he and his wife moved to Oregon. We were close friends and served together in ministry for roughly the same number of years that he had been gone. I hadn’t heard from him since. He had been disgruntled and unhappy and did not depart Alaska in good spirits. It seemed at the time to be the end of our friendship. I remember feeling horrible and helpless.
On the phone Joe recounted the good times and then got right to the point. This is Joe’s manner. He is matter of fact and not a lot of small talk. He apologized for taking so long to call me and then admitted that when he left, he had acted like an %#&.
Joe told me that he was grateful for the friendship, the support I gave him and that he missed me. He also told me he loved me. I told him I loved him too. It’s a secret conversation when two men are that open about their feelings with each other so I am only telling you…my two readers.
The rest of my day, yesterday, was terrific because one of the great treasures in this world is reclaiming a lost relationship. Life really is about people. The more friends we have, the richer we are.
Interestingly, it came from nowhere. I did not expect the call. The friendship was something lost years ago and I’d not get it back or so I thought. I have quite a few former friends like this. Yesterday revived the hope that other phone calls are scheduled some day. Maybe years from now.
This is God at work. He is a redeemer. He restores and fixes lost things and damaged hearts. Someday He will repair all that is fixable and never allow it to fall apart ever again (the only obstacle is the free will of man.) My phone call from Joe was merely a down payment on the promises of God. I don’t deserve any of this but it pleases God. He is the author of redemption and grace and He loves to show off. I am glad for it. I was reminded yesterday that nothing is hopeless and rarely is anything ever really lost. It may seem to me that my affection was forever turned aside but all is not as it seems. God is good and He loves friendships and even offers us one with Him. That one cannot be broken.
I Samuel 18 3 Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself