Friday, February 13, 2015

Friends, But Not the t.v. Show

I am Blessed with a wealth of friends.  I am on an airplane returning from a conference where I spent two days with a bunch of friends.  On my way to the airport I chatted for about 35 minutes with my friend of over 33 years, Chuck.  I tried to call my old friend Wes, but he wasn’t answering, but I count him among my best friends.

At this meeting, I saw some 30-year friends Rich and Bonnie.  We went to Haiti together on a mission trip, which was the last of several international trips we took together.  There too, were some newer friends.  Jay, Laurie, John, I met just last June.  I had shook hands before that time, but last June we spent some significant time and sweat together, and I felt, and feel, a closeness to them now.

I also saw another good traveling buddy, Steve, with whom I made some trips to Monterrey and Merida, Mexico.  We got stranded in Cancun in a hurricane, so that cements the bonds a bit.  I saw Ceil and Daryl and ate dinner with them and four other Texan friends that Brenda and I met last year in Italy. John was there, and he and I roomed together on a great mission endeavor in England, many years back.  Scott was there, who I have known almost 30 years, and who my son Daniel and I visited at Princeton when we lived at West Point, NY.  Bill has been a great friend for many years, and we share a great mutual friend in Athens, Chuck, who I mentioned above.

I enjoyed making what I hope turns out to be some new friends.  The possibility is very appealing.

Of course, in traveling this time, I was without my best friend, Brenda.  I missed her, but feel comfortable knowing that she is the kind of friend who you miss, but can pick up again with, immediately.  Absence does make the heart grow fonder, but I can only handle the smallest of doses.

We Christians have a friend that sticks closer than a brother, and I think of the L^rd Jesus when I say that.  Friends here on earth are a kind of foreshadowing of what I think we’ll have in heaven one day.  I love my friends and love spending time with them.  We smile just seeing each other.  In heaven we won’t have to rush, we won’t be leaving, we won’t be missing, we’ll just enjoy.

I don’t quite understand the concept of “treasures in heaven”, but I suspect it will be related a bit to the treasures of friendship.  We’ll see one day.

In the mean time, I think I’ll just savor the joys of friendship here in the temporal.  It’s good practice.


  1. Looks like you had a great time Phil.

  2. I miss you dearly and talk about you almost every day it seems. My students just call you "Bishop". The other day I was talking about "know your students" and one of them said, "Oh, yeah, like Bishop's book". It was a funny thought to me that they were referring to a soon-to-be-published book they hadn't read or seen by some they don't know as if it were common knowledge. I miss you.