Friday, September 20, 2013

Comfort and Joy, Comfort and Joy (for Buddy)

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
                                 -Philippians 4:4

Before I begin, I'd like to ask a question: what emotion does the color blue conjure for you?

I find it soothing, like a cool washcloth on a fevered brow. Also it looks really neat against the black background of my blogpage.

Being from somewhere other than here, I keep up with people from my past lives by swapping messages on FaceBook. I know, it is a pitiful substitute for face-to-face conversation.

But talking on the phone seems to me even more inadequate. Lacking the visual input of facial expressions and body language, I find myself compelled to fill the empty silence with banal pleasantries. Is it even possible to have a meaningful discussion while talking on the telephone?

I recently exchanged messages with a friend who is one of the most joyful people I know. His openness and upbeat personality attracted me from the first time we met. We shared many a large time in the several years that I lived in his hometown.

He is still there. I am pleased to say that God has blessed him with a strong, enduring faith. You know what I mean. Faith that is our only anchor when life devastates us.

I admire that kind of faith and I strive to emulate it. The faith to smile in the midst of sorrow. Faith that does not shy away from expression of that sorrow, but at the same time remains hopeful. Faith that does not allow us to withdraw to within ourselves but inspires us to reach out and engage those around us.
Faith that allows us to be a blessing to others. Faith in the hope of that which is to come.

As I sought to be a blessing and comfort to my friend (through the strange medium of FB messaging), I found myself comforted by his open and honest faith.

God has promised to never leave or forsake us. Sometimes I detect his presence in the blessed fellowship of dear friends.

Thank you, my Lord and my God.

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