Monday, June 21, 2010

Friendship and Stories

I had lunch with a couple of friends today.  It was wonderful.  We used to do lunch together nearly every day when we worked together and since that ended a couple of years ago, it's random and rare.  There's something very special about a group of people.  We enjoy each other on a singular basis, but when we come together, there's something different and special. 

C.S. Lewis had a wonderful group of friends and this is what he said about those relationships:

“In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out,” Lewis wrote. “By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all his facets. Now that Charles is dead, I shall never again see Ronald’s reaction to a specifically Caroline joke. Far from having more of Ronald, having him ‘to myself’ now that Charles is away, I have less of Ronald. Hence true Friendship is the least jealous of loves. Two friends delight to be joined by a third, and three by a fourth … each bringing out all that is best, wisest, or funniest in all the others.”

Christian History Magazine-Issue 88: C.S. Lewis: Pointing People to Reality. 2005. Carol Stream, IL: Christianity Today.

So, as Cody and Jen and I sat for several hours at PepperJax; we caught up, remembered and realized what was unique about the three of us sitting down together and exploring life, love and faith.

At one point, Cody laughed at me and said, "I don't really need to ask you anything - now that you're blogging every day ..."  I laughed with him.  Yup, that's a problem for me. I expose myself all the time and I don't get a chance to find out from everyone else what is happening in their lives.  This monologue just doesn't afford me a chance to dig deeply into the lives of people around me.

Then there is the whole 'I'll never be able to run away' thing.  I read about people who change their lives so drastically that they leave everyone behind and no one really knows where they've gone or what they're doing.  I wouldn't be able to do that if I wanted to!  Everyone knows where I am, what I'm doing, what I'm thinking about.  Here you are - here it is!

When Dad was preaching, he was pretty careful about exposing our foibles and forays to the world on Sunday morning.  He would have had great fodder for illustrations in his sermons, but he didn't share too much about us kids.  We knew that we were safe.  If there was ever something that he simply couldn't ignore, the illustration was begging to be told, we generally were asked if it was ok, and there wasn't really a time that we denied him the chance at telling our story.

My family is a family of story tellers.  Mom and Dad began telling us the stories at a very young age, reinforcing our memories and training us how to relate to others via stories.  Spend a few minutes with Carol and you will discover that she has had the weirdest things happen to her - she laughs uproariously as she tells those stories.  When people are astounded at her life, she reminds them that they probably have had many of the same experiences, it just never occurred to them to laugh about them and tell others.  It occurs to her ... it occurs to all of us.

My brother is probably the funniest of the three of us - once he gets going on a story, it's all I can do to stay seated.  I remember once, long ago, rolling around on the floor of my apartment in agony because I was laughing so hard at one of his stories.

Memories and stories help me relate to the world that I live in now.  I'll keep telling them ... sometimes they'll have a moral, sometimes a strong point, and sometimes it will just be something for a little bit of entertainment.  I do love hearing back from you, though about how you relate to my stories!

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