Dante had Virgil as a guide. Before he had younger siblings, my oldest child had an imaginary friend named Patrick. Betsy had Tacy. Laura Ingalls depended on her brindle bulldog, Jack. All of them were companions on the way.
we take the beginning steps of our journey through Lent, who would we
take as a companion? Name five people, real or imaginary, you might
like to have with you as guide or guardian or simply good friend.
1. How could I start with anyone other than childhood friend? I was the Southern Baptist girl and she the Episcopalian, and I watched her observe Lent and grew fascinated. Our paths diverged for many years, so it is a marvelous gift to be in touch with her again in the middle of our lives.
2. During the long wilderness years of marital breakdown, separation, divorce and accompanying depression, and ultimate re-emergence into health and strength, one friend stuck with me through everything. Her Jewish family and my Christian family shared observances and learned from one another. We don’t see as much of each other as we used to, but for many years of child-rearing and then through the dark times, she walked beside me. Thank you, Amy.
3. This time last year, when I was experiencing some severe anxiety, friends who didn’t really know me yet offered themselves as connections by phone. Living further west, they said, "call me if it’s late where you are and you need someone." Others were and are there via e-mail, keeping an eye on me, so to speak. You know who you are, and thank you.
4. Also through this amazing web of cyber connections, I had the chance to go and walk through the wilderness of the post-Katrina Gulf Coast with a friend who has become deeply special to me. I’m grateful beyond words for knowing St. Casserole and look forward to many years of journeying together.
5. Finally, I want to say a word about my husband. We don’t share a set of religious beliefs, although we agree on many other things. I think he sometimes wonders if my life wouldn’t be simpler with a partner whose agreement was unanimous. But I appreciate being challenged by his way of thinking. Our companionship both drives me to be clearer about what I believe and encourages me to live more freely in the questions. I love that about him.
Friends, who do you value as a companion or guide along the way? You don’t have to be a RevGal to play, and in fact, take the idea outside Lent if you’d like. I did.