Is it not miraculous to fall in love with a stranger? Not a love like that of wine and roses, but like that of wine and laughter and shared stories. A love that doesn’t tarnish with time or distance, but seems to rest until the next meeting when you know your heart will be full once more with he or she who was once a stranger and now a friend.
I have many such friends who now create a beautiful network that stretches across a world of land and sea. They each began as strangers; strangers we lived with, dined with, faced fears and pain with. Strangers whom shared their lives, their plenty and want, their joy, their strength and weakness. An unfamiliar face may define a stranger but love makes that face a friend.
I have had someone who cares for me take time to explain that people are very fortunate to have 1 or 2 friends in there lifetime. This person’s definition of friendship was loyalty, companionship and a true knowing of one another; a friend is the person you could call in the middle of the night for anything.
I could tend to agree that we may have few very close allies in our lives as I have a very small number of people who truly know the intimate workings of my life and heart. They know about my day’s ins and outs, special hobbies and select fears and dreams. Time spent together with these friends is frequent as proximity allows.
Okay. Fair enough. Go on.
This very caring person went on to tell me that the many people whom I’ve encountered as strangers are not, in fact, my friends. The sentence ended with a kind smile and left me with a pain in my chest that occurs when I am not understood.
I smiled in return and told this person, “I know.” But it wasn’t that I was agreeing with their statement, but that “I” actually “know” a reality that this person does not; a reality that perhaps few people know: that when you see God in another person a stranger is transformed in to a friend. Eagerness comes over you to hear what other stories and life experiences this new found friend has to share. As the courses keep coming, vulnerability is second nature, laughter and crying ensue; its beautiful and it is love!
When the days or even short hours conclude, is it naive of me to think that we are now friends? For how could I possibly think of this beautiful person as a mere acquaintance? They have let me in and I them and only friends can part knowing there are no goodbyes.
If not in this life time, but the next, we shall meet again. We will enjoy the love that we forged together last and reminisce upon the history of our first meeting. I have to believe that only friends can comprehend the pleasure that can be experienced within the realm of knowing and of being known. Only friends can look at one another and know they are staring in to the face of Love, Himself.