An Affection Mellowed By Time...

Jim Cropp I enjoyed a special day this week with Jim (and his dear wife Kathy) Cropp in their home in North Carolina. We met as freshmen at Bryan College in 1973. We hadn't seen each other in some 30 years. A lifetime passes so quickly. Yet the time together was rich and restful. Our conversation was marked by laughter around pictures and memories of the past, the sadnesses and growth of our lives, and the hope of living this next season well - that our life experience might converge into something meaningful for Christ's Kingdom.

I find comfort, stability and peacefulness in such friendships. They remind me of God's faithfulness and generosity over the course of my life ... of His protection and provision. They also remind me of the many friends God has brought into my life to share a particular season and how they've all shaped me into the person I am today.

It was fitting that on the plane home from my visit with Jim I finished a book about the friendship between Tolkien and C.S Lewis. It ended with Lewis' reflection on friendship ...

Those are the golden sessions ... when our slippers are on, our feet spread out towards the blaze and our drinks at our elbows; when the whole world, and something beyond the world, opens itself to our minds as we talk; and no one has any claim on or any responsibility for another, but all are freeman and equals as if we had first met an hour ago, while at the same time an affection mellowed by the years enfolds us. Life - natural life - has no better gift to give. Who could have deserved it?

An affection mellowed by the years ...

I can think of no better way to describe the gift of friendship.

Fighting for your heart.

Gary