Wednesday, February 03, 2010

fresh flowers and old friends

[I hope Mrs. Craver doesn't mind that I use some of her flowers to tell a story that does not relate to her.]

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I began my new life in Christ over twenty years ago, and there were big changes that occurred in my life. Two noticeable things we noticed immediately were that I stopped using cuss words, and I lost contact with my best friends. It was easy to let go of cussing; I simply began using appropriate, specific words instead of generic expletives. It was difficult to lose my friends, though.

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We used to go to Oak Street Beach on Sundays. One Sunday I went to church instead. That was the day of my conversion experience. Later, I asked the fellas if we could switch the beach day to Saturday, because I wanted to start going to church. We have barely spoken with each other since then. That was July of 1986. One of the guys came to my wedding eighteen months later, and I was thrilled that he showed up. Still, I was not part of our little group any more, and I miss them.

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Now I'm looking at these flowers and contemplating faded friendships. Let's face it. Flowers will fade, and sometimes friendships do, too.

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Facebook has enabled me to reconnect with a few key people from the past. It has been suggested that we have a get together... a reunion of this small band of pals that used to be so close.

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And I'm afraid. (sigh) I am afraid that when we get together, we will find that we cannot just pick up where we left off. I'm afraid that when we meet, we will see each other, not in our former glory, but as faded flowers that have lost their appeal.

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Then again, things may be different. I may encounter men who can appreciate that we pursued different dreams, savor the memories of days gone by, and... well... just maybe... these old pals can be new pals, too

14 comments:

Chris said...

Hi,
This is a bad story... I think friendship should go over all things and differences in the world... You do not stop to be friend with somebody because he chooses to follow Christ path!!!
To be honest, I do not believe myself, but I respect the choice of others and their way of life if they are happy!
I guess if you meet these old friends, one will have to remember what good moments you got together and learn from each others how your life changed since... A bit of a challenge to discover your new life!

Craver Vii said...

Thank you for sympathizing with me Chris. Friendship of course, cannot be demanded, and I do not hold it against them that we did not stay close. I wish the best for them, and hope that if we can arrange a meeting, I will have a happy new story to tell.

donsands said...

Nice post.

There's darkness and marvelous light in this age. We all basically understand this truth of God.

Yet, perhaps there's an overlapping area for some people. Seems that way to me.

Infact, there are some whose light is constantly 2,000 watts bright, who I can't really be friends with, though we are brothers.

I remember when Christ brought me into the light, and cleaned me up, and the same happened to me.

I remember my friend asking me to go with him to play Racket ball, as we used to do every Friday. I asked him, if he would want to come to a Bible study instead.

Joe said, "I'd rather do anything other than go to a Bible study." Since then we have seen each other, gone to dinner. I gave him a Bible. And we have had discussions about Christ. He's a Catholic.

But we walk paths now. They may cross every now and then, and we still enjoy each other, but not like when we were both on the braod and wide.
I hope one day Joe will be brought onto the straight and narrow. All my old friends for that matter.

The question isn't why doesn't the Lord rescue my friends, but why would He ever rescue me?

Nice pic!

Gaelyn said...

Loose the expectations and don't fear what hasn't happened yet.

imac said...

If they are true pals, then they should except you - you are the same person different thoughts, but still Craver.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Craver: I feel it is your calling to reconnect with your friends and help them to understand what has happened to your friendship. You are told to be a part of the world and reaching your friends would be the best way.

Rachel Grace said...

I'm sorry that these people treated you this way because of your faith in Christ. Maybe they were scared that you would be Pharissaical as THEY saw it and "no fun anymore." but they should have accepted and loved you no matter what. I've been in similar situations. But I pray and hope that they realize their mistake, and that you would be the Light of Christ to them even if they reject you again.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

All I can say is that they were not really friends to start off with Craver so you should not miss them. True friends accept us as we are with all our lumps and bumps, good days and bad.

I am sure you have made others since then who will sick by you through thick and think and always be there for you no matter what.

Hugs.

Craver Vii said...

Sandman, I am actually very comfortable with people who are very different. I had a close relationship with a boss fifteen years ago. He was definitely not your average churched type of person. He was not a church person at all. But we had meaningful dialog and enjoyed each other's company immensely. I don't know why... we just clicked. Sometimes personalities clash, and I believe that is a bigger barrier to fellowship than degrees of enlightenment, or what have you. I sit under the mentoring of some, and explore areas of discipleship with others. It's all good.

I really like the way you phrase that question at the end of your comment. It juxtaposes a common thought (which is actually a judgment of God), with a perceptive grasp of the real meaning of grace.

Oh Gaelyn, that is wise counsel. I DO want to lose the expectations, but it is easier said than done.

Imac, I got a good laugh from your comment; you know why? It's because of my name. "Craver" is a pen name or pseudonym which was created for blogging. So they have no idea who Craver is. Plus, I'm sure a lot has changed from when we were twenty years old. That's not bad; it's just naturally how people mature.

I will say this about them: Even if they each decided that they did not care to include me in their lives today, I count it a blessing to have been friends with them. I will not hold it against them if they don't share my enthusiasm to reconnect. Regardless of what happens this summer, I must say that they were truly my friends, and very important to me in those years.

Craver Vii said...

Long comments. Sorry. I'll try to be more concise.

Absolutely, Fishing Guy. That's why I want to follow through with the idea of a BBQ with these guys.

Rachel Grace, you know what? In a way, I'm not sorry for the separation. Yes, it hurt some, but it pushed an immature young man (me) to broaden his horizons and make new friends. And I think their rejection was not of me so much, as the caricature of who they thought I might become.

Thanks for the encouragement, Joan. Still, how can I expect more from them than I am willing to offer. No, I still miss my old pals. And who knows? My apprehension may end up being totally unfounded.

Denise said...

I hope you have your reunion, because even though it may not turn out the way you would want, it COULD be even better. Who knows, they may have 'grown up' and realized over the years how important your friendship was to them, that even though you may all have followed different paths, you stick with your friends no matter what. If you missed that opportunity to get together, you would also always be left wondering. That's my humble opinion anyway ;) My oh my, I can ramble on can't I? :))))

thekingfamily said...

I can understand this. I've connected with many old high school friends on facebook, but our relationships are not what they once used to be when previously we had been really close. I married before all of them which "forced" me to also grow up in ways they had not yet. Wes going to seminary strengthened our relationship with each other and definitely with the Lord. We developed relationships and strong bonds with people who are also in the ministry. These friends from high school are not believers. We are friendly with each other and stay somewhat up to date, but we also know that we're not on the same path and therefore don't relate to each other as well as we used to. I'm reminded of the passage where we're told to not be unequally yoked. People often just put that verse in marriage, yet there's no defining relationship there...showing it's for all relationships. That doesn't mean we can't be friends with unbelievers, but it does mean we must guard ourselves from *deep* relationships with those who are not living for Christ. We can be an influence to them, but we're not immune from their influence on us.

lime said...

i do hope if the meeting can be arranged that you find your old friends are able to be more accepting of who you grew to be. i pray it turns out to be a surprisingly sweet time.

Flowernflorist said...

Yes indeed I think friendship is the most beautiful relation among all those we make by our selves. Send flower japan
for your friends and other loved ones when you are oceans away from them.