Thinking of those who have left footprints on my heart as we move into a new year….
We meet many people in the space of a lifetime. Some make a long-term commitment to weave their hearts together with ours to form a lasting bond, while others enter our lives for a brief precious moment, moving on to touch other lives and fulfill the sacred purpose of their own. Can we ever truly say that we have outgrown a friend or they have outgrown us? It’s strange, but that’s part of what a true friendship is. In a friendship, she offers part of herself to me, which makes me more a person than I was before I met her. If I am a true friend to him, I must offer the most cherished parts of myself to help my friend grow into the person they are intended to be. If that means that we no longer fit together in the same way, then so be it.
Friends cannot leave one another untouched; for if they do, then what they have is not a true friendship after all. The friends we have “outgrown” in many ways remain the truest friends of our hearts because they have been willing to open their hearts to us and to risk the end of what we have shared together. Whether we see each other again, there will always be parts of the other within our souls. I had never tried Mexican food before I met one friend; and every time I eat it now, I smile and remember meals she and I shared together. A song another friend and I sang to on the radio reminds me of how much sadder my life would have been without his presence in it.
We’re a tapestry–a blending of ourselves and those who have loved us into a rainbow of love and laughter. We haven’t outgrown the friends we’ve known. Because of the friendship we’ve had with them, our spirits have grown larger and more expansive–the way they are intended to be–and so have theirs.
We may have grown in different directions, but how can we cut out the parts that remain as parts of us? We can’t. We will always know their love in our hearts. Even if we are no longer in contact, we have memories which remind us that friends never stop touching one another and never stop reminding one another of their goodness in the eyes of God.