Friends

I stayed up too late last night. I was on the phone with a friend and it was one of those times when we would say goodbye but keep talking, having just one more thing to say. At my age, those kind of conversations don’t happen on a regular basis, which is probably a good thing. I’m a little bleary-eyed this morning, and I need to be able to see those little black notes on the music in a couple of hours.

Good conversations with a great friend are so special. Learning more about each other and listening to thoughts, opinions, and hurts. Supporting each other and reasoning through a tough issue. Laughing over something that happened to one or both of us. I feel blessed to have good friends… People I know will be there when I need them – or even when I don’t.

It is Sunday morning in the bluegrass, and it’s the Sunday after Easter. It can be a let-down after all the excitement of the Easter celebration. This morning I was reading the story about Jesus’ friends as they walked on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24. Boy, did they have some tough things to talk about! Their leader had been crucified and buried… I can’t even begin to fathom how that must have felt to them… And some of the women had found the grave was empty that very morning. Then Jesus himself came up and was walking with them! Of course, they didn’t recognize him. But the conversation continued with Jesus explaining everything about himself beginning with Moses and the prophets.

I love making new friends, and that feeling when you’ve only just met someone and talked a little while but feel like you’ve known each other forever. I think these men felt that same way about Jesus on that road. They had talked and walked until they came to a parting place. But the men invited Jesus to come and eat with them. So He did. (He always does.)

When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him.

And just like that, Jesus turned their sorrow into joy.

That’s what the music in my head does for me. When I wake up with words like “Christ is risen from the dead. Come awake! Come awake!” in my head, like this morning, it’s as though Jesus is here with me, and in an instant, He turns my sorrow to joy, my pain into passion, my hurts melt away.

They say a person can’t truly know someone unless they spend time with them. Jesus spent time with His friends and they knew Him. Or rather they spent time with Jesus and HE knew them… If I spend time with my friends, even if it’s on the phone too long at night, I know them. If I spend time with Jesus, I know Him. And just like my friend last night, He is there when I call Him, waiting for me to call Him back, anxious to talk with me about a couple of big issues in my life… Happy to laugh with me over some funny things that happened, and willing to hear me out.

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