Skip to main content

Reviving Old Friendships

I had dinner with a friend that I had not seen in perhaps 3 or 4 years. I didn't know what to expect. In fact, I was slightly nervous that it would be too awkward. Luckily, my fears were completely unfounded. We had a wonderful time, and ended up not only having dinner, but shopping, walking her dog, and seeing a movie with a couple of her other friends. We had both changed a little since we last had a chance to really talk, but those changes couldn't erase the fact that we were still friends.

This got me thinking about a more extreme situation. Let's say that my friend and I hadn't seen each other for 20 years instead of 3. Rather than changing a little, let's say that we had become complete opposites. Perhaps I had become Rush Limbaugh's understudy while she was heading up the Kansas chapter of the ACLU. Could we still get together and hang out and just have fun? I think so.

I have seen this with some others since leaving for college. Another guy and I used to be very good friends, but things ended rather badly somewhere after junior high ended. Although we haven't communicated since then, we somehow started communicating on facebook. He invited me to come visit him when I have time.

Now, this is a different situation. I'm pretty sure the last time I had a prolonged conversation with him, he was saying something to the affect "I bet God has a special compartment in Hell reserved for Baptists (the denomination I was in at the time)." Ouch! Is it possible for such a relationship to "start over" and flourish?

I don't have an answer to the question; I am merely wondering aloud. A few days ago I read Gracia Burnham's In the Presence of My Enemies. Basically, I read the entire narrative in two days. It was cool, not only because the Burnham's were from Kansas, but because I had the privilege to see Gracia Burnham speak at a Dillon Lecture Series a few years ago. Her tale is inspiring and exciting. I think the book is overall much more "worth it" than The Heavenly Man.

In the Presence of My Enemies: B
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Clink (New Friends)

Each other is all we have. It's no surprise, then, that when we think about the chapters of our lives, those chapters usually begin and end with the beginning and ending of relationships. My current chapter began in July 2016, when I made the move from Philadelphia to Denver. In many ways, it was the fulfillment of a promise made between Peace Corps friends; Carly, Evan, and I spoke often of our desire to live in the same place some day, and after two wonderful years spent with Kyla, it was time for me to join them.

The great advantage to this arrangement is that Evan and Carly had been cultivating friends in my absence, so upon my arrival last summer, I was met with a wonderful group of people who had been carefully conditioned by Evan and Carly to like me.

Readers of this blog will remember Evan and Carly from my Peace Corps days. They were the closest I had to family for two years, and by the end of our service, we were inseparable.


Pappy. Pop-pop. Dilly-dally. Evan is know…

Reaction to Dante's Hell as Portrayed in Dante's Inferno

Since its Patristic roots, the Church has struggled with two seemingly contradictory aspects of God's nature. One one hand, God is said to be loving and caring towards his creation. At the same time, however, God is seen as a judge, dealing out justice to all according to their actions. Some Christians have argued that God, due to his overabundance of love, can never punish or cause harm. Other Christians have no qualms in maintaining that a loving God sends people to Hell, even against their own will. Most fall in between these two extremes. I would maintain that Dante's view of punishment in Hell errs on the side of the latter extreme, given the assumption of a loving God as described in Christian literature. The God portrayed in Dante's Inferno punishes based on gross oversimplifications. His God ignores the larger picture of human psychology and sociological influences in addition to the rehabilitative capacities of wrongdoers.

Good parents do not punish their children …

Love in the Peace Corps

I joined the Peace Corps because I wanted to connect with the rest of the world, to see life from the perspective of the oppressed, to spread joy and wonder and curiosity to new places. I did not join, in other words, to find a girlfriend.
Why was it then, that as soon as I walked into my hotel in Philadelphia, I felt like a college freshman? I couldn't get through my first elevator ride without my heart-rate increasing and my breath shortening.
The feeling returned during our introductory meetings: the nervousness, the flurry of disordered thinking that accompanied moments of eye contact.
Damn you, body. Why must you sabotage everything good in this world?
I talked this over with my friend Ted on day one in Morocco. I was prepared for the bugs and dirt and cultural difficulties that come with Peace Corps, but nothing could prepare me for the onslaught of charming, independent-minded, attractive girls that I would be meeting throughout those first weeks. He agreed. It was eerie how ma…