Several years ago I went through an experience not unlike what a lot of people go through. But for me, the biggest loss was the friendships that I had, that I lost overnight for reasons I couldn’t understand.
Over the last two and a half years I’ve met some of the people who we had pledged our never-dying love to. We had done great work together and traveled many a lonely road together. But last week, I met one of the best friends I’ve ever had in the world who, one day would step in front of a bullet for me, and the next day was on the other side, looking at me from a distance.
It’s been over two and a half years since we’ve met or talked, and I saw this friend in public, in a restaurant. As I walked by, I suspected it was him. I stopped at the door and lingered for a moment and realized it was him. I went to my truck and sat there for a few minutes and thought, “You know what, this guy abandoned me. He owes me an apology,” and all the other really stupid things we say to ourselves when we’re mad or hurt. But something inside me said, “This is a good man. We’ve loved each other well as brothers. We’ve fought many battles, encouraged each other, and lifted each other over many years. And just because we’re no longer in each other’s lives doesn’t mean that what happened before all of the foolishness wasn’t real and still isn’t something for which I give God all the glory.”
So I got up, went in, walked up to him, gave him a hug, and told him what I should’ve told him more often when we were together: that I love him, he’s been an amazing impact on my life, he’s helped me in more ways than he’ll ever know, he was there for me in so many ways, and I was glad to be able to say I was there for him. When he was down, I was up. When I was down, he was up. When he bemoaned the injustices he went through, I was there to try to encourage and vice-versa.
When I walked away from that encounter, though we’ll probably never be “friends” again, I still remember him and smile. How about you? Life is too short to harbor grudges. And if you’re a Christian, you can’t. It’s not a part of what we do.