Tom and me, Big Hill Pond
"The more I think it over, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people."
Vincent van Gogh
I've been walking in my room without walls, where the floor is earth and the ceiling is sky. Maxfield Parrish could paint skies but nobody rivals God's work. Last night I experienced a sunset over a used-car lot that would knock your eyes out. It was a gift. Like friends. And yet, friendship is a unique gift- a reciprocal gift, based on respect, trust and admiration. Often, friendships are based on something lacking in the one and possessed by the other, a place for want and plenty to meet. And then there is the element of maintenance. I have lost friends through neglect, by simply not paying attention. So for me, getting older means paying better attention.
Michael Card reminded a group of us teachers that there are levels of friends. Jesus had the 70, the 12 and the 3- Peter, James and John. Each level has its own dynamic and intimacy. One of my closest friends these days (and I hope 'these days' follow me to the graveyard) is Tom Sullivan, fellow educator and lover of the room without walls. I met Tom several years ago at a college in Memphis,TN. Tom was a Dean, I was an adjunct. I liked his laugh, and that he showed me where the coffee was hidden in the lounge. As time passed my family and I moved to the town of Bolivar, 65 miles away. Tom, and his beautiful wife Beverly, took me into their home the two nights a week I taught night classes. Words shared in the Sullivan den still come to mind. Now, Tom and I are separated geographically by 635.30 miles, according to Mapquest. Friendship is undaunted by geography.