During our recent trip to El Paso, TX to visit my husband's family, we were able to visit with close family friends of theirs. This is a family that Kyle knew when he was a kid. They met through church and became very close during the time Kyle's family lived there. His family moved away from El Paso when Kyle was in Jr. High, but they have now moved back. After all these years the families are still close. They will travel great distance to attend weddings, meet new grandchildren, or bring comfort during illness. Even amongst the business of our trip the families made time for each other. These are friends that are now family. It doesn't matter where God takes them, they will remain close. As I watched the two families interact I was thinking I hope we keep friends like that...making the effort to be there for those we call friends.
Sunday night our church small group held our annual Christmas Party. We gathered around a beautifully set table to enjoy the meal we had brought together. The conversation was plenty as well as the laughter. Later we played a Christmas gift exchange that involves stealing and bribing, and again more laughter. In fact I was laughing so hard I cried. As I went to sleep that night, I was thinking back over the party. Part of the prayer before supper came to mind, "really we are a family". This statement is so true. We rejoice when a new life enters into the group and we gather to celebrate birthdays. We try to support and comfort those in need. Just like a good family should. I could not help but imagine us years later coming together at Christmas...this time laughing at grandchildren stories. I know there are many years between now and then, and they hold lots of changes. Yet I feel these friends have become family.