I am perched on a wooden bench facing the front door of a house nestled into the rise overlooking a creek that flows into Lake Travis. This house sits in the heart of the Hill Country of Texas.
There is a fire burning hot and smokey in what once was a propane tank; converted to a useful object by the owner of this house with its wide front porch littered with rocking chairs and wicker.
We ate outside this evening, ribs smoked on the homemade grill. The scent of mesquite and the sound of the frogs and crickets made the atmosphere thick; the chocolate lab ran up and down the creek bank chasing a golf ball that we threw again and again and again.
This home and everything around it and in it grew out of a vision for the way life could be lived. Scavenged materials became walls and doors and sinks and floors. Sweat and labor laid stone. Rain water collects on the roof to serve the house. There is an art and a craft to the way everything within my line of sight has become house and home.
Flesh and blood here; ministry happens, people are loved, children are raised.
I have held these friends in my heart for 20 years now. We lived first as neighbors, right across the railroad tracks from one another in a little Texas town where religion raised us up and broke our hearts. We met again, seeking Jesus, and spent time in one another's homes. Our kids spent a few years of their lives together and our boys, promised of God, are the same age.
Live has dealt difficult cards at times and we have moved in and out of contact with one another. We've moved all around the country.
And now I've come to visit, with a major fault line in my life and a new introduction into the long line of our friendship.
After the dinner, after the fire and the laughter, I mentioned to Diane that I needed to go write my blog post.
"What's your blog about?" she asked. "Well," I replied, "It's about me. My life. My perspective. My stuff."
"Sometimes I write about parenting. About ministry stuff. About God..."
"I'm going to write a book someday."
I'm going to write a book someday.
I've never said that out loud before, but it came easily tonight. It was natural. This quiet, calm space and time with friends who have known me over many, many years made room for that still truth to slip out.
Billy Crockett has long been one of my favorite singer / songwriters; his music is exquisite. Unfortunately, some of the old stuff - including tonight's song - is out of print. I have the cd somewhere at home, but it's tough to find the song online.
But I remember the words, and I have the song hidden in my heart. We share beginnings...we share the ends...it's worth it all, in these days to be best of friends....
Hide and seek, snakes and ladders
I remember when
You and me and all that matters
Best of times, best of friends
These days of sunshine, these days of rain
We pull together in days of pain
We share beginnings. we share the ends
It's worth it all in these days to be best of friends
Stand and fall, hurt and healing
Say goodbye again
Through it all, the gift of feeling
Worst of times, still best of friends
Here and now, make a promise to take it to the end
Heart to heart, God is in us
All this time, still best of friends...