I’m an introvert and a dreamer. As an introvert, I have a few close friends rather than a large circle of lukewarm friends. I think of my friends often, like to know them well, and consider them family. Being an introvert also means that I like to have a large dose of time alone. When I’m alone I daydream about the escapades I’ll go on throughout my life. As a dreamer, I think of solo quests and I hash out perfect adventures to go on which each of my friends, knowing every friend’s unique virtues and nature.
Each period of my life has given me one or several wonderful people to add to my friend family. These days, I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship–largely because I’ve stumbled upon some outstanding new friends. But, also, it’s been a long time since I’ve visit some of my friends who live far away; I’m thinking I might move in the next year; and I’m visiting Paraguay soon. Friends of my past, present, and future geographic locations are always on my mind.
Whenever I think about friendship, I remember a conversation I overheard 3 years ago. I’ve decided to repost (again, it’s not the first time) because it’s my favorite description of what true friendship is. While not everyone believes in Heaven, I think the lesson this scene teaches is universally applicable.
Overheard in Paraguay: Friendship
Repost from October 19, 2015
We sat in a half circle around the grill. The men were cooking large slabs of meat (ribs and some unidentifiable cut) for the mother of the family’s birthday dinner. The husband of one of the birthday mother’s daughters sat by the grill passing one can of beer among the men there. A nephew walked up to the daughter’s husband. The husband was around 30 and the nephew was about 11.
The husband hugged his nephew first with one arm and then the other, squeezing him. The nephew squirmed, and they both smiled. The husband held the nephew at arm’s length and put on an almost serious expression. “Will we always be friends?” the husband asked.
“Yes,” the nephew said.
“Even when I am old and you are my age?” the husband asked.
“Yes, even when you are old and I have kids,” the nephew said.
The husband smiled and pulled the nephew into another hug. The nephew pulled away again and they looked at each other, the husband still squeezed the nephew’s shoulder with one hand.
“Even when you are in Heaven and I am old we will still be friends,” the nephew said earnestly.
The husband laughed. “And I will look after you from Heaven.” They hugged again. “And, when you come to Heaven, we will be friends in Heaven. We will be friends forever.”
The boy nodded and ran off to find his playmates.