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  • "A Musing Pastor"

Friendly Contrasts.

Friends are a gift of my opinion. Risking the work involved in starting and building a relationship will never be time and energy wasted. In 17.5 years of ministry, our family has befriended so many wonderful people. Youngsters, elderly, and those of ages in between have become lifelong friends and that occurred because we were willing to risk. Them too!

One of those friends from our last appointment visited yesterday and offered us a gift of friendship and appreciation. At first blush, the canvas photo of Lake Williams in York county looks like any other photo of this placid little man-made lake. The reflections, the lighting, and serenity all work together to provide such a nice wall decoration.

On a whim, I took a picture of the bare wall before the canvas painting was hung. Umm, okay, it looks like any other brick wall. Then I hung the photo and took another picture. WOW!!

Life is so much warmer and vibrant when we befriend people. Our lives are changed for the better when relationships are formed and grow. Look at the picture again.

I am sure an expert in camera technology and photography will explain how the bare wall and then the hung photo adjusted the aperture differently. Yep, I would agree. However, that doesn't explain my whim.

I originally took both pictures in order to write a blog on friendships and how they inject value into our lives. A bare wall can be transformed by a simple picture. Sometimes, our best laid plans get a major upgrade from the Lord. It is just how the Divine works!

"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other. (John 15:12-17, NIV)

My original blog was to contrast the bare wall alongside the wall adorned with the picture. I had not counted on the brickwall and wall clock changing hues to deeper color and richer tones.

Friendships then are valuable to us personally. These gifts of God deepen our life and add to it rather than diminish it. What transpired on our living room wall yesterday was a microcosm of God's interaction with us. In a time of disconnection from our Creator and that as a result of our sin, we needed a facelift, an upgrade, a Savior. God did not disappoint. Jesus brings clarity, color correction, and enhanced contrasts to our mundane blank slate. WOW!

How are you doing in creating new friendships? Do you risk valuable work in connecting with another soul? The end result may not be that your life is enriched as much as the other person experiences a new feeling of being loved and cared for.

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