I’ve been thinking about circles this month. No, not the geometric ones but, rather, circles of people. And, not just any people but circles of friends.
A Circle of Friends
I recently spent the morning with some friends playing cards and catching up on life. Three of the five of us have children getting married within a month of each other later this year. One had a daughter get married earlier this year and one was entertaining a brand-new granddaughter. The conversation focused on weddings; what we were going to wear, what song we were going to use for the mother/son or father/daughter dance and the plans in general.
We have been friends for years with some of the friendships going back twenty years. My mind drifted to the ebb and flow of our friendship.
When our children were younger, we would meet once a week to scrapbook. After we dropped our kids off at school, we would spend the day at someone’s house and wrap up when the school day ended. In the early years, the chatter was about spelling tests, homework, field trips or the latest fundraiser. As our kids got older, the conversation turned to issues with friends, boyfriends and girlfriends, who was going to Homecoming or Jr/Sr with whom. Somewhere along the line, our weekly scrapbooking sessions evolved into bi-monthly card or domino games and our conversations progressed to graduations, college choices, and our independent offspring moving out into the world. Now we are in the stage of weddings, careers, aging and new grand babies. Sigh.
Throughout all of these changes, these conversations have been accompanied by tears, rejoicing and prayer.
We have wept with one another when our children have struggled. We have rejoiced over graduations, career successes, weddings and new babies. We’ve prayed through our children’s and our own anxieties, fears and trials. It truly is a circle of friends.
One is not Enough
I have another circle of friends, women I know mainly through my church. I’ve known some of these women for at least twenty-five years, some less— all important to me. We, also, have wept with each other and prayed through times of crisis. We’ve worshipped together or studied the Bible together or served together. We’ve rejoiced over the milestones of our children’s lives and we’ve walked with each other through the changes in our own lives.
It’s a very good thing to have a circle of friends. It’s good to know that there are people to whom you can turn for a prayer or a word of encouragement.
A Song About A Circle
I just finished watching Ken Burn’s documentary, Country Music. I’m not a huge country music fan but I don’t dislike it either. I do love history. One of the songs they came back to over and over was Will The Circle Be Unbroken, which has become an anthem for country music. It was originally written as a hymn in 1907 by Ada Habersham. The first family of Country Music, the Carters, changed the lyrics to the stanzas but the chorus remains the same.
“Oh, will the circle be unbroken
By and by Lord, by and by?
Is a better home awaiting
In the sky, Lord, in the sky?”
The new version is more of a funeral song, which is a little depressing, but this chorus is simply captivating. It reminds me of my own circle of friends; how we are here for each other in this life, how I know I will be able to count on them if or when things get bad here but most important, how we will be together in eternity one day.
How about you? Do you have a circle of friends with whom you share life? Who’s your oldest friend? Mine is a girl I went to kindergarten with. How about family? Do you have family members who are also friends? Sometimes they’re the closest.