Editor’s Corner: Reconnecting, and giving thanks

Amy Forbus

Amy Forbus

By Amy Forbus

I don’t feel old enough to have gone 23 years without seeing a friend, but it happened. And it was past time to bring that particular streak to an end.

One perfect autumn Saturday in October, I found myself sitting on the patio of a Dallas restaurant, having brunch with someone I first met when we were both third-graders. We took such a quick and deep dive into the catch-up process that our server had to remind us to order food.

The conversation covered all the expected topics: where we’ve lived and worked all these years, where we might have crossed paths but didn’t, the people we love, the places we travel, the experiences that have shaped us, the pursuits that give our lives meaning.

I learned that he and I have something in common that we didn’t in our younger days: the United Methodist Church. Having found a home within this denomination as an adult, he’s now active in his local congregation, particularly the Church and Society committee. He shared stories of that group’s regular involvement with people who need the support of a nurturing community, and of his recent mission experience in Guatemala.

Just as it has for the past 23 years, time raced by on that day. Four hours into a conversation that seemed to take only a few moments, we said our goodbyes again, this time with information and plans that will help us keep in touch.

This isn’t the first time I’ve reached out to renew a long-dormant friendship, then discovered that our mutual involvement in the United Methodist Church has added an extra cord to the ties that bind us together. Yes, we had always shared a common faith in Christ, but the particular way we live out that faith as United Methodists brings with it another layer of kinship.

So as we enter the time of year when Americans’ thoughts turn to giving thanks, I have a freshly recognized gift to add to my thankfulness list: I’m thankful for friends who can sit down with me as if three months, or a decade, or yes, even 23 years hadn’t passed since we last met. I believe connections like these truly reflect the love and care God has for each of us, always, whether we’re doing the work it takes to stay connected to Jesus or experiencing a season of distance. To borrow a verse from “The Servant Song” by Richard Gillard,

We are pilgrims on a journey,
we’re together on this road,
we are here to help each other walk the mile and bear the load.

To reach me, send an email to aforbus@arumc.org.