Three years ago I made this same flight. It was exciting then and exciting now to anticipate hanging out with great friends. There is something extraordinarily special about friendships that defy the test of time.
The last time we gathered to tell stories, laugh heartily, eat voraciously and tease mercilessly I was taking a break from a fabulous but rigorous work in San Francisco. This time I was snatching a respite from the fast-paced quickly-growing ministry in Houston.
As miles passed behind me, I could feel my spirit unplugging while the turbo prop plane flew over the night light lit skies of Laramie, Wyoming. Not even a dozen travelers disembarked the aircraft to be greeted by family and friends. One other couple waited with me outside of the airport terminal, laughing that this was the first time any of us had closed an airport.
My buddy drove up in the official Western rig of the outdoor world, a pick-up truck. We were all smiles and in constant conversation on the drve back to his cabin. I had experienced amazing Wilson hospitality many times in the past and knew that I was in for a treat.
Those who cheerfully serve others are less and less common. To make friends feel at home and enjoy a time away from busy responsibilities is a gift. Ron and Roxanne are very gifted at it.
When I walked into their cabin the conversation that filled the room with laughter and cheer paused with a welcome that warmed my heart. An addition was coming. Friendship among the guys is not real unless it is peppered with merciless teasing and revisions made on our past historical exploits and mistakes in the most exaggerated style.
Years had separated us. There were very rare telephone calls, occasional text messages, sparse e-mail and a Christmas card may have been exchanged. Nevertheless, real friendship picks up where it left off.
Friendships would deepen during the next several days of our reunion. We caught up on old news. Most news we laughed through but some we listened with soberness when life was at risk and trouble was lurking.
Good friends enjoy life better because of whom they have a chance to share it. When the atmosphere of joy is created through the wonderful mechanism of hospitality, something supernatural happens. Joy expresses itself with fellowship that can withstand the test of another set of years apart.
Thanks, Ron and Roxanne. You used the wonder of hospitality just as God showers blessing on those whom He loves. We who have received your expressions of love are grateful and call you, “Blessed!”
photo credit: brucefong photography