My friend & I just don’t get it

Who are your very closest friends? Take a moment and get them in your mind. Now tell me why they are your closest friends. Is it because of their size? Hair color? Education? Wealth? Good looks? Race? Skin color?

Did you go out searching for a close friend saying, “I want a fat/skinny close friend.” How about, “I want a close friend with black/blonde hair.” “I want close friend who is smart/dumb.” “I want a rich/poor close friend.” “I want a gorgeous/ugly close friend.” “I want a black/white close friend.” Is that what you did? NO! You don’t go out looking for a close friend because it isn’t based on anything you can see. Our closest friendships are based on shared experiences, being there for each other, having each other’s back, sacrificing for each other, honoring each other, etc. And eventually, after sharing all those experiences, we find ourselves LOVING one of our friends and discover that they are on our CLOSEST FRIENDS list.

One of my very closest friends is Kenneth Reagans, pastor of Abundant Faith Fellowship in Freeman, Virginia. Should the need arise, I would die for him anytime, anywhere and he would for me too; that’s another sign of a closest friend.

We have actually share a limited number of days, because we haven’t lived very close to each other, except for a couple of years when he was assistant warden at the Jordan Unit here in Pampa.

God brought us together as closest friends in a matter of only a couple of days. God let me have his back in a situation that arose when we had only met the day before. The seeds of our friendship began to grow that day like the magic beans in Jack & the beanstalk. We began to share meals together every chance we could. We cooked out a couple of times at different church events and discovered that we both LOVED GRILLED PORK TENDERLOIN. We walked the streets of Pampa one day praying over the city and praying for every Pampan who lived here. I preached at his church, he preached at mine.

Then the heartbreak came: Kenneth had to move. I can remember that day like it was yesterday. I felt like a part of my body had been cut off. That’s when we both discovered that geographical proximity has nothing to do with closest friendships. I love him today (21 years later) as much or more than I did that day; I would still die for him, him for me too.

We have only been able to visit each other a couple times over the years. Our relationship has prospered not by eye to eye visits, but phone calls, texts, Facebook, etc. I have called him when I needed his counsel, he has done the same with me. His counsel has been critical to me, and mine to him. I always look forward to picking up the phone and hearing the words: Blessed man of God, how are you doing? Those are always our welcoming words to each other. Of course, when I call him it is much louder. That will not surprise those who know me.

Oh, and did I mention that Kenneth is black. On the “race” card he checks “black”, but Kenneth is actually brown. Me, I’m white with brown polka dots, aka freckles; on the “race” card I check either white or Caucasian.

Kenneth is only brown where he isn’t gray. I’m only brown-dotted and white where I’m not gray. He is a little gray and I’m all gray; hair that is. He is only a little old, I’m a lot old. Our skin color, our age, the color of our hair, our geographical location, etc. have absolutely NOTHING to do with our friendship.

We had a long talk the other day about the mess our country is in right now. Here is what we concluded: WE DON’T GET IT. Why is there so much hate in our country right now? BOTH LOVE AND HATE ARE MATTERS OF CHOICE. One day, 21 years ago, Kenneth Reagans chose to love Mike Sublett. That same day, Mike Sublett chose to love Kenneth Reagans. The reward? God revealed a CLOSEST FRIENDSHIP for each of us.

When you woke up this morning, you chose to launch into the day with either LOVE or HATE. If it was hate, then your day has been filled with darkness, almost everywhere you look. If it was love, you’ve been seeing light the whole day. And with that light comes the possibility of new CLOSEST FRIENDS. I sure am glad that Kenneth chose love that day all of those years ago and I know that Kenneth thanks the LORD that I chose love that day as well. Please, choose love each day. Maybe God will bless you with a new CLOSEST FRIEND. God bless.

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