I have a friend who lives in another state. We don't see each other a lot and seldom get a chance to talk, but it doesn't seem to matter. He's still a good and dear friend. He has been a tremendous influence on my son over the years, one of those wonderful people who arrive on the scene in the lives of your children at a crucial time and make all the difference. Every parent knows what I'm talking about. The fact is, I can never repay him for the devotion and the wisdom he has poured into my son.
Anyway, several years ago my friend went through a divorce, later on in life than is common. I felt terribly for him. He never was one to whine about it, but whenever we talked, I could tell he was lonely. Regardless of how he may have been feeling, it never impacted his work. He is a teacher/musician, and what he produces is magical. I marveled at how he could go about his work with the same boundless enthusiasm and passion despite his loss.
Years have passed since then. A year or so ago we were at a party together and he was telling me how terribly awkward it was trying to meet people at his age. He sounded like he was almost ready to give up and move on into the rest of his life single. But, my friend is the kind of man who God had in mind when he said in the book of Genesis, "It is not good that man should be alone." All I could think to say to him was..."You just never know when someone might come along. It usually happens the minute you stop trying to make it happen. God's timing is probably better than yours."
Last fall I was sitting on the sofa checking out the Asian stock markets at 6 am, when my cell phone lit up. Who in the world could possibly be calling me at such an ungodly hour? It was my friend...and he had news that just had to be shared, no matter what the clock said. He had met a woman!
I listened to him tell the story as only he can, with all the hilarity and joy of a school boy. When I hung up the phone I remember thinking that I knew no one on Earth who deserved it more.
Then, just last night he called again, this time to inform me of their engagement and the mythically romantic way it came about. It was a tail that would have made Shakespeare jealous. I put him on speaker phone so Pam could hear it. It is a beautiful thing to hear a man so full trying desperately to express the gratitude of his heart for his good fortune.
I hadn't had a particularly good day. It had been full of conflict and anxiety, the type of worry that overtakes you in the business world at times. But my friend's call changed everything. Suddenly, I had forgotten the cares of the day. All I knew was that something awesome had happened to a very good man.
Scripture tells us that we are to "rejoice with those who rejoice." You know why? Because it's a great feeling when good things happen to good people!