We’ve been running (jogging) more than a year now, my friend and I. Mostly three days a week and 30 minutes at a time.
My friend is more fit, ten years younger, and a lot faster than I. When we started, I ran my speed and she ran hers. But somewhere along the way, she decided to adapt herself to my pace so we can talk.
We share what is on our hearts: successes and failures at work, the joys and challenges of growing in our relationships with our husbands, our hopes and fears regarding our grown children, the mystery and struggle of ongoing conversion.
It’s true that I pray to God about those same things and that is truly necessary.
But there’s something about my friend that keeps me grounded. Is it her bodily presence? The sound of her voice? The light in her eyes? The patience with which she listens? I think it’s partly because she challenges me to be honest with myself. Also, she sweats with me.
It’s kind of scary loving a friend so much. What if she moves away or something? But I happily risk it because it’s worth it. Even if I grieve her loss some day, or she mine, we will have gained an inestimable treasure in the friendship we share.
“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.” C.S. Lewis