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We all need one

Updated: Nov 2, 2021

As many of you know, I'm a collector. Over the years I've amassed several hundred quotes that have struck my fancy. Many of these were penned by the communion of saints from down through the ages. These men and women have taught me much about living by faith, and about life with God.

However, not all of the quotes in my collection are by Christians. Some of my treasures come from the hands of pagans. This should not be a surprise. Jesus himself said that wisdom is known by all her children.

This leads me to a great quote that I ran across a few days ago. It came from the pen of the ancient Greek thinker and historian, Plutarch. Plutarch wisely wrote: I don't need a friend who changes when I change, and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better.

I have been blessed over the past twenty-five years to have such a friend. Her name is Debra. We met at Concordia College (as it was then known), where we had enrolled in the Director of Christian Outreach program. Although Debra and I might go a year or two without seeing other in person, and although we might go weeks or months without communicating at all, when we do, our friendship picks up where it left off.

As I think about Debra, I'm reminded of another quote I've collected: It takes a long time to grow an old friend.

There are a couple of things I treasure about Debra's friendship. I appreciate the fact that while we do our share of small talking, sooner or later, our discussion turns serious. Which leads to a second endearing quality of our friendship. We're willing to disagree and nudge each other.

Deep conversations with the right people are priceless. It's another quote that comes to mind when I think about my friend Debra: "Let us be brave enough to start conversations that matter."

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