In an excellent example of interfaith dialogue, my dear college friend John E. Smucker III (Hans) is coming over. (He's Mennonite ... that's what makes it interfaith.)
I haven't seen him in ages, and am desperate to give him a huge hug. Hooray for returns of the prodigal friends, and long-awaited boy hugs!
Prayer #10: All Aboard the Friendship
"A friend is one who walks in when others walk out." --Walter Winchell
Friendship is an ordinary miracle. It may be the only relationship that comes without strings. It's not forced like family ties, not turbulent like romantic love. Friends simply love you for you, warts and all. After all, they CHOOSE to be with you.
The best friendships conquer years and life events. They equal more than the sum of their parts -- laughter over coffee, tears over the phone, letters, e-mails, Sunday drives. Friends become warm afghans on cold nights, which you pull close to your heart to feel safe and warm.
For friends who are far in distance, bring them close in spirit. For friends who are far in spirit, help the relationship reach its natural destination.
Grant us patience with our friends, Lord, and understanding. Channel our anger when it's called for, and renew our compassion always. May we always see God in our friends, for they bring Him to us on earth, and they deserve our veneration.
That, and they know all our secrets. We can never let them escape.