Today, Patty and I had the joy of witnessing the power of community first hand. We got up early this morning to go to breakfast with a few of our friends. The reason we would get up so early on a Saturday is important. Our friend Andrew celebrates his fifth year of sobriety today and we were blessed that he wanted to include us in his celebration.
As breakfast was winding down the conversation turned a bit more serious. Andrew told us that, on his sobriety birthdays, he will call the people who have been important to him over the last year and thank them for helping him in his journey; a truly beautiful tradition of acknowledging the most important people in his life. Since we were at breakfast with him, he decided to tell the group there rather than calling us. Andrew proceeded to thank everyone present for the encouragement given him over the past year. He told us how much we had meant to him and how everyone there had, in one way or another, encouraged him to become a better person. As Andrew went on, all of us proceeded to tear up and some even began to cry because we all knew how special of a moment it truly was. It was one of those rare moments in life where you get to see the true fruits of a friendship.
As he talked, I thought to myself, “community is an unbelievably powerful thing.” Just like Andrew could not maintain his health without a strong community around him, none of us can become better people without people around us to pick us up and encourage us when we are down, or celebrate with us when we are up. I wonder if more marriages would survive, more children would realize their dreams, more people would take care each other, and more conflicts could be avoided if we focused on the importance of our communities over the desires of our individual selves? I wonder if that is not where the true redemptive power of the cross lies. People were meant to live in communities and it was proven to us today.
To Andrew: Thank you for letting us celebrate with you today. I hope you know how proud of you Patty and I are and how honored and humbled we are that we were able to contribute to your success in any way. You have proven a true friend and here is to many more years of your health and dreams. Celebrate like there is no tomorrow! You’ve earned it!