Hanna buzzed me and said someone was here to see me. She asked me to come to the foyer. I made my way toward the Northwest entrance of the church, not knowing who I would find. It tends to be a “box of chocolates” sort of thing. I never know who I will get when I receive a request like that.
His back was turned to me when I made my way past Donna’s office. I had no idea if he had come to request gas money or help with some cause. I was elated when he turned toward me and smiled.
“Calip!” I said, before hugging him with all my might.
Talk about a blast from the past. Gary Calip was a member of our 1974 graduating class at Hobart. We spent twelve years together getting an above average education in the town where Bearcats rule. His presence in any lineup dramatically improved the chances for victory. More than that, he was a great guy. His smile dominated every group picture where he appeared in the yearbook.
I took him home with me so Nancy could be a part of our conversation. Gary was headed from his home in Okmulgee to Hobart in order to visit his 91-year-old mother. We discussed the past and the future, the living and the deceased, the highs and the lows. His hip needed replaced, but his attitude was just fine. He anticipated retirement, when he would enjoy his garden and a good cup of coffee every morning.
Before he left, Nancy gave him a couple of garden grown onions, and I gave him a jar of sand plum jelly. In one way, it seemed like we hadn’t seen each other in forever. In another way, it seemed like we had just finished up our senior year before leaving for college. Time flew by, but our friendship remained intact. I drove him back to the church parking lot and said goodbye before he got into his F150.
My mother calls such events “serendipities.” Unexpected pleasures appear from time to time in life. They almost always appear in the form of a relationship we have enjoyed, are enjoying, or will enjoy. The more relationships God blesses us with in life, the better life tends to go. Make new friends but keep the old.
I love you, Earl
- This Sundays Sermon “Healthy Christians” Acts 16:25-40
- Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
- Services are being posted on the church website, the church YouTube channel at FBC Weatherford Media, and on the church Facebook page at 9:00 a.m. each Sunday.