After I finished the welcome, I made my way to the front row of seats. Nancy was running lights in the booth. The front seats are like new and make it easy for me to make it back to the platform when it is time to preach. Also, I don’t hurt anyone’s ears when I sing with all my might.
Imagine my surprise when I looked to my right and saw Curtis Belcher standing next to me. He and his wife Kim had been on a short road trip and intentionally stopped in to surprise Nancy and me. I hugged him and slapped him on the back as the instruments led into the first song. It didn’t matter that the entire congregation had a bird’s eye view of my reunion with my friend. He returned to his seat. I thought back to the past.
The first time I met Curtis he came to the Harmony Baptist Church with Kim and the three girls that they had at the time. Later the number grew to four. That was the beginning of a relationship between our families that included baptisms, Bible discussions, OU football, splitting firewood, and a few practical jokes. I met with Curtis every week to discuss scripture long before I ever heard of a D-Group. We held each other accountable in our daily walk with Christ. He became one of God’s greatest gifts to me.
It was a sad day when our family left the Harmony Baptist Church and moved to Holdenville. We left behind many good friends. None were closer than the Belchers. They had become leaders in the church. They had also grown very near to our hearts. My daddy told me I would only make about five really good friends during my lifetime. It was hard to drive away.
In the decades that followed, I discovered that close friends remain close. Every time Curtis and I talk on the phone it is as if we never separated. Our hearts are uniquely knit together, making conversation easy. We have shared joys and burdens across the state. Even over the phone, it is refreshing to be supported and encouraged. We laugh and we pray and we affirm our love for one another. Life has taken some unexpected, hard turns. We never walk alone. We have the Lord Jesus and He has given us each other.
To God be the Glory! Earl
- This Sundays Sermon “Proclaiming the Unknown God” Acts 17:16-34
- 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