Sometimes a picture tells a story. Sometimes a picture tells a thousand stories at one time.
This is one of those thousand story images, that just happens to look like the ultimate photo bomb. I think this is the third or fourth time over the years that the Martins (and their camp coaches) jumped into our family camp photo. By now we expect nothing less.
From an outsiders view, this photograph probably just looks like a couple of families having fun on vacation. It’s fairly obvious that we…ahem…enjoy spending time together. We have a similar photo from several years ago framed on a bookshelf. Our almost two decade long friendship with the Martin family has survived the years because of the stories we’ve chosen to share with each other.
Dig a little deeper behind these smiles and you’ll find buckets of tears as well. Layer upon layer of stories that include heartache and loss, grief and pain, and the kind of sacred connections where you are free to let your brokenness come right on out of the closet.
Intentional friendships. The kind where you say we are going to love you regardless of your crazy.
We’ve shared in the ups and downs of marriage and in parenting victories and epic fails. We’ve counseled one another in the midst of hard choices. There have been holidays shared, meals that last hours and laugh until you cry times. Grace given and received too many times to count.
There is even an interesting surgical story that needs to remain outside internet publicity.
This wad of people seem to always have to say good-bye to one another before enough time has passed. When I look at this picture I just have to giggle while trying to keep tears from spilling.
The reason our friendships have stood the test of time? The simple fact that the most important story we share is our love of Christ. His Spirit living in us all has been the glue. Period. There isn’t a price tag you could put on this sort of gift.
A history of sword sharpening, the promise of new stories written.