A few weeks ago I talked with an old friend. I suppose "old friend" isn't really the right word. At one time we were very close. Then there was an incident and our friendship ended abruptly and harshly. We quit speaking, altogether, and they moved away. Months and then years went by as we healed separately and started to exchange apologies and then, very tentatively, kind words, prayer requests and pleasantries. Finally a few weeks ago, we met for lunch at her lovely farm house in her charming small town. We had a wonderful time and there was a spark of our old friendship in that meeting. I doubt we'll ever be as close as we were (there are extenuating circumstances involving husbands and children that would prevent the kind of all-encompassing friendship we once had), but I imagine I will see her again soon for another lunch.
See, the thing about friendship is that it's not a straight line. It's not like your friendship starts at Point A and ends at Point B. It's more like the peaks and valleys you'd see on a heartbeat graph. There are times in your life when you're completely involved with a friend, where you talk to them daily, see them constantly and enjoy each other's presence fully in your life. And then there are the valleys where nothing is wrong, really, you just drift for a moment in time (maybe weeks or months or even years) from each other. But true friendships never flat-line.
I am thankful for the true friends in my life, wherever they may be tonight. I hope they realize that I carry them in my heart whether we are in a peak or a valley in our friendship.