I think when I started seminary I had some inkling that the friends I made there would be special. I had hints that they would be long-lasting, deep friendships in the way friendships are when you’re quickly thrown into a situation that pushes you to question all that you believe, hold dear, and proclaim.
And I did make friends, very close friends. There was my next door neighbor who went with me on my very first runs. There were the friends who shared dinner over a folding card table every week for four years. There was the friend who made it through CPE with me, as we drank our way through pediatric ICU and oncology rounds. There was the friend who got married the same summer I did who joined me in asking, what on earth is a wife and how am I going to be one.
But while I was there I really had no idea how potent, how essential these friendships would become. It’s only been in the last year and a half as I’ve entered full-time parish ministry that I’ve realized I cannot do this work without them. These friends, and others I’ve met along the way, have become my cloud of witnesses, running this race with me.
Two of these friends are being ordained in the next four days. We knew each other when this was just the most outlandish possibility, when we would look at each other and say, “Maybe… but probably not… I’ll probably do something reasonable…” and yet, here we are. And thank God that they have chosen (and been chosen for) this unreasonable, unlikely, and utterly good path. It gives me hope, and pride, and so much joy to know these friends will be serving the church in this way. All of us who love the church are very, very lucky this weekend.