Friendship in Houston

The blog is an overflow of my life. I spend all day thinking, writing, and talking about theology and Bible. So my blog is an ongoing discussion of such things.

For the past day and a half, the life of which this space is an overflow has been lived in Houston, TX. After the CBE Conference, I met up with the family at the house of good friends who moved here from San Francisco about a year ago.

So the theme of my life right now is friendship.

Never underestimate the power of friendship to breath fresh life into your own.

Yesterday as we wandered about the Houston Zoo and rode the little train around the park, Laura and I were left behind as the kids clung to “Mr. Richard.” Mr. Richard is older than either of our parents by about ten years, and he’s one of my kids’ favorite people in the world.

I said to Laura, “I’m thankful for grandparents.” She knew what I was talking about. Our kids have four amazing biological grandparents. And they have these other friends who play the part of “grown ups older than our parents who shower us with love.”

I always bristle at the term “fictive kinship,” a phrase that folks sometimes use to talk about communities where people use family language to speak of one another even though they are not related by biology or marriage.

I bristle because I believe that my identity in Christ is far from fictive, and that my relatedness to others in Christ is one of the truest things I can say about any relationship.

These are friends. And they are brother and sister. And they are father and mother. To me. To Laura. To our kids.

When we moved to San Francisco, we had no family within two time zones. And our house church community quickly became that for us: those with whom we celebrate and mourn, gather for holidays and gather by the hospital bed.

I am thankful for friendship. Real, genuine, “shut-up-we-both-know-better” and “if-you-need-someone-to-take-care-of-the-kids-so-that-that-you-can-take-that-invitation-to-go-to-Cambridge-you-drop-them-here” and “I-love-you” friendship.

This is [part of] our family.

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