Saturday morning before General Conference I went to the grocery store. I ran into a girl I knew from freshman year in front of the frozen chicken. We stopped, chatted, and caught up a bit. I told her that I was in my last year before I graduate; she told me that she had already graduated and was living in Wisconsin, working for a software company. She mentioned that she enjoyed my Facebook posts, and said that they always made her think that she wished we had been better friends.
I thought about that last statement for a while after we parted. From everything I know about her, I think she's right--we probably could have been good friends. And yet, for all the four years we lived in the same city, four years in which we knew each other as acquaintances, it never happened. I'm not even too sure what it is that didn't happen. What is it that turns acquaintances into friends? How do strangers start putting momentum and time into a relationship? How do they start caring that they are in each other's lives more often than random grocery-store meetings?
There are probably several more people in my life like this girl, people that could become close friends if things fell into place. Maybe there are more than several; maybe literally hundreds of my acquaintances could become cherished friends, given the chance.
Part of me hurts a little bit when I think about this, hurts for all the great moments that will never happen.
Another part of me is so, so grateful for the friendships I do have. This part can see that Moses's rod has beaten fountains all over my rocky life. It recognizes that God has led me to friends who have lifted me, shaped me, supported me, and filled my life with delight.
It recognizes that every friendship is a miracle.