We have some very nice neighbors who for many years we pass on our evening walks. We stop and chat. We know tons about them. We know where they work and what they do. We know about their sons and what college courses they are taking. We know when they bought their home and what they paid for it. There is just one really important thing we don’t know. We don’t know their names. I’m also sure they do not know our names. I really should ask them and tell them ours but it seems so awkward after knowing them for years. Some evenings when we walk past their house and we are sure they haven’t come home yet from work I am tempted to look in their mailbox to read their names on their mail. I would probably be caught and arrested.
Can we call them our friends? I don’t think so. I don’t think you can call someone your friends if you don’t even know their names. Ever since I have been a little guy I have loved John 15:15. Jesus said, “No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.” Jesus doesn’t keep secrets from us. If we want to know what God is thinking we should study the teachings of Jesus. I grew up singing the song I Come to the Garden Alone. The refrain says, “And He walks with me and He talks with me and He tells me I am his own.” Those are sweet words especially when they come from someone who knows our name and a whole lot more.
Written by Roger Bothwell on September 9, 2014
Spring of Life, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574