How can we live well after 40? asks Barbara Bradley Hagerty. She could have consulted the wisdom traditions.
A friend from seminary visited a couple of weeks ago. Her father-in-law was a pastor in the South, and she had been on a church staff for years before she became a pastor. She talked about how the male pastors of former generations would say that they were going to make visits, and they would spend the afternoon at the golf course.
Jack Anderson is every pastor’s dream elder; he's served the church in countless ways. The only thing he wanted in return was to be my friend.
As pastors, we spend a great deal of time sharing in the ongoing lives and adventures of our congregants and community members. We are also called, literally, to come to love and suffer with them when disappointments, disasters or deaths occur.
Christians think differently about friendship. Our understanding is rooted in a God who never writes us out of the story of divine love—whatever our failings.
The deep attention and reverence that Thomas Merton and Abdul Aziz brought to each other's books, traditions and lives undergirded their friendship, and the frank way they explored their similarities and differences enlivened it.