Looking forward into the next year: in 2012 Jennifer Ould and I will be celebrating ten years of friendship. Jennifer has celebrated Christmas with her family in North Carolina this week and is coming back to Chicago tonight. I can't wait to see her tonight. I've missed her the past 8 days.
There is a sense in which I our friendship has flourished and survived in spite of the surrounding evangelical sub-culture instead of because of it. Our friendship bond has surpassed the stereotypical language to describe typical male-female friendship. We're not lovers. But we are more than "just friends." Jennifer is more than "just a friend" to me.
For example, we share a deep prayer companionship. We both can and have shared our deepest selves with the other in our prayer intimacy praying through fears, despair, pain, loss, doubt, weakness, crisis, our own sins, and the sins of others against us. We have been intentional, rhythmic, and liturgical as we have prayed for each other. In the past couple of years, we've prayed for and with each other daily.
So we are more than "just friends." But we both have, for better or for worse, stayed in evangelical communities and self-identify currently as evangelicals. Which makes 10 years of friendship something to really celebrate!
We do have some special things planned to celebrate. We'll be at the Sacred Friendship Gathering in April. We plan on taking a road trip together to the Wild Goose in June.