Holiness in our midst – Session 18

Holiness in our Midst


Share about a friend. What difference has that friendship made in your life?

It is said that friends are given for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. My friend Linda Saran Gibson of North Barrington, IL falls into the latter category. We met thirty years ago when we were in the same cell group at LaSalle Street church in downtown Chicago. In 1984 she asked me if I wanted to “go through” Lent with her. She wondered if we could read the same Lenten devotions and then talk about them. Of course! Those talks evolved into regular Saturday morning brunches at a Clark Street restaurant for several years. Most every year since we have “checked in” on Ash Wednesday, naming the things we want to change to keep growing. Our birthdays are within one week of each other, mine on January 25. I was born 10 years earlier, but I have asserted that we are the same age, because she was “born 10”; she has always been wise beyond her years, the bearer of an “old soul.” She is a life coach and commercial real estate broker, married with two college-age children.

I believe that all of creation serves to undergird God-ordained friendships. An example from our friendship: Linda was wrapping my “leaving Chicago” gift on a September afternoon in 1988 when her cat Cal summoned her to the window of her high rise apartment. Outside was the most glorious double rainbow over Lake Michigan. She immediately phoned me and demanded (one can demand in good relationships) that I drop everything and head toward the lake. I stood for a long time on the beach watching the twin rainbows in all their glory. The gift that she was wrapping that very moment was a framed water color that she had painted: of a rainbow. She also painted one for herself, so we would always have them as reminders of our friendship, our double rainbows. The coincidence seemed to be a sign that our friendship was known and affirmed by a Higher Power, perhaps the Very One who thought up rainbows in the first place.

When I think back over our years of friendship, I remember shared thoughts and ideas; exchanges of newspaper articles, books and journals; and so many life-changing conversations. The result: I’ve never felt all alone in the world. Our lives have more substance, meaning, and balance because of our true friendship.


STORY CIRCLE QUESTION: Who is your BFF (Best Friend Forever)? Why?


  1. Read the above reflection aloud.
  2. Write a journal reflection about a true friendship. How has this person influenced your life?


  1. Read aloud Session XVIII.
  2. Ask each person to answer the Story Circle Question.