One Wednesday evening not long ago, I was watching television when the doorbell rang. I turned off the TV and made my way to the front door. I opened it, and there stood a middle-aged man with a half grin on his face. He said nothing.
“May I help you?” I asked him, more than a little suspicious.
After a slight pause, he told me his name.
Recognition overtook suspicion. He was an old friend from our days in Illinois—going back to college, in fact—someone I hadn’t talked to in years. He was in town on business and decided to look us up.
“Doug,” I called to my husband. “Look who’s here!
Our friend said, “My wife and I always like it when people drop by, so I figured you’d like it, too.”
To be truthful, I was self-conscious about the papers spread across the coffee table and the blanket thrown a little too casually across the couch. But our friend didn’t care. So I tried very hard not to care with him.
I introduced our children—teenagers now. Then we three middle-aged friends sat and caught up with one another.
We reminisced a bit, us remembering his children as pre-schoolers running through the halls of their old house. But now he was showing us wedding pictures of those same children, cute little girls grown into beautiful brides.
Our friend was open and honest with us, recounting business failures, children who didn’t believe in God anymore . . . We brought him up-to-date on us, too, though we had no real adventures to report.
“This is so great,” he said, “sitting here looking at the two of you.”
When he left to return to his hotel room an hour or so later, I was glad he’d gone to the effort to look us up, drive through an unfamiliar town, and ring our doorbell. I’ll remember his visit next time I consider calling up an old friend. Instead of assuming he or she won’t want to hear from me, I’ll assume my friend will enjoy hearing from me as much as Doug and I enjoyed visiting with our old friend.