Strangers and Friends?
© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved
I like my friends.
Most of the time I like them a lot.
Strangers are a different thing altogether.
I can be vulnerable around my friends, usually…
I must be on guard around strangers, mostly…
So what is the big deal about the stranger?
Why is it so important to greet strangers
as if they were friends?
Why should I reach outside of my inner circle of comrades,
my safety net of confidantes
and extent greetings to those unknown to me?
Well, because at one time we all were
unknown to each other—strangers,
and the friends we have now were strangers to us.
Many times we think of those within our own group
as if they have always been known to us,
and those outside of our group
as if they are truly strangers
and therefore never will be known.
But even if we are known to many, now,
we once were truly alone as we walked toward eternity—
except, that is, for the one
who called us out of our own aloneness
and into holy camaraderie with the God of all.
Most important is that one time we did not know
God’s grace, and we were strangers to it,
but we now we have been included in it,
and because of that inclusion of ourselves,
we are expected to include the stranger,
who is not really a stranger
but really ourselves,
for as we include, we are included…