Tuesday, September 22, 2009

High-school friends

I recently spent a weekend in Oregon catching up with lives of my old high-school friends. One friend flew in from Korea, another from Canada, another from LA, and I came from San Francisco. Two of them I had not seen in over 40 years. After I came to America, I was too busy building my career, raising kids, and moving around the country. I lost touch with these dear friends. The internet is a wonderful thing. With diligence and determination my friend from Korea first found my sister, then found me.

Their wrinkles and grey hair shocked me at first, but within a few minutes, my eyes got adjusted. I only saw faces of my 15-year-old friends. We talked, laughed, and ate Korean food for three days and nights. My mother’s grave is near Salem Oregon, so all of us went to her grave. We sat in a circle and talked about our old days. I learned a lot about my mother and the influence that she had on my friends. My mother was the first Christian lady they ever encountered. They equated her kindness with Christianity. All of my friends became Christians. I am not sure how much my mother influenced their choices, but the way they talked about her, she seemed to be their first and most significant Christian example.

As adults we play an important role in the lives our children’s friends. Without realizing it, we may be the only Christ they ever see. They may decide to follow Jesus because of the kindness that we show to them. We exchanged many gifts during this reunion. The greatest gift that I received was the testimony of friends about the Christian witness that my mother showed to them through her life.