... in making new friends
I found God in making new friends and finding community in a new city.
I recently moved to a new city and was longing to find a sense of community here. By God’s grace I found a wonderful parish and have made a new group of friends here. After Mass on Sunday the priest greeted me by name, and instantly I felt that I belonged. And I knew that all would be well for me because I no longer felt like a stranger.
In our journeys of faith there is a temptation to sometimes feel uprooted and lonely, especially when starting a new job, moving to a new city, or joining a new community. But I always feel that I belong when somebody greets me by name. The prophet Isaiah writes, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” When we are called by our names we are reminded that we do belong, that we are not walking through life as anonymous individuals, but rather that we are beloved children of God.
The American children’s television personality Fred Rogers once wrote, “Everyone longs to be loved. And the greatest thing we can do is to let people know that they are loved and capable of loving.” I found God’s love in new friends and community. And I hope that this love will spring forth so that I may help those around me realize that they are loved as well. Sometimes that love may manifest itself in giving another person hug, sometimes it may be lending a helping hand, and sometimes it may simply be greeting someone by their name. Whatever it may be, I am grateful that God has shown me through new encounters and friendships how to spread his love to those who need it most.