Moving to a new area, miles from old friends, has been one of the bigger challenges now that the pressing issues of settling in have been accomplished. Phone calls, email, and cards help maintain connection with those “back home.” However, a new passage in life forces me to step out of the comfortable and meet new people. Experience reminds me that friendship comes in various forms. It might begin as a shared interest in a hobby, children or grandchildren, or vocation. With some, it is forged during moments of intense battle for a common cause. With others, it settles into a comfortable relationship without complication. You cannot hurry a friendship—it takes time to know the heart of a person. For a moment, consider defining friendship as a group of concentric circles. At the center, only two or three people really know the intimacies of our heart. Many more fall in the next ring and are part of our everyday lives in a casual way. A few people live in another city but continue to impact us. And the final ring includes those folks we call acquaintances. Doug Weibe writes, “These gifts of friendship are scattered like ripe fruit in the gardens of our lives, waiting to be tasted and enjoyed. Each gift is given by a loving God, who knows what we need and who desires a friendship with every one of us. Therefore, while we may choose our friendships, we do not create the gift of friendship. We can work on our friendships, but we cannot change them into something they are not gifted to be. This is the pain and the joy, the poverty and the incredible freedom we experience on the journey to becoming friends.” I am on that journey and each time spent with a new “friend” offers hope and promise. Wonder who God will bring into my life tomorrow?