Going to the Light
A 365-day Photo Journal

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Day 9: My best friend

click photo for larger version



When I was 14 years old, my family moved to Oklahoma. Now moving was nothing new to me. I can in fact say that Oklahoma is the 14th state to which I've called home. But when you're 14 you have enough insecurities to cope with without being thrust into a new school, church and community at large. And arriving in Oklahoma, my parents enrolled me at Putnam City High School...a school with over 3000 students in grades 10-12. This followed my freshman year at a school in Pennsylvania that had 500 students in grades K-12.

As was our custom when we arrived at a new locale, we also found a Nazarene church to attend and just the teen group was roughly the size of the largest Nazarene church we had attended previously. But the teens at the church were welcoming and I felt like at least at church I might be okay.

Well soon after we arrived, Putnam City had orientation day for sophomores. My parents dropped me off at the door and I felt like I was entering a building roughly the size of the Atlanta airport and soon found it was just that hard to navigate. After what seemed like hours I found myself perched on the sidewalk outside the school in the hot summer sun looking at my schedule, with my mouth hanging open and just shaking my head from side to side. I was surrounded by a sea of people and yet I felt totally alone.

"Hey, aren't you Jim the guy I met at church last week?" I looked up with probably a dazed look on my face and in front of me was someone I knew...Rick Martin. And from that moment on I knew it was going to be okay.

My friendship with Rick continues to be one of the greatest blessings of my life. It started when I needed it most and it has continued thru all of life's experiences that made us who we are today. I've come to believe that the best thing you can say about a friend is that he knows everything about you and likes you anyway. That has characterized my friendship with Rick since the earliest days of our relationship.

Last night, a large group of friends met to thank Rick for his service as our Sunday School teacher for the last 15 years. Rick has decided to take a break from teaching and so we honored him for his compassion, his humility, his wisdom and his acceptance of us in spite of our weaknesses. I know every person who was there feels a special bond to Rick. But to me...well...he's my best friend.

4 comments:

jenX said...

bokeh, bokeh, bokeh. i'm jealous. this is a fabulous picture jim. you're so talented. and yes, rick has long been a blessing to the community.

Jes said...

Great bokeh!

Kristie said...

Love the photo .... I'm assuming natural light? Fab bokeh! Hope Rick likes it, too. :)

Jim Smith said...

Thank you all.

Kristie...it was heavily back lit so I actually fired off a flash from camera right.