…but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.
Today I had lunch with two old friends, Alison and Ange. I haven’t seen either of them in three years. That’s what happens when you grow up, graduate, meet men, get married, and have two children. Or in my case: grow up, graduate, meet no men, get a job, and daydream about what it’ll be like when I have two children.
We met at BYU; all three of us taught at the LDS Missionary Training Center. We had such a kindred group of friends there. But now we’re scattered all over the world. And I miss them. Today was like old times.
I love friends with whom you can pick up where you left off. There’s no explanations. No pointless chit-chat. No apologies for who you are and what you think. Just real conversations. Mutual respect. Love. And laughter. Lots of laughter.
Ange brought me a loaf of her homemade wheat bread and a bottle of honey. The bread was delicious and the honey … well the honey’s almost gone. And the three of us — we just talked, and talked, and talked. For a good two hours. It was a perfect breakin my work day.
A few hours later, after I boarded the 4:59 train out of the city, I met Mike. Mike was sitting in the opposite aisle about three seats away. He seemed to be about 50 or 60 and looked as though he hadn’t shaved in a few weeks. He was looking at me so I smiled politely (though a little apprehensive inside), and the thought occurred…share your bread. “No,” I told myself. “What if he’s not even homeless and I totally offend him.” Share your bread. Again I debated, but eventually lost (how you loose a debate with yourself is beyond me). And so I asked him, “Would you like some bread?”
He smiled a toothless smile and nodded. I tore a big hunk off the end of Ange’s loaf and placed it in a pair of dirty hands blistered with want.He asked my name. I asked his. He asked where I was from and was delighted to meet someone from South Carolina; he’d never met someone from there. I asked where he was from (“New Mexico.”) and how he got to Utah (“I just wander.”). We talked for a few more minutes as he tore small pieces of bread and put them in his mouth.
It wasn’t long before we reached my stop. He smiled again, “Thank you. This bread is good.” I smiled too (without any apprehension), “Have a good day. It was nice to meet you.”
The doors closed and he headed back the way we came, enjoying the warmth of the train-car for just a little longer. I turned and walked to my next train.
I’m so glad I had bread to share.