You Can’t Make Old Friends

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You can’t make old friends
Can’t make old friends
It was me and you, since way back when
But you can’t make old friends

It’s been a week in which I’ve been in touch with a number of ‘old friends’. Because they’ve known me for 50 years or more they’re ‘old’ – even though they might not admit it. More importantly their friendship is old and has stood the test of time.

This Kenny Rogers/ Dolly Parton song reminds me of old friends who have shared life with me; walking alongside each other, sharing experiences – children, work, good times, sickness, grief…

In the news this week… Sarah Everard’s murder, brutality in Myanmar, refugees in Yemen, Covid, Harry and Meghan’s interview, the George Floyd settlement… racism, injustice, abused women, mental health…. Big stuff.

Yet this can be a world that doesn’t affect me. I compartmentalise – it’s distant; I’m not a part of it.

But with old friends this week it’s personal: I’m involved… laughter, catching up, messages, conversations, anxieties, fears, cancer surgery and treatment, bereavement, mental health, families, churches…

What will I do when you are gone?
Who’s gonna tell me the truth?
Who’s gonna finish the stories I start
The way you always do?

‘Old friends’ reminds me of my mortality. With young friends I thought I was invincible and would last forever. Yesterday I wrote about Dave’s funeral; next week we shall attend Mike’s. At our church AGM on Tuesday we shall remember 5 folk from our church family who have died in the past year.

And for those of us with faith, who believe in a Jesus who has ‘gone to prepare a place for us’ (whatever that looks like!), we look forward – with old friends – with confidence, reassurance and hope.

When Saint Peter opens the gate
And you come walking in
I will be there just waiting for you
Cause you can’t make old friends

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