This week, I received a survey that made me thoughtful and thankful. It was a survey about pastoral health, asking about rest, recreation, health, and relational habits. It asked me how much sleep I had each night, how connected I am with my family, how often I exercise, how often I read my Bible and pray, how long I had been serving in a church setting.
But then it asked me about relationships and friendships. Did I have anyone with whom I could open my heart, did I feel understood by my congregation members and leadership, and did I have close friends? As I looked at the options on the survey page, I assumed something and realized something:
- I assumed that friendships are often rare.
- I realized that I am a very blessed man.
Years ago, Kelly and I made a decision to invest our HEARTS, not just our work. Time after time, that decision has been honored and blessed. Many of you who are reading this have grabbed coffee or lunch with me, have sent notes of encouragement, or simply shared precious spoken words like, “We love you,” or “How can we pray for you?” As I continued through the survey, I kept thinking to myself, “Prindle, you are so blessed!”
So, if you have the audacity to read this, then I’m going to say to you what I wish I could say to everyone: “Thank you for opening your heart to us.” And thank you for practicing that same kind of open heart toward the rest of our staff. We’re all flawed humans and we often see the evidence of grace that we need in you. That makes life and work satisfying.
Friendship is a golden gift. It extends the Spirit’s comfort, confronts our flaws with truth and grace, and sustains us when we grow weary. Today, it became objectively obvious to me just how precious it is.