the stewardship of friendship


In the days when cities were filled with brown and grey buildings, it was important that the church door was red.  The Sanctuary Laws were such that if a person was running from an unjust accuser, they could reach safety and protection by seeing and running towards the red door of a church and running down the isle to touch the altar cloth.  If you touch the cloth on the altar, you are legally protected but then you are also imprisoned in the church much the same way people are “held captive” inside an embassy when they are being given sanctuary.

These days we do not need sanctuary laws quite the way we did in the past and yet we still, often, have red doors on our churches.  But nowadays we need to find the red doors in people whom we trust and love.  We find sanctuary and safety in humans who are trustworthy, well, balanced, kind and generous.  We call these people friends.  of course, being human, they will occasionally disappoint or even betray and that is a hard part of life.  But in general I find that a well-chosen friend is the greatest treasure we have.  They are our red door.  And many of them are no longer on the church but inside it, sitting next to us.

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