When I was a child, my family and I spent a night in the apartment of a prostitute. She was the friend of our friends.
You actually had to ride in an elevator to get to her apartment, which was a novelty for kids who came from suburbia. Being children, my sister and I made friends within the first few minutes of our arrival in Baltimore - they were right down the hall! To us, it felt like a party.
My parents and our friend, Mr. B., brought our stuff up to the apartment. The adults let us ride the elevator up and down with our new friends several times, buying time to hide the “art” in the apartment. They draped nude statuary with jackets while we enjoyed the elevator.
Our hostess was so kind, feeding us heaps and heaps of spaghetti - our favorite! She took us to the beach and showed us around Baltimore the next day. That’s all I remember about her… She was kind. My sister and I learned new jump roping rhymes from our new friends. I showed them how my Charlie McCarthy puppet worked. I remember that I liked everything about that place and those people.
I’m glad for that. I’m glad I had the perspective of a child, and I’m glad I had parents who felt that being the friend of friends was enough to recommend someone to them.
We are all friends of a Friend.
Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3.
In “The Great Divorce,” C.S.Lewis wrote that time works backwards from the point of physical death. For those who choose to live in Hell, every experience will be transfused with hellishness, beginning with the present and working backwards. But for those who choose Heaven, they will find that Heaven has colored every moment, every experience they ever had. From the moment we give over our lives to God, we grow less and less “adult,” more able to see things and people with the eyes of a child and the perspective of Heaven.
If we want to get on the elevator, we must love the company. If we want to enjoy the spaghetti, we need to love the cook. When we get to Heaven, I hope that’s what we remember: We ate with people who were kind and we fit a lot of friends into the elevator!