by Rod Smith

“With him, life was routine: without him life was unbearable,” says preteen Jean Louise Finch or “Scout” in Harper Lee’s novel “To kill a Mockingbird.” Scout is describing her crush on Dill, a boy around her own age. Dill visits for summers and over several summers they form a beautiful, unusual friendship that is severely tested by unfolding events involving the Finch family.

I love Scout’s simple description of love and friendship. I share my life with several people with whom life is routine. There’s no performance required. There’s no list of unmet expectations. There’s no need to be on duty, to walk on proverbial egg-shells.

With such people I can just go about my business with them by my side, or not. Day-to-day routines gather meaning, gather greater meaning, because they are done for and often with someone who appreciates them no matter how routine the acts may be. “Friend,” I believe, is the greatest title we can offer another and the greatest role we can occupy for another. When we’re somebody’s friend we’re offering the highest privilege we can offer with our lives. May your life be filled with people with whom life is “routine.”

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