Do you remember how you felt on your wedding day? Before that day, married people enjoyed telling you that on your wedding day you would be in such a happy whirlwind greeting friends and family and trying to enjoy every minute that you should eat – you must eat! – when dinner was served, or you just might not have the energy to continue to the dance floor and then on into honeymoon bliss.
The Festival of Friendship was like that for us. We were in that happy whirlwind, greeting friends old and new. The Festival brought together people to whom we wanted to give our attention – people with whom we wanted to continue into deeper conversations long after our time together had run out.
We found ourselves gladly spent and yet innervated by meeting others who also seek Christ’s gaze. We found ourselves excited by what we heard and saw: Such wide beauty in the friends present there…
I really enjoyed my time each day and found myself waking up in great anticipation each morning for seeing everyone involved, for seeing how we were involved because we were truly involved. And not only with the events of the day but with each other! That was the Beauty! It struck me as both work and not-work: it was just being with other people, allowing them to hold me in their hearts and holding them in mine because our lives touched each other’s.
- Elisabeth, board member and speaker at the 2017 Festival of Friendship in Pittsburgh.