Strict//EN" ""> EAGLES' REST: A Pretty Good Definition of "Friend"

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Pretty Good Definition of "Friend"

Here's a photo of me with my best (non-family) friend, CB Scott. It was taken on the "front porch" of Leavell Chapel, at the center of the campus of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, immediately following last Saturday morning's  95th Annual Graduation Exercises.

CB formally received his Doctor of Educational Ministry there.

This picture represents a lot to me. It means a lot, for more than one reason. One of them is that CB and Karen have gone through more stuff than I can recount in the past few years, much of which I recounted a couple of posts ago, upon the occasion of their hearing that the Judge in their adoption case had signed the Interlocutory Decree granting the adoption of Carrie and Ashley, to CB & Karen. It was during that long and extremely complicated struggle to accomplish that, that CB completed the considerable tasks involved in attaining his degree.

Well done, CB. And I say well done, Karen, as I know the two of them, and quite well at that.

Another reason is that CB's not a "Pomp and Circumstance" kind of guy. I really think that, if a plausible option had been to box up his cap, gown, hood, and diploma, and FedEx them to him, he might well have opted for that. But I encouraged him to get himself down there and do the walk, and let him know that one of the reasons was that I wanted to be there, too. And it didn't hurt that NOBTS pretty well insisted that he walk, too.

So, for whatever the reason, he swung by Birmingham last Thursday, picked me up, and the two of us made our way to New Orleans, checked ourselves into the Holiday Inn Express (hey .. he's a doctor but I need all the smarts I can get....), and went to the rehearsal Friday afternoon, and then the Graduation Exercises Saturday morning. It was a privilege, for me, to be there.

In between, we managed to squeeze in dinner at Drago's on Poydras, for probably the most outstanding entree' I have ever had in my considerably long life.

But the definition of "friend" goes way beyond that. It started when we frequented some of the same blogs in late 2005, discovered we lived close, then when I ran into one of his church members at the convention in Greensboro in June of 2006 and actually met CB. we arranged lunch shortly thereafter, which I blogged about here, We hit it off instantly, and I even mentioned it would be interesting to see where the friendship led us.

Let me tell you, it has been just that.

Fast forward a few months to the Conference on Baptist Unity, held February 15-17, 2007 at Union University. CB drove up and I rode with him, and we split a room at The Double Tree in Jackson. One afternoon during a break, we slipped down to the snack lounge and got something to drink and sat there chatting. During a lull, CB said "You're my friend". I said something inane (I'm sure) in response, like "You're my friend, too", to which he said in response "I don't think you know what "friend" means to me". He went on to say that I could say anything I wanted, to him.

Wow. I thought about that for a minute, and told him the same was true for him. Now, I will never ever compare anyone outside my family to any members of my family, for obvious reasons. But I'll say this, with that caveat: I've never had a better friend than CB Scott.

I know him better than most. Have had more experience with him than most. He knows more about me than most. Probably than anybody.

I would have waded through waist-deep alligators to be there this past weekend. I would even have sat through a 2-hour ceremony of guys who gave speeches, when they apparently hadn't listened to the other guys who gave speeches (oh .. wait .. I actually did that). I probably would have walked there, if I'd had to.

If I'd had several months' warning.


He's my friend. That's why.


At 8:03 PM, January 03, 2013, Anonymous Lee said...

You are both looking well. Any chance we'll see you with one of those funny caps on your head in the near future?

At 11:03 PM, January 03, 2013, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Afraid not, Lee. I flunked out of my first year of college, and never progressed any further than that. At my age, I don't think I have enough years to do that and, besides, I don't want a job and I figure a sheepskin, or worse yet an advanced degree, would be a terrible thing to waste.

Not to mention the $$$.


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