Previously on Dean’s relationship with Henry . . .

You know, if this were a TV show, I’d be able to do this awesome montage with a rocking theme song. Alas, you are stuck with a quick rundown sans music. Maybe put on something yourself as you read this next paragraph? I’d recommend “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift.

Henry and I worked together at the same church for a year, and we shared many commonalities — married, one kid, same age.

He was also the exact opposite of me — straight, great family of origin, sane, with stereotypically masculine interests. We somehow became really good friends, talking regularly and studying the Bible together.

Henry moved away last year, but we managed to keep in contact. He’d read my blog posts about him and even texted to tell me so. However, he’d given me no indication how he felt about these posts.

And me — I was scared. What if my posts about our friendship freaked him out? Had I just ruined a great friendship because I wanted to share my story with others?

(You can turn off the T-Swift now.)

A month. I waited a whole month to talk to Henry about his reading my posts.

Now it wasn’t a month of total silence. We did talk about other things in that month. But I was not going to push him to talk about this. Since I had no idea what he thought about my posts, I didn’t want to come on too strong or anything.

I let it be.

Finally, we hopped on FaceTime one day. I took a deep breath and asked. Henry answered.

And here’s where I’m going to stop the narrative. It’s not because anything bad happened. Quite the opposite — Henry and I had a great, heartfelt talk.

But a realization hit me as we were talking:

I don’t want to share this conversation with anyone else. 

That’s probably a horrible thing to do six or seven posts into a story about my friend. But it’s the truth. What we talked about that day was personal. Vulnerable. I want to keep that conversation between myself and Henry.

So, let me just say this:

Henry is an incredible man of God that I am blessed to call my friend. Just imagine the most gracious response possible — his response was twice as gracious. That’s how incredible Henry is.

Henry and I are actually getting together tomorrow —  he’s in town briefly. I’m excited to be able to chat with him in person again. Unfortunately for you, I won’t be sharing that story either. It just wouldn’t make sense to do so without the details of this conversation.

So, where does that leave us? Well, we must bid adieu to Henry for now. He’ll pop back up, I’m sure. But the fully shared story of our relationship is at its end, for the time being.

I pray each of you finds a Henry in your own lives. He has been a massive blessing to me. And I can only pray that others be just as blessed by a dedicated man of God.

Do you have a “Henry” in your life? Have you maintained or even grown a friendship after a friend moved away?

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