Pure religion is, according to the Bible, taking care of the fatherless and the widows.
Pure spirituality is, according to me, the enriching current of conversation that flows between friends.
It's discourse, exchange of information and ideas, melding passions and differing opinions without the threat of domination. It's laughing, and drinking coffee in a cafe unfamiliar to both of us. It's spending five hours there, poring over maps and calendars and notepads.
Seven years and six months ago, I met Christina during a journalism training course in Washington, D.C. We were young and ambitious and we stayed friends.
(I'm in the purple shirt standing in the back row; Christina is third from the left sitting down)
Seven and a half years later, we've traversed a lot of life (physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually) as we've journeyed from our barely-twenties through our early twenties, and now mid-to-late twenties.
When she told me last week she was in Dallas for the week, it wasn't a question of if we would see each other, it was what day, and am I going there or are you coming here?
I went there yesterday, an 8-hour road trip, and there was this great moment of me in my car texting her to tell her I was there, and then she was ripping open my door and I couldn't get out fast enough.
Who cares that it'd been 2,737.5 days since our last meeting.
"This just feels natural," is what she said as we were driving in an unknown Texas town. True to form, for both of us, we got lost, turned around and back tracked a couple times, but we made it to our destination - not that we really cared where we were going. We just wanted a space to talk for as long as we wanted, face-to-face.
We holed up in a booth in a far back corner and we stayed there for a long time...women, friends, dreamers, planners, adventurers.
I'm thankful for her friendship, for her inspiration, for her life that scarily parallels mine, for her perspective, for her infectious desire to change the world, and our shared belief that we still can.