A special friend is en route. We've only known one another for about six years, but we've spent a full month together every year since we met. It's a lifetime friendship, insah'Allah, one that will include such annual visits for the remainder of years. And this friend should be arriving within mere hours.
In all candor, one never knows how a full month together might go. Take last year, for example, when my hospitality wasn't quite what it should have been. Oh, the obvious obligations were met. Things were offered when they needed to be and were provided where they needed to be. On the surface at least, all was what it seemed like it needed to be.
But there was a strain last year, an effort, one that hadn't been experienced in previous years. Even the phrasing here gives something away, doesn't it? Because, is being a true friend really an obligation? Is the provision of surface necessities real friendship? There were even times when the thought came, "I'm just kind of ready for all this to be over." Astaghfirullah.
So, now comes this year...
A teacher recently said that friends of God are fully present. When it comes down to it, they're just surprisingly decent human beings who are willing to live with us in the moment. They don't fall into grief and regret, a trap that tethers to the past. They don't falter to fear, the self-imposed cage that "protects" from living in the beautiful wild. The friends of God live...truly...in every sense. They are, in each moment, sons and daughters of time.
So, now, it is this year...
And the friend called Ramadan is at the door. She is at all of our doors. May we host her with the love and sincerity and friendship and hospitality that she is due, living each moment of each day with her for the whole month she is here. Amen.