What if the detour wasn't just about "friends" but "family"?
Does that alter the question?
Over the last couple of years we've been on the road, we've made lots of strange "detours" to visit people that were in reality nearly strangers when we arrived and left their homes with the very real sense that we were actually leaving family -- Spiritual "family".
"While He was yet speaking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and His brothers stood outside, seeking to speak to Him. One said to Him, "Behold, Your mother and Your brothers stand outside, seeking to speak to You." But He answered him who spoke to Him, "Who is My mother? Who are My brothers?" He stretched out His hand towards His talmidim, and said, "Behold, My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father Who is in heaven, he is My brother, and sister, and mother."" Matthew 12:46-50
One of the very real lessons that we have been faced with over and over again is regarding the question of "Who is your family?" "Who are your friends?" Many of those that choose to follow HIM with all of their hearts, all of their minds and all of their strength find themselves ostracized and cast apart from their natural families and lifelong friends. It's very hard to see those you love turn away from you because of your love for HIM and HIS Word. We know this pain very well.
Our FATHER in Heaven knows this pain also and HIS heart breaks for the pain in HIS childrens' hearts. One way that HE gives us to ease this pain is connecting us to others in HIS Family. We've had the pleasure of meeting many that are very dear to us by HIS particular leading. Each of them are HIS special treasures and we look forward to the day when we are all re-joined together in HIS Kingdom. Until then, we'll keep them in our hearts!