Last week I took some much needed time off from work, just two days, but they were two wonderful days spent with two sweet friends. The first day was spent with my friend who was in town from North Carolina. She moved away eight years ago, but we have continued to keep in touch. We’ve attended the weddings of each of our oldest children, and she has entered a new phase of life with the birth of two grandchildren over the last three years. We enjoyed a private viewing of a movie we both wanted to see (private viewing = no one else in the theatre!) and lunch at a fru-fru place (as my husband refers to places that serve soup and special sandwiches and play mood music while you eat), but the best part was hanging out at my house with our feet up, Starbucks in hand and hours of catching up. We talked of what the Lord has been and is doing in our lives. We shared hopes and dreams for our children and for ourselves. It was such a nice relaxing day.
My second day away from my desk was spent with my dearest friend of thirty-two and a half years. It’s even hard for me to say that number, because it seems like only yesterday that we were young women spending every opportunity at the beach. That second day was a throwback to the early years of our friendship as we loaded up two beach chairs and set off to our beautiful Gulf Coast. However this time, we included an umbrella and nixed the bathing suits. This beach trip was all about soaking up the sound of waves pounding on white sand, seagulls heckling the beach lovers in hopes of a morsel of food and just relaxing. I guess as you get older, you learn to enjoy life differently. I no longer care that much about achieving a beautiful tan, but am more interested in letting the atmosphere revive my weary soul.
The day was heavenly….well except for the moment of car sickness my sweet friend experienced. A quick pull over and a wet rag helped relieve this affliction that has annoyed her for as long as I can remember. I laughed, not at her, mind you, but thinking of the times thirty years ago when we had to do the same thing on our way to the beach! We sat on the beach in our rolled up jeans and t-shirts under our umbrella, toes in the sand, bottled water and snacks in hand for two hours. We talked about life and children and life and memories and dreams and world peace. It was a windy and cloudy day with the threat of rain looming in the distance. I am sure the other people on the beach around us wondered about the two ladies under the umbrella in rolled up jeans…. It was such a great day. The kind of day that needs to happen more often. We are aging and time is slipping by.
Today she sent me the sweetest email, reminding me of why I treasure her friendship. I could almost see her at her desk with tears streaming down her face (she is the mushy one) as she read the devotional about The Miracle of Friendship. It was a devotional written for the two of us. Not really. It was written for every treasured friendship that we all share. Friendship is a gift from God. A chance to share an intimate relationship with someone who will walk with you through the hard times of life, hold your hand and cry with you over difficult circumstances, the loss of your mother, or just life in general.
In 2 Samuel 1:26b, David says of Jonathan, ” … Your friendship was a miracle-wonder, love far exceeding anything I’ve known — or ever hope to know,” (MSG).
David valued friendship. Especially the friendship with Jonathan. His forever friend who had his back no matter what. These two friends I spent two days with are those kind of friendships. One friendship has stood the test of a life time and will be strong till the end. The other is a long distance friendship now, but we both know that we are prayer warriors that will go to their knees in battle if needed.
Friendships cemented with the common bond of a faith in the one true living God, is definitely a miracle-wonder, with love that far exceeds anything this side of heaven that we have known, or ever hope to know.