Wednesday, November 3, 2010
We sat together at a little table in the coffee shop of a bookstore, practically strangers.
I liked her art and her heart for the homeless, and she liked a story I'd written, so we took a chance and met.
A year ago I might have worried if it might be awkward. If there might be long silent pauses, minds racing for something to say. But not now. Maybe it's the wild ride I seem to find myself on, but now when somebody new suddenly pops her head into my life, I press the brakes to my busyness to see what might happen next.
This time what happened was friendship!
We sat at the table, surrounded by books, and told our own stories, one after another.
I could feel friendship's tiny rosebuds sprouting between us, my roots shifting, making room for someone new.
What a joy!
It amazes me that in the craziest of times, old friends appear, new friends materialize, and close day-by-day friends loop their arms through mine, letting me lean or hold tight or just feel their presence. You all are counted in that web of locked arms. Thank you!
You know what your friendship reminds me of? Something I encountered on Monday.
Let me share the story.
Friday I got some scary news. Someone very near and dear to me discovered a lump in her breast. I went with her to the ultrasound Monday, and watched the nurse lead her to an examining table, take a blanket out of the warming drawer, and spread it over my dear one, wrapping her in its comforting heat. Within minutes we received the report that the lump was benign, nothing to worry about, and we nearly cried with relief.
I think of my friends and that blanket reappears. That's part of what friendship is. A comforting, protecting blanket of warmth when the world is scary, wrapping us close in the middle of it all.
We told the story of Ruth with our fourth graders on Sunday. What a pleasure, that at the same time that I've felt carried along by my friends, I could share Ruth's story and celebrate friendship! I've always loved the story, the daughter and her mother in law caring for each other, clinging to each other, supporting each other. Sharing each other's stories, weaving their stories together. I love that friendship is another way of experiencing God and accomplishing God's work.
I'm so thankful for you, my friends, and for God's gift of friendship!
Have a wonder-full Wednesday, y'all!
Photo courtesy of Pensiero, licensed through creative commons