The last two weeks have reminded me so much of how important relationships are. The extra time, momentary discomfort and the minor work seem nothing compared to the joy I have had being on the receiving end of what friendship is.
Friendship is meeting a girlfriend at mile 10 with cut up fresh pear and oranges and then running the last 5 with her uphill both ways (golly Hawk’s Ridge is hilly!)
Friendship is buying a water bottle for your girlfriend who happened to mention she may need to buy a “going out” water bottle. My bright red YMCA bottle is like my calling card. I’ve left bottles at church, at friends’ houses and in the garage. My girlfriend (my very pregnant girlfriend) remembered this despite all of the tragedy and busy surrounding her/us and presented me with a gift of a “fancy” water bottle tonight. After serving me dinner… So sweet.
Friendship (or just love) is Calista racing to wash it for me, fill it with fresh, cold water and then taking a picture for me so I could blog about it.
Friendship is remembering to pray for your friend’s mother who is having heart surgery, while holding your baby who didn’t wake up that morning. It’s leading the prayer, asking us all to hold hands and then pray out loud while the rest of us wept for the kindness.
Friendship is remembering families who are caring for families facing tragedy. Offering to bring a meal to the weekly community group which meets every week. Bringing an ENTIRE meal which provides leftovers to a mom who is single-parenting for two weeks. Bringing the meal in non-returnable recyclable pans. Bringing strawberries too for the kids. And seeming to love every minute of it.
Friendship is offering to take 3 kids (mine – all these are about me, just FYI – this blog is not supposed to be tricky) for 3 hours on a Saturday even though you are a grandmother, and probably wonderful OTHER things you could do on a Saturday (like sleep IN!), plan 8 activities for the morning and bake cookies with those kids. It’s letting them taste every ingredient (Flour tastes like dust they said). It’s loving them with hugs and literally CHASING them around the playground on a chilly, April morning.
Friendship is offering to watch those kids again just days later if needed.
Friendship is planning to go visit your girlfriend in the hospital when she has her baby in a few weeks with other friends. Even though your sweet baby just passed away weeks ago. Planning it with a smile and peace in your eyes. And planning it because we remember how we visited together when that sweet baby boy was born just months ago. (And how that night we didn’t just rejoice over his new life, but we overheard another baby entering the world through the shared bathroom doors!!!)
Friendship is texting the morning after you buried your baby son before 8am to offer prayers for an important meeting before reminded to do so. It’s remembering that my husband had a big interview that day and was getting a license to be able to minister in the Covenant church and praying just the right words for him that morning.
Friendship is learning to say “I love you” every time you say goodbye, even though you’re not related. But after all you have walked through recently, seems more natural than if you had been born in the same house.
Friendship is texting to see how I am doing since Brian is away for 2 weeks.
Friendship is fixing my boys’ bikes so the seats are adjusted to the right height for a new biking season.
Friendship is asking an acquaintance at the Y how she is doing after witnessing her shock after finding out her girlfriend’s baby just died.
Friendship is texting daily to see if a friend needs anything. And then when she tells you she is lonely, texting 4-5 rapid fire Bible verses that are so so EXACTLY what I needed to hear. “even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you.” (Is 46). And then joke with you by texting about the gray hair part and the funny timing of the hair appointment later that day, even though I am sure that friend was quite busy this afternoon.
Friendship is telling her that her white hair is rad and she shouldn’t be ashamed of it.
Friendship is asking your girlfriend what she needs. And offering to take her 3 kids for 2 hours so she can get that white hair cut and styled again.
Friendship is dropping off popsicle making trays, Apple Juice, a card, rocks and loaning a stuffed animal when you’re stuck at home with impetigo. A girlfriend and her son (one of XS’ really first buddy) dropped these things off a few weeks ago. When I asked XS today what friendship is to me he said, “Giving other people’s toys back.” He was referring to his dropping of the stuffed animal which he did last night.
Friendship is, according to Elam, “Loving and serving people. Giving people your food. Worshiping Jesus together and giving people Bibles.”
Friendship is, according to Calista, “having fun with the people you like.”
Friendship is Jesus with skin on everywhere I turn: at the Y, at the grocery store (my peanut butter, lunch meat and hydration drinks were all on sale today!), church, the neighborhood and on the phone almost every hour.
How have you been a friend lately? You are doing more than you know for those of us on the receiving end.
And who has been a friend to you?
Thank your friends.
Be a friend.
It just might change the world.