This afternoon I shared a dinner with Kay, a faithful friend for eighteen years.
We first met when two of our children were kindergarten pals. Back then, it wouldn't seem that we would be compatible. Sure, we were both married and we each had two daughters and a son. But she was a nurse who worked outside the home, and I was a stay at home mom who played Nintendo while the kids were at school. Her family lived in a beautiful new home with lovely furnishings while we lived in a rental house with an unheated bathroom. When her son came over to visit, she sent healthy food to help with dinner - I sent Kool-aid and candy bars to her house. She was sensible and sane, while I was busy trying to look up those words in the dictionary. And yet we meshed, sharing our lives, often in her swing in the back of her house.
A few years later, I moved thirty minutes away and got busy with teaching and family. But I could always count on Kay to be there for a chat. Time would pass, but a call or an email or a card would remind me that I still had this dear friend.
Today as we hugged goodbye in front of the restaurant, I realized how much I missed spending time with Kay, and how much her friendship has meant to me. I realized that God gave me this special friendship not only to enjoy, but so He could love me through it.
I am very blessed to have friends. Some I met from cyberspace, some I share DNA and a family, and some I gained by personal experiences. Through each friendship, God has loved me. He has loved me by kind and encouraging words, by happy remembrances of shared experiences, by assurances of steadfast commitment, and by the comfort of a compassionate embrace.
I hope I will begin to appreciate all my friendships for what they are - gifts from God through which He gives a part of Himself. I hope I can be that same avenue of Love for my friends - they certainly deserve it.