I had a few minutes of downtime at the farm on Sunday morning. Bray and little bit had taken the four wheeler over to the neighbors. Grandfather had taken the boys down to check on the duck pond. I’d helped grandmother get ready for their once in a lifetime trip to Paris this week.
The house was quiet and I sat down at the computer to write.
A couple of weeks ago, I could have written dozens of posts. I had words running through my head like wild fire. I couldn’t capture it all quickly enough (and clearly I didn’t since I had nothing to post today).
I sat and listened to the dryer spin and the wind whistle and asked, “What would you have me say?”
I had this bit come into my head from what friend had shared just this weekend. About the words in Matthew that immediately precede Jesus feeding the thousands from five loaves and two fish. I’d never noticed before that He had just heard his beloved cousin John the Baptist had been beheaded. I’d never realized His soul was in deep mourning when He was called to heal and preach and perform more miracles. It helped me understand how He gets our human struggles and the demands on our time even when we feel out of emotional reserve.
I had this idea come into my mind about how terribly someone dear to me was treated this weekend by someone in customer service, and how outraged I’ve grown over the complete loss of disrespect and patience in our society as a whole.
I thought about writing how my heart nearly burst out of my chest when I watched my wee ones sleeping this weekend. How I just took pictures of their perfect eyelashes laying across their cheeks and how safe I want to keep them.
But none of it took shape into a post. None of it formed.
This is what I heard in my head, “A friend loveth at all times.” It’s this little verse in Proverbs 17 that I learned as a child.
I wonder if women have gotten more finicky or less patient or if we all just have so many demands on our times that we’ve lost the ability to be a good friend. I’m the worst offender. The days of baking pies for new neighbors and cooking casseroles for new babies, well it’s just dadgum hard when you work full time and have kids and community commitments.
But could we calendar a call every week? A time to remind us to call the ones we love and really HEAR how they are doing? Could we look around the office or the soccer stands or the cocktail reception and see who is a little off her game? Can we ask if there’s anything we could do and mean it? I worry that in the super busy society we’re in where everything is virtual and there’s less time to connect that some of our friends are falling through the cracks. Our elders. Our young women. Our peers. That they are getting lost in the shuffle.
If we made time one day a week to focus on being a good friend, I wonder if we couldn’t help. If we couldn’t bridge the gap. Break the depression. Save a life. Encourage a heart. Dispel the loneliness. Catch the addiction. See the warning signs.
Proverbs 18: The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense. Never abandon a friend—either yours or your father’s. When disaster strikes, you won’t have to ask your brother for assistance….As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend