Yesterday my friends JoAnn, Teresa, Emilie and I met at a little tearoom called Crabapple Corner and had lunch together. It was a long overdue meeting. The four of us have been friends for years and years but had not gotten together in ages. We all went to church together for quite a while and formed a bond that has never been broken!
As you can see by looking at my plate, the food was superb. I had the "Tuesday Special"... Chicken Pasta Salad which came with fresh fruit and club crackers. That and a glass of sweet tea satisfied my tummy tremendously! But the delicious food and cute, trendy tearoom didn't hold a candle to how much I enjoyed "breaking bread" with my friends!
(Teresa, Emilie, JoAnn, & Marilyn)
Last night as I was thinking back over our lunch, two verses of Scripture came to my mind. The first was Proverbs 27: 17..."Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." This verse is so true with this group of ladies. Each of them are long-time Christians and have a solid foundation of Bible under their belts. It's a joy to sit and talk with and learn from them. I truly believe that in knowing them I have become a better person.
The other verse I thought of was Proverbs 17: 17a... "A friend loveth at all times." These three ladies have brought that verse to life for me.
I think I've known JoAnn the longest. For about thirty years now I believe. Since our youngest child was just a baby. She has been a friend through thick and thin. I remember times when my kids were small that she would come over and watch them while Benny was working because I had a migraine and could not get out of bed. She's always the first to arrive with food if I get sick or there's a tragedy in the family. When I sprained my ankle really, really bad she came and cleaned up my house for me. She's one of the most unselfish people I know!
Emilie has long been one of my heroes. She is just about everything that I'm not! She loves life and is not afraid to enjoy it! Traveling, speaking, flying....all that she takes in stride without breaking a sweat! And always with a smile on her face! I still have a letter Emilie wrote to me when my kids were really small and I was having discipline problems with one of them. She just wrote to encourage me and to tell me to not give up. And she was right....soon the problem was righted and solved.
I well remember the first time I met Teresa. When she came in my house she brought her crochet with her and I was just amazed to watch her fingers fly. She's a lefty so it was all backwards to me anyway! :) She was active in Child Evangelism work and knew so much more about Scripture than me. A soft, slow Southern accent marks her speech. I'm not sure I've ever heard her raise her voice. Teresa's had to face a lot of hard issues with her health but you would never know it to be around her. She never complains. I'll never forget the day our son John was having brain surgery in Germany after being medivaced out of Iraq. An IED had blown up and hit him in the shoulder and head. The Marine Corps had advised us to not try and go to Germany so I was anxiously sitting at home w.a.i.t.i.n.g. for the surgery to begin and end. Our dogs began their little "someone's here" bark and I looked out the window to see Teresa and her husband driving up. She came in and gave me a hug and a jar of jelly. Just a soft word, a pat on the shoulder, and then we didn't say too much. There was not a need for words. We knew each other too well. The comfort that her just being there gave was enough. We didn't have to fill up the quiet with words.
I have many other friends and if you're reading this, you're most likely one of them! I thank God daily for all my friends. What would I do without you? My life would surely be a bland sort of existence without the variety of friends that have been brought into my life. Some of you I have known since childhood....and you are so very special to me! Some of you I have known only a short while. You are becoming very special to me! Thank you to each of you who claim me as your friend! What a blessing friendship is! How we should appreciate it more!
Much love to all my friends wherever you are!