"Who are all these wonderful people in your life?" inquired a new friend the other day. I had to smile. It's true! The frosting of my life is thick, rich friendship. Like a crown of wild flowers, each one is an interwoven story of grace.
Kindly indulge a little reminiscing story then, as I tell of how I met my friend Emily over fifteen (FIFTEEN!) years ago...
It was a meeting of hearts. My mom still claims the credit, and I won't disagree for, indeed, as mothers always are, she was perfectly right. She met Mark and Emily, this "cute couple" on Sunday morning, after their class had wrapped up and a mingling handful gathered around my parents, the missionaries to Russia now home for their grandson's (Caleb's) precarious birth. They introduced themselves and bantered about missions a bit, about Emily's sister, Michelle, who was then in Nepal, also with TEAM (their mission organization). Mom promptly decided to inquire if they had dinner plans. She's emphatic that her match making decision was, in fact, immediate -- before a word was spoken.
Plopping her purse and then herself on the couch, Mom cheerfully (and cheekily) announced that we would be having dinner guests and I might as well not give her that look because she simply knew we would be fast friends. She had a feeling.
Emily surprised herself by tearing up while helping to set the table. Not because our table was grand but the reverse, in its simplicity. Having married and moved from Colorado six months prior, life in Arizona (well, in Scottsdale, an affluent city where they attended church) so far hadn't remotely resembled the nourishing, "earthy" home culture she'd left behind. A pot of white chili and corn bread centered our old oak table like the yellow of a daisy. Something there, amidst honest food and conversation strummed familiar and lovely tears sprung to her eyes. What I adored (and recognized) was that Emily did not hide them but rather expressed her thought and allowed us to enter her feeling. I loved her instantly from the heart. I glanced at my mom. How do mothers do that? That evening we laughed, passed the honey, shared our sweet baby boy's story, passed the butter, learned about their families and ladled more than bowl and belly to the brim.