I spent four hours with a friend of mine on Friday. She's a lot younger than me. We don't get together as often as we'd like, but every time we do we spend it in volume. We'll meet for coffee.... or lunch..... and even at wedding rehearsals and fittings ((**smile**))... and before we realize that so much time has passed, it'll be 5 or so hours and we'll force ourselves to leave.
I was in her wedding. I was at her home at the birth of her baby (talk about precious moments!). I first met her several years ago in a Wednesday Bible class that I was teaching. Funny, she didn't know then that we'd become such friends. I evidently didn't give her a great very first impression..... though before the hour was done, she told me she was spell-bound. Our friendship grew.. and we've been friends every since.
Talking about first impressions, let me share hers. I didn't realize how she really felt at first, I found out at her wedding. I thought that I had long past the age for being "in" weddings, yet surprisingly, I was her 'matron of honor'. Man, just the title made me feel old! And then me in my 46 year old skin standing next to a bride with skin 20 years younger than mine, who would have thought it? It felt wild, but what an honor it was! To fully appreciate it, you would have to know the girl. She is so spiritually mature for her young age, so intuned to God. So conscious of Him, so aware of Him, so wanting to live for and to please Him.
At the reception, Aca (the bride) made my husband tear up. Her words had him undone enough that he excused himself to go to the men's room. He had asked her about how we met. He knew that she was in my bible class, but he was asking her questions about how she came to be in the class in the first place and how she got to Landmark (the church we attend) to begin with. Did she come with a friend, he wondered? Did someone invite her? Had she been there before? I knew that that's where we'd met, but it wasn't until she told the rest of the story that I realized that I didn't know the full one.
She said to him, "No, to all the above." And then proceeded to tell him that every time she drove past Landmark she felt very drawn to the place. She said that she would even start crying, she had such an incredible pull that it was overwhelming. But she had heard too many people tell her things about the "church of Christ" and she was afraid that if she went she would get sucked into their "cult." Finally, she said, she was just so thirsty, she had such a need for something more, that she grabbed a friend one Wednesday night and told her that we're going to Landmark tonight. They saw a list of classes hanging in the foyer when they got there, yet not knowing which class that they should go to Aca covered her eyes with one hand and pointed to the board with the other. Her finger landed on my name. So, they took that as their sign and that's where they went.
They were early and so sat on the very front row. They were excited and talking ninety-to-nothing, not realizing the class was filling up. "And then," she told my husband, "Mrs. Sharon walks in with her flowery shirt, jeans, and some high-heeled tennis shoes and I thought, Oh great, Barbie!" She said that her and her friend looked at each other and tried to figure out a way to leave. Her time is too important to waste, she said, and she couldn't imagine that Barbie would have anything of any substance at all to say. But... they were in the front of the room, it would be too obvious if they walked out, they felt trapped; and though they didn't like the idea, out of curtesy, they ended up staying anyway. She told him that from the minute I started talking she was entranced... spellbound. "It was like she was just pouring living water into me to fill my thirsty soul." She said, it reminded her of the song, "O soul, are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see? There's light for a look at the Savior, and life more abundant and free! Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace..."
Like I said, even I didn't know all of that until then. It's amazing how God connects different lives to one another in the wildest of ways and makes them stick regardless if we first think that they will... all for His reasons... for His purposes... for something more than we realize in things we often can't see. Who would have known then that we would end up friends as we are?
Though that was a huge compliment, it wasn't the ultimate! The ultimate didn't come until the end of our visit on Friday.
We'd spent a fabulous several hours together. I was hugging her bye. She was thanking me for coming. She told me that she had needed this. She told me that she had other close friends that she spends lots of time with, but our friendship is different. Our friendship is all about God and building each other up in Him. She said, "You know, I was thinking earlier, that I really don't know anything about you. I don't know your favorite color. I don't know your favorite things to eat. I don't know your favorite restaurant. Or what is your favorite things to do. I don't know what most friends know about each other. The only thing I know about you is God."
Wow! I thought a lot about what she said since I left. What a compliment and one I want to continue to live! Not that the other matters aren't fun things to know. But when I leave this earth after God's called me Home... the only footprints I want left are His... not my own!