It seems that a thousand reminders have popped up on my laptop’s screen in the 20 minutes since I hit the power button. “Haircut: 11 am.” “Publix & Target: lists on magnet board.” “Clean bathroom.” The list goes on and leaves me running here and there for the rest of the day. It’s worth it though. Today’s busyness will clear my schedule for several days and leave me with lots of free time.
Time to relax. Time to read. Time to spend with my friend Jaree’, who arrives tomorrow for a two-week visit. I am looking forward to spending long mornings in the deck chairs out front, talking while our tea gets cold. Minutes spent with dear friends are some of the sweetest ones to spend.
Even as I am tempted to rush through this morning, my heart knows a pause as I consider friendship. I am thankful for Jaree’. She’s been a lot of things to me: classmate at Bethany; co-worker in the kitchen; cohort in mischief; teammate, housemate, and ministry partner in Southeast Asia; and roommate while in Minnesota again last summer. Quite a few roles for the 3 1/2 years we’ve known each other. Beyond all of that, she’s taken the role of a true friend.
Jaree’ and I, taken last February in Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia
My friendship with Jaree’ is one that invites me to savor the glory of Jesus, live in obedience to the Scriptures and be filled with the Holy Spirit. Sure, we’ve shared a lot of experiences. We’ve laughed while working through cultural mistakes and while celebrating each other’s birthdays. We’ve cried while facing loss, homesickness, failure and grief. We’ve shared life. Real life. The kind of life where knowing Him makes the good moments sweeter and the difficult moments triumphant. It’s the kind of friendship that calls you to live, really live.
I am thankful for the friends who call me to abundant life. You know who you are. I’m also thankful for the opportunity to spend time with such a friend who lives far away. I am looking forward to two weeks filled with good moments, hard moments and lazy, relaxing moments. But I am most looking forward to those moments where I smile to myself because I’ve just experienced the wisdom and kindness of God expressed through my dear friend. Now that’s a moment well spent.