Monday, December 17, 2012

"Blest" Friends


Life would be blah without friends. So it seems everywhere I've landed, God has provided big-time in the friendship department. Even the kooky ones were heaven-sent. And ever since I read Julie Ann Barnhill's Scandalous Grace, I am convinced that friendships are indeed God's "lily pads of grace." Although a bit deep and wordy, she writes:

"...they have saved me from the scorched places, expanded my oft protracted sense of self, and brought me across the swamp of fear and doubt...for it is through those girlfriends, who have often acted toward me as instruments of God's love and mercy, that I have been able to taste, touch, and feel more of God's scandalous grace."

Scorching places, oft-protractions, swamps? Too dramatic for my tastes. But the point is, whether a friend has been life-long or short-term, an encourager or secret-keeper, a shopping pal or Kindle Fire* book-sharer, a fellow coffee drinker (with cream, please) or ventee to my venting, God has used each one to direct me toward, as Barnhill puts it, "the next divinely-appointed woman in my life."

But what to make of the "cautionary" friends? The ones who've kept me in-the-know about the latest skin rash outbreaks? Or how Diet Coke kills? Or what about the ones who've sent me into a panic because after all these years of cutting my twelve-year-old's chicken, they've warned that I have not prepared him for dining with his future in-laws on that Alaskan cruise 14 years from now? 

On the other hand, what about the just-pick-it-up-and-eat-it friends? You know, the fun ones. The ones who casually say things like, "Sit at our table, Molly! We need more brains over here," or, "Well, Molly looks like she has small feet - have her try them on," or, "Pass it to Molly - she'll eat it." (Oh wait, that's...not a good example. True, but not proud.)

Every type is needed, right? So in the name of friendship - and in light of the Christmas season - I love reading about how Mary sought her cousin Elizabeth's friendship the moment she received the exciting, yet scary, news of being chosen to birth Jesus, the Son of God (Luke 1:26-56).

It was in the midst of such overwhelming knowledge where God met the personal needs of this young pregnant girl. She needed a friend - and pronto! Both Mary and Elizabeth were peculiarly and questionably pregnant. And how so-like-God it is for him to find another woman who can do more than just relate to the pregnancy (and when things get really-really-real down there), but also offer years of wisdom and faith to set the stage for much-needed encouragement and heart-to-heart chats.

It all reminds me of how our God is a God who sees, and on that day, he noticed two women who needed one another. Ah, with such assurance like this, I know I can hop right smack-dab into the middle of every friendship lily pad God faithfully places in Molly's pond. Ribbit!

*A little Christmas wish hint, El Jefe. 

2 comments:

  1. Love you and love this post!! Oh and I think I still have that book Scandalous Grace here on my night side (sorry!) Such a good book!

    -Michelle

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    1. You can keep it, Michelle - I have all my fav quotes jotted down! Love you, too!

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