While strolling with my friend through her enchanting cottage garden I tried to stay focused on instructions of how to properly water her garden of Eden; while she was on vacation with her husband. Unfortunately, my visual senses were taking their own personal holiday. How could they not? Their property holds breathtaking views of Oregon and Washington, kicking my cell phone into digital roam, stunning pops of color displayed beautifully with annuals and garden ornaments. Whimsy and charm worthy of gracing the pages of Garden Gate magazine, made reining in my concentration difficult, rivaling the enthusiasm of a kid in a candy store.
We concluded our stroll poised underneath the house eaves gazing at a cleverly designed rebar plant holder for three hanging baskets. The first basket a Fuschia plant was flourishing full of life and vibrant bloom, the second basket’s plant was showing signs of distress; withered brown curled up leaves. The third plant was down for the count, the hanging basket removed from the spotlight now placed on the ground, because the plants swirled up and died.
We discussed the dying plant as gardeners do, my friend saying she needed to take the second one down too, it was right then and there I shared with her one of my true confessions. Telling her there have been times when my beautiful hanging flower baskets have bitten the dust before their natural time to do so. Causing guilty feelings to arise within me, that I should’ve paid closer attention to their need. This was poignantly displayed even greater when my mom’s illness escalated, her extra need care; made my daily tasks more difficult to accomplish.
Wrapping up with this deeper confession… it was those times that whenever I happened to drive by a house and saw someone elses dying flower basket, it brought a sigh of relief and an emotional connection. Experiencing first hand the old saying, “misery loves company”. After divulging my heart we gave each other the knuckle bump connection, the “New School” version of the original “High Five”. In closing, this gracious and very compassionate friend choose to leave the second faltering basket up… to encourage other weary sisters that they are not alone. What a heart of gold !
C.S Lewis writes:
“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.
In the movie the “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” four best girlfriends pass around a pair of secondhand jeans that flatter their figures despite their very different measurements. Planning to stay connected during their separate journeys through summer, equally sharing the opportunity to wear “the traveling pants”.
No matter what our differences we all put our pants on one leg at a time. Once our feet hit the floor of life we stand on common ground when it comes to facing our own struggles, suffering and sorrows that come in all shapes and sizes.
What a comfort to know we are not alone! We can have the privilege of a close friendship with Jesus our precious Savior. Plus the added blessing of God bringing friends and family along our path to share our highest highs and lowest of lows.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 is both revealing and comforting… receive God’s encouragement with His following words of love for you.
“All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.” The Message Bible
Thank you Lord that we are called your friend’s. May we walk this life with the full assurance of your outrageous love and friendship for us. Often times manifested creatively through the love of friends, family and even strangers. A perfect fit as we travel life in the well worn comfort of your grace.
Light is sown for the righteous and strewn along their pathway, and joy for the upright in heart [the irrepressible joy which comes from consciousness of His favor and protection].
Psalm 97:11-12 Amplified Bible (AMP)
A friend loves at all times and a brother is born for a difficult time. Proverbs 17:17