The Gift of Friendship

My car was in the repair shop for two days because I had trouble shifting it out of “park.” The men in the repair shop called me and said that they couldn’t “duplicate” the problem, that they had no difficulty shifting it.  But if I wanted, they would replace the gear shift for $800, because that might be it.

I thought $800 for a guess was a bit much, so I went to return my rental car and pick up my car. They drove my car around, and I got in and went to shift it to drive. It would not do it. After a minute of trying, I called the mechanic back out to show him. He got in the car, and he shifted it right away. No difficulty. But he did see that my coolant light was on, and since he didn’t have the right coolant, he recommended I go to the dealer.

After trying to shift my car into drive for a couple more minutes, I finally got to the dealer. But nobody came out of the service area for a minute or so, and I had really wanted to go grocery shopping this morning.  So I thought I’d leave and come back. Again, I couldn’t shift my car out of park. Finally just as tears were starting to fall down my cheeks, a nice lady who works in the service area came over and took care of me. She handed me a kleenex. She assured me it’s not all in my head, and got me a ride to church…

There, alone, I was still a bit upset after the frustrating morning. I never got to go grocery shopping, and I never got my coffee. And I was stuck there with no car, and no one else around. So I wrote on Facebook that I’d had a tough morning and didn’t even get my coffee I’d been looking forward to. Almost immediately, a couple friends on Facebook are commiserating with me and supporting me. Another friend offered to bring me coffee, and proceeded to deliver a vanilla latte to me at church along with a cute little donut. And another friend, though crunched for time that day, gave me a ride back to the dealer later that afternoon when it was time to pick up my car. (And it was a $230 brake light switch problem, not the $800 gear shifter.)  And my sweet husband was on email and phone assuring me it’s not all in my head and telling me jokes to make me laugh.

30e07720c5d034d61ff20ab5bb6c0dceI don’t know what else to say, except that I am blessed with community. So blessed. I am used to doing most everything for myself, but my people, my friends, showed up for me that day. And I know that they would again and again if I needed it.  It’s a really amazing feeling, and it was worth it to go through some frustration to know how blessed I am.

This year has been a beautiful year for friendships for me. I met some new people that I have grown really close to, as if we have known each other for years. I have grown closer to other people that I have known for awhile, and even reconnected with an old friend that I love dearly but had been out of touch with–all because of a dream that I had about her. I am grateful that God has given these people in my life, along with a very loving, supportive, and wonderful husband for almost 19 years.

Recently, I have been reading 1 Samuel and been amazed at David and Jonathan’s friendship.  “As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” Wow! Those words! And how close those who love and worship the Lord together can be knit together through His gifts to us. We are more than friends–we are family through the blood of Christ, which washes us clean together and brings us closer to support each other in our walk together on the way to our true home, our life together in eternity.  In Christ, we are never alone. C.S. Lewis wrote, “We meet no ordinary people in our lives.” We must treat them gently and with the knowledge that they are cherished and loved by God, and so it is our joy to cherish and love them as well.

I pray the Lord will bless you with the gift of good Christian friends, just as He has blessed me. Thank you, Lord, for that gift, and thank you to my friends for being on this journey with me. God bless you.

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