My Very Special Friend

Yesterday I had a delightful day. The weather was cold and damp but one of my dearest friends was in town to visit her brand new grand baby. We met for breakfast – my husband was able to join us – he used to work with her in a psychological practice. We talked and talked and talked into the lunch hour. Then we spent the rest of the day shopping for gifts! We always have a great time with each other. She is one with whom I can talk about anything and know it is perfectly safe. She loves me “warts and all” as I do her. We have taken quite a journey together in life. And if I try on an outfit and ask her how it looks on me, she tells me frankly how it looks! I respect her opinion.

We met when she was the therapist for one of my children as I was going through my divorce. I liked her immediately and soon noticed that she took late-in-the-day appointments. One day I called her office and told her secretary that the next day I was going to bring dinner for her and her family. Within the hour I got a call and she told me I could not do that because it would be crossing professional boundaries. I am not sure what I replied but I didn’t take “no” for an answer and took a hearty casserole the next day knowing her work schedule didn’t allow her the time I am sure she needed with her own family. She has now told me how touched she was that I cared for her in that way. I don’t know about you but when people love and care for my children, I want to love and care for them.

When my daughter no longer saw her as a client, our friendship blossomed. That’s been 20 years. Can it be that long? Anyway, soon she and her family joined mine for dinners, Thanksgiving, family outings, beach trips, etc. Her parents were often guests in my home. Her own story is very interesting. She is the daughter of an agnostic mother and atheistic father who was also Jewish. Both very accomplished and intelligent. When she was six years old she told them she wanted to know God. They were very educated and thought that it would be a good idea for her to learn but did not take her to church. She took herself to the Catholic church for many years. When it was time for her to be baptized her parents would not give their permission so she moved to the Episcopalian church. And when we met that’s where she still was. I remember her telling me she was an Episcopalian and asked, “Is that all right?”. I chuckled and said, “Of course.” I do believe the Episcopalians know about grace and devotion. My friend was disowned by her Jewish grandmother because of her faith in Jesus.

Over the years we have had many interesting discussions. After her father had a debilitating stroke I was able to visit him in the nursing home. I wasn’t sure he would remember me. His speech was difficult. But he did remember me and we were able to communicate. I was able to tell him I wanted him to be in heaven with me and asked if I could pray with him. He agreed and I prayed telling God I wanted M. to be in heaven and for God to please assure him of salvation through repentance and asking Jesus to be his Savior. When I finished M. was crying. God touched his heart in some way that day. He died several months later.

Her mother is a fascinating woman in her 90s who speaks her mind and in her 80s was taking belly dancing lessons! She is a hoot and I love her dearly. She has been antagonistic to my friend’s faith. One day my friend asked me how she could witness to her mother about her faith. I told her to just talk about her own experience – I knew her mother couldn’t argue with that. We prayed about it and several months later my friend called me and said she had talked to her mother about her own relationship with God. Her mother listened and respected her testimony.

It has been such a thrill to see my friend’s growth in faith. I tell you this because last night over dinner – we shopped until dinner – she was instructing me in faith. How to walk with God in faith in a situation that is hard for me. I loved it. I love her boldness. I love her. She is a dear friend because she takes me back to t he basics- faith and prayer.

I pray each of you will have such a friend.

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