Cathy and I were having a conversation as we were driving one day and at some point I responded or spoke in a way that hurt her. Tears came to her eyes as she said to me; “A friend would never treat me like that and if they did, I’m not sure that I would want to be their friend.”
And she was right, I had responded in a way that had not reflected of my love for her and I told her how sorry I was and asked her to forgive me.
It was one of those moments that take the grace of God to move past the emotions and onto the truth about how much we loved each other. It was one of those moments where ‘forks-in-the-roads’ are met with long term effects. And ponder she did at what she would do next. And my heart was broken.
Proverbs 17:17 came to my mind which says; "A friend loves at all times." I prayed that she would hear my heart and understand what took place from how I intended it, not how it came across. I hadn't meant for my response to be taken in the way that it was. I had no intention of hurting her in any way, she was my friend; my best friend. And yet, she was hurt and no word from me would change what had taken place.
So, instead, I pleaded my case with God as we continued to drive home looking to His intervention. And He heard our cries and answered from heaven.
In the end, our friendship broke through and forgiveness was given, hands were grasped before we got home, and together we went forward. “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24 NKJV)
She is my best friend; we’ve been dating since March of 1980. There is no one else that I would rather spend time with. Yes, I love being with my children and grandchildren, our family, our, neighbors, as well as so many who cross our paths through ministry. But she is my best friend.
We boost each other up, we get silly, we help each other, we listen to each other, and cry, and laugh, and cheer for each other. We know each other’s dirt and imperfections and still we love each other. And to top it off, we have a lot of fun together.
Our life is filled with simple things and places that we both like to go. We both enjoy so many things like spending time in Bible study or in church or eating or hanging with our children and grandchildren or walking or exercising together or work around the house and cooking together and serving others together.
I love the way her hand fits in mine. I love to look out of the side of my eye and catch her sneaking a look at me; and then she smiles as she leans in and gives me a kiss. And, after all these years, I am still ravished by her.
She laughs at my jokes. She shares her last piece of chocolate with me. She likes hockey and enjoys watching hockey games with me; and she loves to sit and watch football with me. She likes the same foods; just not as hot (spicy) as I do. She seems to always know what I also would like to snack on.
She looks for items, clothing, books, and when she gives them to me she says; “I thought of you…”
She shares her faith with me and what she is reading and how she saw God today. She is right beside me, believing in me, cheering me on as together we trust that God will show us what’s next as we grow together.
She encourages me and seems to understand me and will go to bat for me. She even takes notes when I preach and writes at the top of the page; “Pastor” Tom; she shows me respect. She honors me. And she thinks I’m cute.
And, if I was lost, she would look for me.
God has truly given me a best friend. Through her He has shown me in practical ways what love really looks like. And I am overwhelmed.