Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
Romans 12:10 (ESV)
Brothers, schmothers, this is about sisterhood! I asked some girlfriends recently about their besties, and one of my wise women described her best relationships as "sacred, intuitive, and nurturing." That description was so powerful that I asked her permission to write about it. Who knew that today it would be my Gayle and my BFF who reminded me about the richness of our bond, and that particular description.
8:00 am. Walking the dog while talking my Gayle off the ledge. Just another day in paradise for us, though the roles routinely reverse. This time she knew I was right; she knew the situation wasn't that serious, and she knew (and I'm not talking about me) that she had never been alone. Mission accomplished, and all before 9:00 am.
Much of the richness of the sacred, intuitive and nurturing bonds I share with my closest friends draws on their deep roots in our faith. God sits at the center of these relationships, and even as we laugh, cry, fuss, and rage, we do so in faith. We pray for one another when we can't pray for ourselves. We laugh at each other when it gets way too serious. We've learned to let go together, because once you've acknowledged that there's absolutely nothing more to be done on your own, you might as well let it go and fall back into the arms of Grace. Hopefully, your landing will be soft. When it isn't, my girls are there to dust me off and laugh, just like I'd do for them.
Midday finds me in full encouragement mode. My BFF was shouting out someone for an accomplishment, not once acknowledging that she personally midwived the success. That's not at all surprising if you know her. Fortunately, she's got me covering public relations on her behalf, and I never charge more than the occasional snickerdoodle (hers are legendary).
Fast forward to dinnertime, when I'm confessing to my Gayle that the dog and I are plotting a) an escape to join the circus or b) world domination (it was a toss up). She didn't laugh, she didn't judge (she also didn't take me at my word) but did seriously help me think through the pros and cons of one choice versus the other.
We love profoundly, like our lives depend on it. (They do) We try to outdo one another, but only in the sense that our best friends deserve nothing less. Matthew Henry described the love of Romans 12 as like to parental love (these are my mommy friends). He writes,
The professed love of Christians to each other should be sincere, free from deceit, and unmeaning and deceitful compliments. Depending on Divine grace, they must detest and dread all evil, and love and delight in whatever is kind and useful. We must not only do that which is good, but we must cleave to it. All our duty towards one another is summed up in one word, love. This denotes the love of parents to their children; which is more tender and natural than any other; unforced, unconstrained.
So here's to my girls and our friendship, sacred, intuitive, nurturing. I am grateful to God for His infinite wisdom, knowing how desperately I needed these women in my life, thankful that He blesses me to do my best to show them my love, His Love through me, to them at every available opportunity. Like when I'm talking them off the ledge, or when I notice that it's actually me out there, and it is they who are coaxing me back.
Lord, thank you for the gift of Christian friendship. Particularly that it is with women, when our society makes it so hard for us to love one another and not compete, intent of tearing down. My love for them makes me want to do better, to be the best of myself; to be good. Like the goodness of God. I love my girls…
On Tuesdays, I pray and and play with friends here...http://www.shandaoakleyinspires.com/p/on-your-heart-tuesdays.html