A friend can insist on coming to your house, even when you try to avoid being seen with your hair a mess, your house a mess, your body a mess, and your brain a mess. Yesterday, I was all that mess and then some.
A friend can bring over a couple of coffee mugs, a bag of coffee and fixin's, and a Bible. Sing it with me, "these are a few of my fa-vor-ite things..."
A friend can ask what she can do to help you around the house. She can take it upon herself to make that coffee she brought along.
She can sit down with you and make small talk, but say some very big things in the midst of it. Those "very big things" are encouraging, uplifting...things that act as a kick start to your spirit. Things that continue to roll around in your short-circuited, hole filled mind long after she's spoken them.
Allow me to share part of the small talk in the hopes that it might uplift someone the way it did me:
She was telling me about a half marathon she ran and how there was a woman there who didn't fit the mold, so to speak, of a typical runner. Sounded like she was built more like me. Shout out to sturdy girls! She was wearing shorts in the freezing weather, and her legs were bright red. If anyone ever wonders why I don't run, this is just one of the plethora of reasons. Anyway, she passed this woman during her race...twice. She finished, grabbed a bite to eat, cleaned up at the hotel, and returned to the finish line to cheer for the full marathon runners as they completed their race. As you may have guessed, who came across the finish line just prior to the close of the race? Our sturdy girl! And it sounded as if she may have gained a new running partner along the way named Frostbite. In any case, my friend said, "at that moment, I realized that the body has nothing to do with it! I wanted to go to the woman and ask her, 'what was it that got you from mile 18 to 19, and 19 to 20, and so on? Because I know what got me from 10 to 11, and 11 to 12. But I want whatever it is that she had." And then, she gave me a look and a hand waive as if to say she thinks I've got...that. Wow. I was sitting there in oversized sweats, non-brushed hair, questioning my future, and longing for a fetal position. But she reminded me that "the body has nothing to do with it". Yeah. I guess it really doesn't, does it...
The monthly, weekly, daily race called family, friends, full-time employment, and service to others is my marathon and that of so many other ms'ers. MS may have thrown me down in temporary victory this week, but what it didn't count on was the power of answered prayer. See, I had been praying for "a break", "encouragement", and "a renewed spirit". I received all of that and then some...
I also got a really nice coffee mug. My friend said I should keep it as a reminder of our time together.
Are you kidding me?
Well, at least I finally had an actual reason to cry...
"If one falls down, his friend can help him up..." - Ecclesiastes 4:10