on the way out of the house with the kids recently, i checked the mail and found a note from her. i found myself opening it at the stop light, reading it at the next red light and finishing it in the parking lot of our destination (yes, i am a fairly impatient person). but i just couldn't wait to hear from her. she sat down somewhere in her home and wrote me a note- a piece of her life and heart- and sent it through the states to me. it's a gift.
and as she recognized in her letter to me (and i have seen as well), our hearts are growing tighter because of this small exchange of paper. we certainly could be emailing each other the same information. but there is something different about these letters.
they feel more like a true gift from her. that she would take the time to pull out her stationary, find a pen, address an envelope, etc. and perhaps we share our hearts a bit differently on paper. i don't know. i just know that she and her sweet family pop into my mind more- i pray for them more- i think on them more- i am more excited when there is joy in their home. we're tied tighter. growing together.
and all of this letter-rambling leads me to this: friendship is a gift. the giving of a piece of one's heart to another is a gift. when a friend is honest with me- this is a gift. when she shares a heavy burden, a confusion, a sweet story of her children- gifts. when she tells me that she needs to cancel our plans today because her heart is heavy and she needs some space to herself- this honesty and trust is a kind gift to me.
community is tricky and not always easy. it is beautiful and messy. i'm thankful for the people in my life who i'm allowed to walk beside- truly walk beside. thankful that we can deal with each other's messes. and i want more. i want Him to empower me to more. that i might more and more take my eyes off of myself and consider the gifts i am given when a woman sits across from me and gives me a gift of trust and honesty. i want to deeply value that gift.
happy weekend, friends. may we have eyes to see. His goodness. everywhere.