2006-08-05 - Friendship
Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me. Not only I, but all the churches of the Gentiles, are grateful to them. Romans 16:3-4 (NIV)
Sadly, one of Paul's missions led him to Syria, and he and his friends Aquila and Priscilla parted company. From time to time, Paul would send Aquila and Priscilla his greetings. He was a true and loyal friend. No matter where his travels took him for the Lord, they had the assurance they weren't far from his thoughts. I, too, had a friend I had to leave behind.
Debbie was petite, had long blond hair and blue eyes; she was always health-conscious and a classy dresser. It amazed me how much she accomplished in a 24-hour period. She had several full-time jobs, although she didn't see the occupations as duties. She was a dental hygienist, pastor's wife, and friend. She was my friend for several years, until I moved from the area to take a new job position.
Debbie was graceful. She taught me how to stand up straight with a book on my head, just like Jan Brady. Coming home from a trip once, I found "welcome home" balloons on my door. I was privileged to know Debbie, and yet I took her for granted, without knowing it. She would pray with me, when so many people were vying for her attention. Are you thinking she is too good to be true? Yes she had faults, she was human.
I didn't keep to my words of staying in touch as I should have, partly because I didn't think I had anything new to say, nor could I tell her that my move to a new city, job, and church was not what I had imagined. Debbie and her husband soon had a newborn, and I rationalized how I shouldn't telephone, as I didn't want to wake the tyke up. A few years later, Debbie was diagnosed with cancer - and although her family believed for a miracle, she was in a lot of pain. For once in my life, my feelings left me. Of all the people, why Debbie? With a new child, and people who depended on her, it didn't make sense to my human mind. Still doesn't.
It is hard for me to see the good that will come out of Debbie's death. I regret I wasn't there for her when she needed a friend. Regret isn't going to help Debbie's memory or me so these days I make a conscious effort to replicate her unselfish attitude, whenever I can. Now I take time to make the effort.
God, Don't let me have any regrets, where my friendships are concerned. If there is a relationship You want restored, bring that person to mind and provide the means for the friendship to flourish again. In Jesus' name I thank You, Amen.