Friends with Benefits

Well, not those benefits… This is a shout out to friends that perform all manner of friend-like deeds. I’ve got to believe that girlfriends that fly across the country on their own dime to come and help you pack an entire house for your move will have a special spot reserved for them in heaven. And that’s just what Jacky did last week; and while we’re at it, Jan and Kim and Trish are local friends that offered an afternoon or two to help. Their presence alone helped ease the angst I felt about leaving, which, I have a hunch, was precisely their motive. Their selfless act of kindness shifted the focus from sadness to joy, from quiet reflection to laughter. And amidst the fun, we got alot of work done!

The other special space in heaven must be reserved for friends that will diet with you. This is Fat Tuesday, the Tuesday before Lent. Growing up as Baptists, we never participated in Lent, as my Catholic friends all did. I was all in for fish sticks and macaroni & cheese every Friday, just because I happen to love them any day of the week. But as my kids are growing more spiritually aware, we’ve chosen to recognize the sacrifices that Jesus made as He prepared to go to the cross by observing Lent and choosing to sacrifice something. For several years, I felt impressed to give up my morning Starbucks (an enormous sacrifice for me), but this year I felt for a while that I’d be giving up something different. On a retreat a couple weekends ago, the topic of Lent came up, and I mentioned that I was choosing to go to extreme measures this year, primarily because I believe I’m in a time of consecration. One thing led to another, and somehow Cathy, the thinnest friend I have will be doing the same Fast with me. True friendship.

So, it’s a far cry from a Mardi Gras free-for-all, there were no beads strewn about, and I kept my shirt on at all times, but I did indulge in a last cheeseburger, fries and chocolate shake.

Sadly, I’m aware that past Easter seasons have come and gone without my having much sensitivity about the brutal suffering that took place on that Cross. This year, my faith feels a little more tender and raw. This year, I’m deliberately mindful of His sacrifice. This year, in a microscopic measure, I can sense that beyond this difficult time, there will be something better…something new…something for the greater good. Don’t overlook His sacrifice, and don’t overlook the precious value of your own difficult times. As we’re reminded on Good Friday, Sunday is coming!

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Comments

  1. J. C. says:

    Kim, I hope everyone can see your beauty inside is even greater than your beautiful face. L, A.J.

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