As I read stories from Kara and Jill about people who Just Show Up on the Mundane Faithfulness blog (http://www.mundanefaithfulness.com/home/2015/10/1/grace-dress-take-two-guest-post-by-jill-buteyn), I couldn’t help but think of my friend who has shown up for me for over twenty years. She has known me through all of the phases and stages, and continually supports and loves me through them. She is one of very few (I can count them on one hand), who always has my back. She would defend me to the end. She always shows up.
One evening, I was at her house for a party and I complimented her on the beautiful white platters she had scattered over her dining room table. This girl always throws the most amazing parties, and makes people feel both comfortable and special, and the table setting is just one way she accomplishes that. I remember saying something about how I wished I could have another bridal shower so I could get new, cool stuff that matched and was beautiful like hers. It was a throwaway line, on my second glass of wine, and obviously not the most polite or grateful thing to say. Still, my friend presented me days later with three pristine white platters that, years later, I still use for every party at my home. She believed I deserved nice things, even when I wasn’t being particularly nice.
On another day, my friend overheard me express to my husband the wonders of a microplane grater I had seen used on tv. When asked if I needed one, I said I absolutely did not, I had something that worked just fine. Within a day, there was a beautifully wrapped microplane grater on my porch.
What can be said about a friend like this? When someone sees our needs and wants, and jumps in to fill them, it is about much more than kitchenware. My friend was communicating to me that I was beloved, special, and worthy.
I have tried to repay the favor over the years. During times of stress in her busy life, I sometimes brought cake, or wine, or soup. We both have sent cards and left notes in mailboxes, writing in excruciating detail about how blessed we are, how lucky to have each other. These are busy days for both of us, and we don’t see each other near enough, but it seems she and I can always pick up where we left off.
Recently, my friend has been going through an awfully hard time, and when that happens, she hibernates. I totally relate, and I understand, but I wanted her to know how I think of her and pray for her all the time, so I left a set of figurines on her doorstep. They are two women holding each other’s hands with love and understanding, and I felt they perfectly represented us. She agreed, and of course left me my own set on my porch just a couple of days later. I look at them and feel the peace and trust of our friendship, and I hope she feels the same.
During this season of life for my friend, it seems to me that cake and wine and soup probably aren’t enough, and I wish there was something more I could do. I want to Show Up in the way that she would, but every gesture I think of falls short. Showing up can be about the small things that encourage us through hard times, and those things can become symbols for much larger things like sacrifice and devotion, but I really wish it could be about making things totally better for the friend you love with all your heart. I really do.