The Blessing of Good Friends

Lord, thank you for leading me by quiet waters, for feeding me at Your table, and for inviting me to dwell in Your house forever.

Would You please give me opportunities this week to show true hospitality to others and to do it generously, joyfully and without grumbling.

Would You give me grace to embrace interruptions as gifts from You, and help me to make space in my schedule at my table, in my home and my heart for others.

Amen.

This was one of the prayers in my Sabbath devotional this morning. Just after I had said “Amen”, I received a message on my phone from old friends saying:

“Would you like a “socially distancing” lunch brought to you today?”

IMG_5403Who knew that prayers were answered so rapidly? Especially in this time of isolating, quarantine and shielding! Not only did P and V arrive with a casserole, a loaf of bread, homemade brownies, a hunk of Roquefort cheese and a bottle of red wine, V also did the washing up afterwards! My hospitality consisted of setting the table on my patio, cutting the bread and making the coffee – done generously, joyfully and certainly without grumbling and I definitely embraced this interruption as a gift. It was a lovely surprise, and an opportunity to sit and talk, catch up, and enjoy our friendship. V and I share a birthday and I had also just finished crocheting a lacy scarf, which V graciously accepted as a belated birthday present. We decided this lunch was a belated birthday party. Thank you, Lord!

I see the last few weeks as a very generous and gracious gift from the One who provides. At the end of July my best friend – who lives about 20 km away –  invited me to stay a week with her, which became 10 days, and gave us plenty of time to put the world to rights, watch our favourite TV series on rainy days and enjoy the privilege of swimming and floating around in her private pool on hot sticky days. I was especially grateful that she played chauffeur for me, so I didn’t have to take the train (masks are mandatory on public transport here, but I still don’t like the idea) and also took me to the supermarket so I was able to stock up on food and essentials, instead of having to haul my shopping from the village. Such friends are truly a huge blessing.

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Prior to that, I was delighted to be able to enjoy some time with my Dear Eldest Granddaughter and her family. She has four children, aged 3 to 12, and they spent their summer holiday in their caravan on the Bad Ragaz campsite just down the road from my house. This is Heidiland so they were out and about most of the time, but we met up twice for extended meals and the children found their way from the campsite to Granny’s house, so that also gave me a chance to exercise a little hospitality, too!

“Now I’m 12 I’m allowed to drink coffee,” announced my great-grandson S on his arrival.

“Does that mean you would like a cup of coffee, then?”

“Yes please. With lots of milk.”

His five-year-old brother M had a “Granny tea”, and they sat very primly at my table, demonstrating their good manners, but alas, the coffee didn’t meet S’s standards (he prefers Nescafé) and M wasn’t impressed by the biscuits he was offered, so it wasn’t a total success. However, they are very forgiving and promised to give me a second chance some time.

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I confess that I was a little sceptical this morning about asking for “opportunities this week to show true hospitality to others” when most people I know aren’t going out – but I was quickly taught a lesson, and now my fridge and freezer are well stocked, so I’m prepared! Who will be my next surprise guest, I wonder?

 

18 thoughts on “The Blessing of Good Friends

  1. Sounds like you had a great time with family and friends. Every since this whole Covid-19 era began, my wife (Chris) and I have been very careful about spending time around people. Right now, the only people who come over are our son, our daughter (the middle child) and our son’s two children. Both Chris and I have underlying health conditions, which makes me a little concerned about having the kids over, but you can’t go on forever without seeing somebody other than yourselves. So far, we’re doing fine, no Covid yet. Thank God for friends and family!

  2. Hi Catherine, you sound as though you’ve had a lovely few weeks. It is the unexpected simple things that delight, a phone call from an old friend, an invitation to an evening meal with more old friends and when the Sunday roast turns out well. The joy I had today spending time with my granddaughter and taking her skateboarding too. I was sitting by a Brook with a water wheel watching her as she floated past me very serenely. I don’t seem to have enough time in the day, each one whizzing by. Five college friends of 60 years are planning a weekend away in September just enjoying the banter and pleased we’ve all survived. I put a family photo on Facebook and so many people have responded to it and filled in more history about this character Banjo Cannon, and his grandchildren are delighted with the article. I do count my blessings. Off to bed now but pleased to read your post, love Marie

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    • Hi Marie – glad you have managed to find your way back to here! I think you have found the secret of making the most of what’s on offer and are enjoying your blessings, too. I’ll check out your Facebook page – sounds interesting!

  3. Despite all the lock downs and distancing my friends decided to give me a fantastic 80th at the local cricket cafe whose waiter split the group into two tables to adhere to the distancing rules. It was lovely and even without hugging or kisses, the intimacy between friends was there in abundance.
    The race is on now for my nonagenarian era, giving plenty of time for my daughter and grandchildren to save up.
    It was so nice to be with people and family again. The goodbyes were knocking elbows together or just a wave but all was so enjoyable.

  4. How lovely. In these days of deprivation, it is surprising how even the smallest gatherings or celebrations seem to buoy the spirit beyond measure. Your little great grands + dog are precious.

  5. How lovely! I laughed when I read socially distanced lunch. It is truly hard to connect during these times but we find ways. I find that I also get excited when I have visitors. This health crisis is truly challenging our need for relationships, no?

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