As a young girl scout, I sang the song as a round, "Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold." Over and over, beginnings fell into endings and beginnings again. There was harmonious unity in that simple song in girl-voices.
Decades later I am still spinning threads and weaving songs of precious friendships.
Yesterday was such a day of spinning golden threads with old friends--a day for tea in the country offering hours spent talking, laughing, and praying together. Seems like old times. Except now, one is living with the unwelcome intruder of a brain tumor.
The story of these friendships began nearly 30 years ago as our lives converged in Memphis, and we, as newlyweds and young moms, shared some of the best of times. Like many gifts we are given, we did not know at the time the true value of what we held in that life experience. We would come to appreciate the tensile strength of shared bonds as the years and the miles between us unfurled.
We didn't take a photo of three friends curled up on the floor, sharing cups of tea and a cozy lunch around the coffee table as candle flickers reflected the icy rain outside. Don't look for them on facebook. We didn't record the moments anywhere but in our hearts; they are indelibly inscribed where memory does not fade and images do not disappear. They are secure where moth and rust do not corrupt; where the thieves of time and disease do not break through and steal.
The fine collectible cups and saucers we filled with ceremony and delight were worthy of just such a day, but even their hand-painted porcelain was no match for the beauty of true friendship in the Lord we share when we love one another with the best we have to offer: ourselves.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Romans 12:15
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:34,35
Bear ye one another's burdens. Galatians 6:2