Sunday, December 6

Coming along side!

"When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, nor curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares! " ~ Henry Nouwen

"Does it seem a long time ago when our kids were babies?"

That was a question I asked our friends Al and Jan tonight, as we left the table and went to the living room with our coffee cups.

When our kids were little - seems like a long time ago. So much has happened. So much.

Tonight was a celebration of friendship. A time to laugh, a time to talk, to listen, to shed some tears, and to pray together before they left for home. Al and Jan came with some fine wine in hand - which we enjoyed over the course of the meal.

We talked alot tonight ~ about our kids, about life, about joys, about sorrows. We talked about church. We talked about fishing and about knitting. Jan and I laughed about those late night hockey games, when the boys would go to play after midnite and we would keep each other company while we did needlepoint, or knit (only to have to undo the mistakes in the morning!) We talked about when our kids were little. We talked about our kids now - all grown up.

We talked about life!

Ours is a friendship that has grown deeper over the years - even if we don't spend as much time with one another as we hope we will. Each year has a new resolution "to spend more time together." Alvin met Al at MBCI in and 73. I met Alvin and Allan in 1974. Alvin and I married in 1978, and Al was one of our "two" best men! Our wedding was the first time we met Janet... it was their "first date". And, we have been friends ever since. The type of friends that get together and pick up as if no time has been lost.

Tonight we talked about God in our lives. About God in the midst of pain.... deep pain. We have all been touched by pain. We have all experienced God through it. We will never forget the phone call we got in the hospital when Jay was born... Al, telling us that people as far as South Africa were praying on our behalf. Tonight we talked about how it feels to have people just there - not to say anything profound - not to try to fix things - but people who just come alongside and stand there. You can feel the support.

We have been blessed - and thank God for you Al and Jan. You are part of our family and we thank God for you. And - love you lots.

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