Monday, May 21, 2012

The Treasure Trove

Graphic from
"I wish I wore glasses instead of braces," Kaelyn grumbled with a sigh, fingering her silver wires and sore lip. "I really miss chewing gum and I do not want to go to the dentist Monday morning."

"I know it, Peanut," I agreed. "I know you're afraid because it's going to hurt. We all have to do things when we're afraid. That's what courage is. I know you feel miserable about it, but your teeth are correcting much faster and more beautifully than we ever expected."

"I would still rather be chewing gum," she laughed, giving me a tight hug.

Seven families, including nearly 20 children, would be coming soon for our weekly life group gathering. The children would rush in hungry and thirsty from playing outside long into the warm evening.  The adults would be lounging about my living room and kitchen soaking up laughter and well-being. It would be a night to refresh and refuel. I wanted to go the extra mile in my hospitality to encourage and love them all.

Old familiar pitchers of  lemonade and  mint iced tea sat beside the fruit bowl. Oatmeal cookies full of  whole grains, walnuts and raisins were piled on a cheery plate. Nathanael, who isn't sure why God made raisins, had suggested a platter of assorted muffins which I pulled from the freezer to begin thawing. I walked into the spring sunshine to revive myself and to snip some fresh flowers for young Hannah to notice and Baby Maisy to sniff.

Few things charm me more than the anticipation of friendly visits. It's not my skills, all of which get sorely challenged, or my ideals, so frequently crushed, that make me swell with appreciation and happiness. The energy, skill and experience of my friends, my partners in the journey of life, are my largest asset. They are tenacious in their faith walks and determined in their commitments. Their lives inspire me and their enthusiasm swirls around me every day, lifting my head up and getting my blood moving as I push forward to get results in my life race.

As I patiently waited for the coffee to kick in this morning, my eyes still hazy from sleep, I began recalling conversations, struggles, solutions and prayer requests from our gathering.  I prayed first for Kaelyn, already in route to the dreaded dental appointment.

Yes, she would rather be chewing gum than wearing braces. None of us like discomfort and fear even when it's best for us. Friendships, though, offer us a less fearful lens to view the world. And a world that we can see clearly is a world we can change by our courage and tenacity.

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