All summer the yellow coneflowers held my attention more than other years. At first, I thought it was their hope-filled color, but something told me there was more. And in my mind, I heard a specific song when I contemplated the coming lesson.
In a whimsical mood one day, I said to no one in particular, “They remind me of my friends.” And that’s when my pondering transitioned into a prayer of gratitude.
These women have stood with me when life held the possibility of a sting and helped me see not the stinger, but the golden potential I might have missed. Many times they had the wisdom to tell the difference and the clarity to point out the blessing in the sting.
And so often when they could have turned away and into their concerns, and instead they drew near to mine. Even when life blew holes in my heart and I curled my fears inward because I couldn’t hear what I needed to say just yet.
They stayed close when I felt like someone had pulled off more than one of my petals.
They waited nearby so that even when my reach was tentative, I would find them there – always faithful even when their needs were as great or greater than mine.
And sometimes they reached out for me first.
There were the days when the wind blew hotter and harder, and we went with it together because we were stronger that way.
When I was thirsty, and on the frazzled side of grumpy they waited with me for the refreshment we all knew God was going to send – we just didn’t know when.
And my writing friends . . .
. . . listened with their hearts wide open to baby ideas . . .
And listened some more as the ideas grew . . .
. . . and helped me chase fear and doubt away so the idea could blossom and make way for more ideas.
And best of all, on those days when things seemed unbearable, my friends held me up and covered me with their prayers.
They would generously tell you I have done the same for them. I pray they are right.
Until Next Time,
I almost forgot – that song that ran through my mind all summer and fall when I watched the yellow coneflowers and waited for God’s tender lesson? Well, this time it wasn’t a hymn or spiritual song. It was the chorus from a song Dionne Warwick sang . . . That’s What Friends Are For . . .
Keep smiling, keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That’s what friends are for
For good times and bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for . . .