There’s a lovely constancy that comes from community, in friends that you know and friends by whom you are known. It’s so nice to share a common thread of hobbies, activities and humor with those close to us. It can bring a touch of vulnerability, but it also builds a sturdy foundation for kinship and camaraderie. Those ties feel safe, not constricting, as we are bound by mutual understanding and shared experiences.
Doug said to me last week that for the child of God, our community should be based in our local church. I completely agree. While we have a circle of family, and the locality of neighbors, the broad overlapping of these should be our local assembly of like-minded believers. We find some of our deepest bonds in those who sit beside us in the pew each week. Or across the large auditorium, as is the case for me.
I’m celebrating one of those heart-friends today. She knew me when I was very young and still loves me now that I’m getting old. Ha!
She has been a prayer warrior for me down through the years. She was my faithful penpal when we lived out-of-state, and across the state. She has been a teacher and a mentor, but for many years now, she’s simply been my friend.
Her name is Ruth.
Ruth is incredibly intelligent with a razor-sharp wit and a deep sense of humor and fun. She loves the Lord and has served Him faithfully for many years. She has been a fixture in my memory for as long as I can recall.
I remember her waaaaay back in the early 70s, with her long black straight hair, sitting on a two-seater bike to join in our “parade” of jalopies and buses, from a nearby corner parking lot to our church property, on one of the very first old fashioned Homecoming Sunday services we had. She served as my Sunday school teacher and camp counselor, my encourager and sounding board.
If you choose almost any activity or memory of my teen years, she figured prominently there. Always faithful, always serving, always counseling, and always teaching by word and action that a life of following the Lord was the BEST LIFE.
I’ve watched her walk through the darkest of valleys, without a falter, trusting her God step-by-step. She hasn’t waivered, through years of want or years of plenty. Her eyes have been fixed on the Lord Jesus Christ.
I am so thankful for her. I’m grateful for her words of wisdom over the years, and her testimony of sacrifice and servanthood.
Ruth, I’m wishing you the Happiest of Birthdays today!
Thank you for loving me and being my friend.
I love you.