Fridays with Susan...
I have a friend (who happens to read this blog on a regular basis, come to think of it) who uses this expression that is meant to be a little humourous, but when she says it, it is also laden with truth. "That makes me happy in my heart," I've heard her crow more than once. (Thanks, Brave Raven. :) )
That's how I feel tonight. Happy in my heart. And like my friend, that's not meant to be the least bit corny - or sarcastic.
Today I put in three blessed hours at the church helping out with Vacation Bible School, and then went on to a full day at work and then some. I was busy, but happy! It was a great day from beginning to end. There was a lot to do to get ready for another chock full afternoon tomorrow (right after VBS) so I stayed quite a bit later than I'd planned. I kept watching the clock hoping I was going to make it to cell group in time for supper, albeit a bit late. Suppertime came and went. Then dessert. Then the Bible study. I was going to miss it all. By the time I had finished up what I needed to, it was half past nine and I knew that by then, everyone would be gone home. But I had told Belinda I was going to drop something off, so I picked up my cell phone to call her en route.
"Is there any coffee left?" I asked Belinda when she picked up the receiver.
"Yessss..." she said tentatively. She hadn't heard my voice since before supper when I had called to say that I was going to try to make it at some point. I had wanted her to know that if I didn't show up, to just to go ahead without me. I imagined that by this time she was wondering what on earth had happened to me.
"I'll be there in five to seven minutes," I said.
"Okay... See you then.
When I arrived, the door was open just a crack as if someone was expecting someone to drop in and didn't want them to feel like they had to knock. Mind you, I wouldn't be knocking anyway, as long as Belinda was expecting me. That cracked open door sure made me feel welcome. I slipped off my shoes in the terra-cotta tiled foyer and followed the noise of pots and pans banging together in the kitchen.
"You sure make it easy for someone to sneak into your house late at night," I said, referring to the noise of one pot falling and loudly banging into another. It sounded to me like she was hurrying to get ready for my arrival.
"I heard the door," she laughed, turning her face, filled with warmth and welcoming, in my direction to lock her eyes on mine. We hesitated for a second, who knows why, and then her arms were stretching out expectantly for a quick hug.
"Did you have supper?" she asked. "Would you like something to eat?" and then her head was in the refrigerator moving things about and digging out some leftover basmati rice and butter chicken. Hooray! I didn't miss dinner after all!
I noted a difference in the air. Usually on Thursday nights when I arrive for cell group, the kitchen is a-buzz with people and activity. Tonight it was not only quiet, but everything had been restored to order. The table, usually laden with dishes, cutlery, food and drinks, and surrounded by people, gave off the glow of polished golden oak. Except for Belinda ( and for Paul who poked his head through the door a little later just to say goodnight!) the kitchen was unoccupied. It was just what I needed on a day when everything else on the surface of my life had seemed so out of order.
We sat at the kitchen table while I ate. Belinda watched and sipped coffee. I sipped coffee too. And we both talked.
We had some work things to get out of the way, and I had a hard time shifting gears, but eventually we got to "us". I had missed reading her post this morning, and she quickly fetched her laptop. I told her that you never know what to expect on her blog - that her posts are an incredibly eclectic mix - and she smiled and said, "It's whatever he says.." and I said, "I know..."
An hour and a half flew by and I was driving home with two tubs of food beside me. One with basmati rice, and the other with the butter chicken to drizzle over it. I've been having difficulty eating the last couple of days and this was the first thing to go down easily and act like it wanted to stay there, so Belinda offered the rest to take home. I gratefully accepted. Though before accepting I did make her twist my arm a little.
Belinda has many friends, and there is much diversity in the array of relationships in her life. I'm only one of a long string of pearls. I'm a grateful pearl, though. How many people will take you in when you show up on their doorstep after the party is over.
Come to think of it, didn't she show up on my doorstep last Saturday, long before the party had begun?
Thank God for friends!