4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails.
-1 Corinthians 13
Let me tell you a little story about true friendship.
Once upon a time, there were 2 ladies who met by chance – Miss California & Miss Texas. Upon meeting and spending less than a week getting to know each other, they were again separated by the thousands of miles between their homes. One year later, they met again. And again, spent only a week together chasing 20+ crazy teenagers around the state of California. Again, they were separated by the thousands of miles that lie between their homes.
However, technology being what it is, the two could not be separated from each other. They wrote to each other regularly, becoming involved in each other's lives. The more they got to know each other, the more they realized they had so very much in common. They became encouragers of each other. They lifted each other up emotionally and spiritually.
One day, Miss California planned a family vacation to Texas. Miss Texas could not have been more excited. Her sweet friend and family would be here for 2 whole weeks. She went about planning activities, camping trips, shopping trips, and all the fun things friends do when their families are together. Plans made, they both counted down the days until Miss California and family would arrive.
And finally, it came. The day. Miss Texas met them at the airport. There were tears and hugs all around. Even the 2 Littles, Little Texas and Little California, who were meeting for the very first time – became instant friends. The friends talked all the way home and into the night. As they parted that evening to get some sleep, Miss Texas went to bed smiling and happy that her friend was here and they would get to know each other's families even better over the next two weeks.
And then it happened. Just as Miss Texas had gone to bed that very night, she received a phone call. There were a few tears, but only 5 words were said, "Mir is in the hospital." Mir is like a daughter to Miss Texas. Even Miss California had a special bond with the sweet 19 year old girl, having toted her all around California 2 years before. We woke the next morning, and I asked the precious California family to pray for our Mir.
We went about the next few days, almost as if we were walking on egg shells. Our Mir didn't get better. She got worse. We prayed together.
The 2 weeks that Miss California was in Texas with her family are almost a complete blur to Miss Texas. But here's what she DOES remember:
*Her sweet friend drove her 4 hours to be at the hospital on a particularly bad, scary night for our Mir. This meant giving up her camping trip with her family.
*Her sweet friend stayed up all night as they all prayed Mir through the night.
*Her sweet friend cooked for the family in the hospital.
*Her sweet friend pulled the weeds in her flower bed.
*Her sweet friend took care of the Texas family.
Miss Texas & Miss California made a spontaneous decision to run a 5K the morning they were to leave. Afternoon flights are good for that! As they ran that race, together, Miss Texas could not help but thank God for sending such a wonderful friend who could be all she needed her to be in such a timely manner. That 5K had hills, grass, dirt, valleys, mud, creek crossings – not an easy course. How appropriate that they ran one of the most difficult 5K courses, ever, together. The 2 weeks that Miss California was in Texas, were perhaps 2 of the most difficult weeks in the life of Miss Texas.
Since that time, Miss California & Miss Texas have giddily planned their next get-together. It will be the ½ marathon in December, in Texas. Today – she receives her birthday gift from her husband – her plane ticket to Texas!
Yes, today is her birthday. She embodies every word of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. She is all of that for Miss Texas and more. She did not fail her.
I am honored to call her my friend and ever grateful for her encouragement, protection, love and generosity. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MISS CALIFORNIA.