My friend Deb recently traveled overseas and brought me gifts from a French flea market. She knows how I love all things chipped, vintage and French, so I was thrilled to receive a pink enamel bowl and three petite volumes by Alexander Dumas, the nineteenth-century novelist. The book covers are detailed with decorative scrolling and the paper-thin pages are written in French. These sweet French objects add charm to my home, but a friend remembering me on her vacation and thoughtfully choosing gifts just for me means so much more.
In an era of prolific Facebook friends and superficial, casual aquaintances, sometimes the rare gift of true friendship is taken for granted. During a recent emotionally unsettling season, my friends graciously listened and offered invaluable advice, cheered and commiserated, encouraged and prayed for me. I was overwhelmed by the generous gifts of their time, wisdom and support.
I want to be a better friend. I want to listen more and talk less. I want to write a note to tell them why I appreciate them being in my life. I want to ask if I can pray for them. I want to write the requests in my prayer journal to be sure I follow through.
I am grateful for the one-of-a-kind perspectives each of my friends contributes to my life. A new way to tackle a challenge I hadn’t thought of. Advice about favorite lipstick shades. A kind critique of a piece I’ve written. An expert view of the world of figure skating. An amusing analysis about my latest fix-up date. All of these women share themselves with me in friendships I treasure. This is one of life’s cherished gifts. Maybe I should let them know that more often.