Pay More Attention to Friends

Douglas and I drove to my hometown today to visit my best friend in the hospital. I had not seen her for months, when I got a call from her on Wednesday that she had been in intensive care. I felt so bad that I had not called her in nearly three weeks, especially as she has been chronically ill for months.

As I combed her hair today, we laughed about how as teenagers, she would ask me to scratch her head nearly every day. There was seldom in dandruff to be found, and she had such thin hair that if there were any, it would have been sitting on top of her hair. But, those moments when I pulled a comb through her hair were special times for us, as we gossiped about other people, boys, and talked about our future plans.

She is very ill, and I fear losing the person who probably knows me best in the world, and who has been my best friend for nearly 54 years, longer than some marriages. She has been privy to my secrets and I to hers. The thought of a world without her in it is a very real possibility, and I shudder to think of it.

A few days ago she told me that she finds it difficult to pray, as she is very angry with God for all the pain she is in physically and emotionally. I told her that it was alright to be angry with God, for He understands the anger, and He still loves her.

I prayed with her, which felt funny. Considering she knows some of the most shameful things I have done in my life, I wondered if she would let me pray for her. I was amazed to find that she wanted that more than anything. Afterward, I let her know how much I loved her, and I realized that she has loved me longer than any other person on earth.

As we left the hospital today, I knew that we would be driving the two-hour trip at least once a week, so that I can do what a best friend should do, and that is be there in times of sickness and sadness. It is so easy to get focused on your own life and aches and pains, and forget that, comparatively speaking, you are in pretty good health. Of course my prayer is for healing, but Lord, let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

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