An old friend invited me to dinner on Sunday. Before I accepted, I had the nerve to make a condition. I did say that this was an old friend. I said that I would come, if I could bring another friend with me. My old friend hesitated for just a second, then stated that dinner would be served in the kitchen regardless of who came. Knowing that that would make no difference to the friend that I invited, I said that we would be thrilled to come to dinner. Then I told my old friend why I had the nerve to invite another guest to her house.
This newer friend lost her husband recently. She manages to keep herself busy and under control during the week, but Sundays sink her into depression. It was the day of the week that she and her husband reserved for each other.
My old friend is one of the kindest persons that I know. She is often moved with compassion for complete strangers and instead of ignoring the feeling, or waiting for it to pass, she just as often acts on it. She knows that on occasion, her kindness is interpreted as weakness. Nevertheless, she remains positive, giving just a little more that she gets. She has the great gift of being able to laugh at herself and at the expectations of a jaded world.
The three of us had a great time eating roast beef with mashed potatoes while talking and laughing at subjects as varied as gynecological exams and Creationism vs. Evolution. Friends, especially kind ones, are great blessings. I am thankful for mine.