Maybe the stars are in friendship alignment, but Kip's post about the friendships that have formed through scrapping parallels, in part, my desire to comment on the subject of friends. I've just returned from a weekend in St. Louis where I visited my friend Kathy, recently diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer. The evening I arrived I was invited to join Kathy at a Brazilian dinner for 12 that was offered at a church "auction" to raise money to support a mission trip to Nicaragua. The dinner was prepared by one of the priests at church whose parents had been missionaries in Brazil, where he was born and grew up. I knew all but two of the other women there, and it was a luxurious evening for me to enjoy the company of this group who had been part of my life and ministry when I lived in St. Louis six years ago. It wasn't the nostalgia that was so special, but the reminder of the joy of sisterhood. I am blessed to enjoy a sisterhood with my scrapping friends, and revel in the daily contact and interaction that we share online through the CK message board, MSN chats, and blog "to-ing and fro-ing." With them, and with the other women who have enriched my life, there is nothing more joyful to me than the opportunities to be together and share common places, events, laughter and the exchange of everyday concerns. I am grateful for the many gifts of friendship that have touched my life, and I am humbled by the expressions of friendship that I see shared as each of us encounters bumps in the road. Hugs and hearts full of love and compassion reach out to break through barriers of time, space, and circumstance, raising spirits and comforting hurting souls.
Today's photo is not a slice of mountain life, but an example of just such an expression of affection and friendship given to my friend Kathy by one of the sisterhood. A simple gift serves to remind her that she is loved and valued, and that an army of friends stand ready to deliver aid, comfort in a time of trial and need.
Today I salute the sisterhood, and give thanks for the opportunity to share in the experience of that love.