Tag: friendship

Big God

There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound. ~Diana Cortes

Pulkeria is my friend. An uncommon name for an uncommon lady. Our friendship shrinks the geographical distance between us. It also manages to minimize the cultural and language differences too. I was reunited with my dear friend during my second trip to Tanzania. We both squealed with joy at our reunion, like two teenage girls at a One Direction concert.

A single rose can be my garden….a single friend, my world. ~Leo Buscaglia

Pulkeria traveled 12 hours, one way, on a body-jarring bus. She lives in a coastal city where the temperatures are high and hot. As friends do, I teased Pulkeria about her many layers of clothing since the temperature on this day was near 80 degrees. ¬†And as true friends do, she returned the teasing by asking me if I was cold throughout the day. ūüôā

Pulkeria and I had time to catch up as we traveled throughout Arusha National Park searching for animals that I only see in zoos.  She had seen some of the animals before but I took pleasure in seeing the incredible animals through her eyes. It was a precious experience. She was enjoying the beauty of her country; away from the hard realities of poverty for one lazy afternoon. Between the giraffe and zebra sightings, we shared, questioned, and challenged one another. It is an honoring opportunity to be stretched by a true friend.IMG_7843

We laughed a lot too. Our guide and driver, both male, ¬†would occasionally turn around when they heard giggling coming from the back of the safari jeep. We did what girlfriends do – we poured into each other’s life. It was a delightful day.

When I knew the day was coming to a close and the dreaded good-byes were on the horizon, I asked Pulkeria how I could pray for her. I will not forget her response. She said it with a sincere but heavy heart. She said she needed a BIG God. Her life was filled with so many challenges as a mother of 5 and as acting Director at a large Compassion Center that serves 300 impoverished children. Yes, she wanted and needed a BIG God. Big problems = Big God.

She shared how she struggles with trying to solve everyone’s problems and answering everyone’s questions. She doesn’t know how to balance her family, work, and life responsibilities. She realizes the only way to keep her family functioning, her marriage flourishing, and her Center running is to have a Big God in her corner 24/7.

Pulkeria needed a big God. A big God for when she looks into the hungry eyes of the many children that surround her. A big God when families at her Center come to her with marriage problems, when she faces her Center’s critical needs for more classrooms and modern toilets, and when a mother pleads for groceries to feed her family.

Pulkeria was stretching me again. ¬†I wondered how big is my God? How big does He need to be? Without the complicated challenges of living in a still-developing country, perhaps my God doesn’t need to be super-sized. Do I really need a big God in my suburban life full of excess? If I live small, think small, dream small, then my God will stay small. My faith will be small.

Shame on me. Shame on me for limiting God and missing out on everything Big that my God has to offer: a big life, big dreams, big love, and a big faith. Shame on me for keeping my Big God small. Shame on me for confining my Big God to my small life.

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, or with the breadth of His hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance? Isaiah 40:12 NIV

No, there is nothing small about our God. He is only limited by my foolish and fearful restraints. Shame on me.

Yes, Pulkeria is my friend. I am thankful for this magical and profound long-distance friendship. Pulkeria will always have my love, my respect, my admiration, and my prayers. I pray she senses His Presence and sees the Shadow cast by our Big God. Then she will know her Big God is very close.

Sweet is the memory of distant friends! Like the mellow rays of the departing sun, it falls tenderly, yet sadly, on the heart.  ~Washington Irving

Let’s Walk Worthy!

 

hello gorgeous

“Hello Gorgeous” rang out as we entered the consignment store. All shoppers are greeted with this loving affirmation.

“Hello Gorgeous”. Who me? Wow, this is fun! We laughed and seriously considered exiting and re-entering just to be greeted again and hear those kind words. Yes, tell me again, please!

Five quality women. We consider ourselves quality women: strong, college educated, and God-lovers. We have each traveled some tough life-roads but are still standing. We are nuts; the solid and tough type. We have walked through divorces and remarriages; childbirth and grandparenthood; surgeries and menopause; sudden deaths of parents and slow, agonizing ones.

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The switch has flipped. We are now the caregivers to those who raised us even when they can’t remember our names.¬†We worked through selling our childhood homes and making lots of big-girl decisions in our big-girl panties beneath our comfy sweatpants.

This weekend gathering was time to reminisce and gossip and belly-laugh. We shared an apartment in college where tons of memories were made. It was a hilarious time. In the midst of classes and craziness, we forged lasting friendships. Iron sharpening iron.

Today, we slip and slide seamlessly from one conversation to the next. Rabbit trails on steroids. “Whatever happened to so and so? Remember when there was a goat in the room?” ¬†Looking back and catching up and laughing all day. We fill our day with memories, chocolate, bakeries, good wine and Pringles. All good stuff.

We don’t filter our thoughts like we used to when we are around family or in public. We don’t have the patience for faking nice. Most comments just fly out and that is OK; especially on the subject of men, politics and incompetent co-workers.¬†image

A day of laughing and feeling a little bit younger again comes to an end. Heaps of hugs. My soul  is refreshed. Remembering when and looking gorgeous!

 

Let’s Walk Worthy!