Devotional Dairy: Friendship 1John 3:16

I have been blessed with an amazing amount of true and unconditional friendships throughout my life.  So many dear souls who have embraced, loved and cared for me during times of suffering.  So many women who have loved me just as I am, where I am. They have accepted all my quirks and goofball antics as they laugh with me as much as they cry with me.  Oh I can’t tell you how grateful I am for so many wonderful people God has placed in my life!

Friendships are God’s way of taking care of us.  Truly.

I pray I give back as much as I receive…

Genuine friends are there for you in times of crisis.  They not only show up, but dive in.  They may help you in various ways and each beautiful and precious act of service always shines light in our darkness.  Through the valuable and cherished memories I have of such times when my loved ones have stepped in to help, there are those rare and raw moments of sacrifice that penetrate my heart so deeply.  Those times when a friend has gone above and beyond what they would be called to do, only because they love me.  Those are the moments when I realize that laying your life down for a friend bring a deeper meaning and an entirely new view.

There are so many opportunities around us to serve our loved ones, our friends and even those we don’t know well- or don’t know at all.  But how many of us truly tune in?  It takes a mighty heart to look beyond our lives and give of our self in such a way that challenges our comfort zone.  I want to stretch and push and strengthen this very part of giving.  

I want to be the one who places priorities where they are most needed and not where I most need them.

Earlier this summer a friend did just that for me.  It was a simple and precious act, and yet it was profound and sacrificial- rendering such a love that it brought me to tears.

I was going through some turmoil in my family life, and she was well aware I was both depleted and hurting.  She encouraged me to go to the pool with her and the kids would play while we soaked in some sun and laughter, because with her I always laugh.  I succumbed to her request knowing full well that was the best medicine I could have, and it would help pull me out of my own “stuff”.

This friend of mine is one of those friends that is ALWAYS so perfectly dressed from head to toe.  She is gorgeous and every single time I see her (which is very often) she looks amazing, adorned with adorable outfits, accessories, and perfectly placed matching jewelry to boot.  I just ogle on her all the time… she’s just that beautiful.  Head to toe.  Always.  (But don’t be misled; she is as real as they come.)

I on the other hand, live in sweat socks and gym shoes.  Gym shorts and tank tops.  My hair is always in a messy bun or ponytail with minimal everything just to get by.  I am far from fashion, and fail miserably at presentation.  She loves me anyway… and often helps me with my hair and outfits with a glorious unconditional slathering of love.

One thing I deplore is my feet.  They are wretchedly neglected because they ferment in my sweat socks and gym shoes all day and all night.   My feet are often in pain, as I have bone on bone grinding going on in my joints and I have lived with this for my entire life.  I cannot wear sandals, flip-flops or any cute shoe for that matter.  And she knows this.

When we get to the pool, she sits down next to me and immediately opens up her bag and pulls out her pedicure supplies as she then proceeds to take my foot, gently pull off my sock and expose the nastiness that is there.  I immediately pull it back and squeal with disgust, “What are you doing??!!”

She reclaims my foot and lays out her polish and lotion and files while she gently shares,  “I am giving you a much needed pedicure.”

This beautiful pristine and most elegant woman has my smelly sweaty fungi foot in her beautifully manicured hands… and she is focused only on loving me. 

Each nasty toe at a time.

Above and beyond?

To her, it was just loving me and giving me comfort and precious pampering, in her own unique and compassionate way.

1 John 3:16

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

16 We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another.

 

I am deeply aware and in awe of the power of this verse.  There are moments of deep sacrifice that resonate in our lives of the literal sense of these words.  There are times when we give so much of ourselves to another- that our lives are truly surrendered.  And yet, there are those surprisingly simple and yet profound acts of service that are the ones that really get me.

 

A pedicure at the pool.

Perhaps God didn’t picture it this way… 

Or maybe He did.

 Because I could have sworn that Jesus washed my feet that day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PROWESS AND PEARLS

 

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Comments

  1. Tammy says

    Oh Chris. YOU are the one ALWAYS laying your life down for a friend…SERIOUSLY. What a beautiful example you are to those of us blessed by your friendship. And blessed I am.

  2. says

    You know you’ve been that kind of friend to me this year, right? Although I swear I’d never expect you to give me a pedicure. Love you. xo

    • says

      HA! Well I would give you ten pedicures times ten! Just wow to this comment Ilene… I am so SO honored you think that about me. I LOVE loving you!!! XOXO

  3. says

    I am so blessed
    a) to have YOU be that friend to me. AND,
    b) to know that other angel who gave you the poolside pedicure!
    a reminder of Christ’s love here on earth!

  4. says

    I don’t know you personally, only here in cyberspace. But I imagine, as I read your posts as soon as they come out, that you are just THAT kind of person you shared about, and how honored I would be to have you as MY friend.
    I know too, how special and precious true friends are. I have experienced first-hand how a real friend is there for you during the darkness of a trial.
    I strive to be that kind of friend.
    I think what your friend did at the pool is amazing.

    • Tammy says

      Laurie,
      I’d just like you to know that Chris takes her cyber friendships very seriously as well 🙂 I’m sure she already considers you a real friend!

    • says

      Tammy is so right, Laurie!! (She’s my pedi-girl!!)

      How can I NOT feel so deeply for cyber friends like you? This is personal. We are personal. And I love that we have a connection that is more than a passing thought or wave. That’s how it should be. 🙂

    • says

      I know- I KNOW!!! Could you imagine? At the pool in front of everyone!! There she was, rubbing my feet and then attempting to FILE these hardened ‘mossy’ nasty nails!!! Not a second thought about the fungus or smell- not even a glance to anyone watching or wondering or being grossed out!!

      I surely have some amazing friends over here in the off-line world! I bet we would be the same if we could live closer, Tamara! I would bet money on that!

  5. says

    That is a very good friend! It’s so nice when friends see what we need even when we don’t ask. I have a very good friend who always is taking over when someone is in need, and rounds up the troops as well when needed. She is just one of those lovely people who is always there for you, no matter what. I’m lucky to know her.

    • says

      I love those kind of people- always ready and willing to serve where needed. And they never look or act inconvenienced, ya know? Just happy to be there for others. Oh, how I love those kind of friends!!

  6. says

    I think it sounds like you have a wonderful friend, but I know that friends only do that for someone that is pretty darn amazing. You reap what you sow. Sounds like you are the best kind of friend around and your friend was honouring you for that!

    • says

      AW!!!! Gosh you make me feel SOOOOO GOOD Leah!!! You are just too kind!! Ya know- there is truth to reaping what you sow, isn’t there? I mean if you are kind and care for people, inevitably- you truly do get the same in return.

      I love how that happens so naturally!! I am willing to BET that you have friends just like this-

      And you ARE one of these friends. 🙂

  7. says

    Oh, Chrissy, I just loved this; brought tears to my eyes! Just thinking of ‘my baby’s feet’ hurting hurt me and so glad an angel tried to help in such a tender way. . .oh my! Beautiful!!!!!

    • says

      Oh mom!!! I just love it when you comment and love on me this way!! My feet hurt- but I am SO loved, it doesn’t even matter!! You know that God sends MANY angels my way…

      And for that, I am so very blessed. XOXO…

    • says

      AW!! Thanks SO much Jennifer!! I CAN’T wait to meet you!! I will bring some nail polish and files and I will do YOUR toes!! (Not such a sacrifice, as I’m SURE your feet are lovely)

      Me. You. SOON. 😉

    • says

      It really was amazing, Candice!!! I was SO touched by her sweet precious and down right beautiful way of loving me and caring for me.

      I am SO blessed to have friends like her!

  8. says

    Chris, you are blessed to have such a friendship, but I suspect that you, too, are an angel of light and love (aka good friend) to many. May you continue to bask in the glow of good friends!

    • says

      I just LOVE that you said “bask in the glow” Alison!! I say that phrase ALL THE TIME!!! Oh, how blessed I am to be able to do just that- so much glowing light around me, and I am so grateful for it! (YOU’RE rays are shining through too, sweet friend!!)

    • says

      AH… don’t you know it Ashley!!! You my friend, are SO one of them!!! Isn’t it amazing how close we can feel to someone who we haven’t even met? I just love that. 🙂

  9. says

    Some time ago I wrote a post called “Be the kind of friend you seek”. I’m suspecting that the lovely friendship you receive is a reflection of what you give. I love this post. Our feet are often one of the most neglected part of our body. The fact that yours suffer pain, plus it bears the weight of your body, the pounding on the pavement…and your precious friend would choose to care for, revive and rejuvenate that area specifically,and do it herself, tells me that she is keen and compassionate and connected to the needs of her friend. I’m guessing that you probably see your feet worst than they actually are…and your friend sees them an opportunity to relax and comfort and exhausted friend

    • says

      I love your comment so much Hope!!! Your words ring so true in every detail. I am so touched by your sentiments- oh how I love these words: “I’m suspecting that the lovely friendship you receive is a reflection of what you give.” Thank you from the bottom of my heart for those beautiful and encouraging thoughts.

      My friend said I made her look much better and me much worse in the post! Ha!

      I am so blessed to have such amazing and faithful friends in my life. SO blessed.

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