My neighbor’s front porch was the space I didn’t ever want to be without. She would be sitting in the swing, and I would make the walk across the street. In the country this is a short journey. It was long enough to stop my rushing; short enough to always be just a few minutes away. My hill was steeper than hers, but I walked downhill first, then up her drive and climbed the steps to land safely on the swing beside her.
There we shared the stuff of life. We laughed. We cried. We made fun of life and dared the disappointments to unravel us. We spoke of holy things but remained solidly grounded in our lives on earth; we didn’t attempt to ascend further. Her kitchen was my wonderland but the swing on her front porch was my safe and sacred space. Maybe for her too.
Bear one another’s burdens and thus fulfill the law of Christ. – Galatians 6:2
Today is her birthday. Her long life on earth ended 15 years ago and our porch visits a few years before her death. We took our conversations up in other places; I learned it was not the porch I cherished so much; it was her. I remember every day and every visit with much gratitude! I still draw from the conversations and laughter we enjoyed – the way you do when a true friend steps into your heart. The blessing never stops giving. Even when they are not physically with you, your heart holds them close just the same.
You don’t have to have a front porch to experience the gift of true friendship. It may be rare, but it is available: to both offer and receive. In a season where the wonder and tinsel are showing up in many places, don’t forget to find your sacred space in the comfort of a trusted friend. Sometimes just a conversation makes much of life fall reasonably into place, at least for a little while.
God, thank you for the friends that share the journey. Thank you for the ways you keep making your presence with us known on earth.