Yesterday we said goodbye to our friend Mary Jo as she boarded her plane back to Michigan.. it was hard to say goodbye. Mary Jo is one of my wife's oldest and dearest friends. They met at St Mary College in Leavenworth, Kansas when they shared a dorm room. A few weeks ago when I heard that she was coming a smile crossed my face. A bit of my stress was relieved. Mary Jo is a friend that refreshes. The last time we moved she was also with us for a week. Her presence was such an uplifting one. We were so blessed to have her with us this past week. Her help with our house move was invaluable. Yet even more valuable was her encouraging presence.
Mary Jo reminds me of a friend that I have known for over 30 years - his name is Ollie. We became friends in the late 70s when he lived in the Kansas City area. He and I enjoyed such great fellowship back then. Ollie moved out of the area in the 80s. He came back into town for a few years. Then moved again. He currently lives in Texas. Ollie has always been an absolute joy to be around. In 1994 I found myself heartbroken and devastated when my wife died. Ollie flew in from Ohio to sing at her funeral - when I saw him my heart was refreshed. It was as if God has sent an angel my way telling me that things would be okay. Ollie came back into town the following year to sing at my wedding. I had lunch with him last month when he was in KC - his friendship still refreshes me.
I get a bit choked up thinking about how these friends have refreshed and blessed my life.. they are truly gifts from the Lord. Can you relate to having friends like Mary Jo and Ollie? Shakespeare said it best when he penned these words:
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend, All losses are restored and sorrows end.There is simply something wonderful about friends that refresh! Can you relate?
... originally posted in July 2010