John and I did a good deed.
This past weekend, not only did we have our kickoff retreat, but our oldest daughter and her family were involved in a soccer tournament.
Nine-year-old Isley would have preferred being anywhere other than a soccer field. Her skill set is more in the area of theater, dancing, and singing. We included her in our weekend retreat–and invited her best friend in the world to come with us as well.
Talia and Isley are both friendly, enthusiastic, energetic, people-focused little gals with incredible conversational skills. They can talk to anyone about anything, asking questions and making credible statements that cause one to think they’re talking to someone older.
They talk a lot.
The first night, after all the excitement of seeing each other, laughing all the way to the venue, hanging out with new friends, I fully expected them to fall into bed. Early. Exhausted.
It didn’t help that John bought them ice cream before we headed to our room. Or watching a movie in the concourse. Pizza for dinner and a lot of soda didn’t help either.
They were singing at the top of their lungs till after midnight.
It was fun to listen to. For a while.
We didn’t sleep much, but we received no knocks at our door nor pounding on the wall to indicate they were serenading anyone else.
Sleeping in would have been a sweet reprieve, but that didn’t happen either. They wanted to go into the water before the first meeting.
I sound rather whiney, but I didn’t mind. It was such a treat to see two friends genuinely enjoying themselves and each other. No friction, no pettiness, no quibbling.
On the way home, we had one minor disagreement. We stopped to buy each girl a bouquet of flowers for their moms. There was one in particular that they both really loved and wanted. An array of vibrantly colored daisies; a handheld rainbow.
There was only one.
I’d found it, knowing Isley loves rainbows, thinking she’d want it for her mom. Talia, however, asked first. It would have been easy to just give them to Isley–she is my grand. I handed them to Talia, whose eyes became huge.
Isley’s lip quivered a tiny bit.
Talia noticed. And she handed the flowers to her friend and picked another bouquet.
No animosity. No anger. Just sharing.
These two met years ago and have been best friends since then. Even though they don’t get to see each other often. They get each other’s quirks, differences, stressors. They have what it takes for a lifelong relationship.
This is how God intended us to relate to others. With honesty and authenticity that allows others to see our stuff and doesn’t hold back from being real. There’s no fear of rejection because a commitment has been made; trust is mutual.
It’s the way Jesus views each of us, wanting to relate to us with that genuineness and intimacy.
He wants to immerse us in His love for and celebration of us.
The kind of relationship that stands the test of forever.