I have a friend who calls about once a week. I have to admit when my caller id identifies her, sometimes I toy with the idea of letting it go to voice mail. Her standard greeting is always, "Are you okay? I haven't heard from you for a while."
I never have a chance to explain how "we are" because she's ready with her list of things to share with me.
She tells me her son only visits twice a week. Her grandson only comes on Sunday to take her to Church and out to eat. Her granddaughter only calls about once every other week, and on her list goes.
I spent almost an hour on the phone with her one day suggesting things she could do to help her loneliness. I suggested she call someone in the nursing home. She couldn't do that because even though she is healthy enough to live on her own in her own her home, she knew she was worse off then anyone of them. She was lonely. They have people to talk to. I suggested she read. She said you can only read so many books. And I think you get the picture.
Finally I said to her.
"You know what? You're like one of the Israelites. They wandered around for forty years in the desert. Complaining about everything. They could have been across the desert in eleven days. You have manna every morning and quail every night."
I know my words fell on deaf ears, because she was thinking of what she needed to tell me next.
Before we hung up she said, "you just don't know how lucky you are. You have so many friends who love you. I have no one who cares and no one who ever comes around."
You have to be a friend to have one.
I know she's lonely and alone. She's been like that all her life.
I think how many times I get stuck in that "woe is me" pattern.
I'm trying to remind myself to be thankful when I get an email from a friend telling me they miss me, or someone stops by the house with a plate of cookies.
One of the neighbor kids brought me a bunch of flowers, they were actually weeds she picked herself. I stuck them in a vase and displayed them on the dining room table.
Thank you Lord for the weeds in my life.