The boy and I, we’re out with the wind and the last of the day, putting our shoe marks on the earth. The tractor path is green with grass already, even though the fields are still brown and the walk is laid out perfectly.
We pull on mittens over chilled fingers, but breathe in deep the evening cool. He’s chattering away about baseball catches and tire thickness when he switches to “and that’s where we have to ride the dirt bikes around that tree in the path, and that’s where I rolled down the hill and got my scar, and through those trees are where we found a camping spot…”and I smile quietly at his memories. It’s then, when my eyes leave the trail and follow the tree line up, that I notice their bare-ness, and although grouped together, they all look painfully alone. And I feel the slight choke at the realization that I can’t completely tell the dead from the living. My breath is caught and held because, I fear, my relationships probably look a lot like these.
I’m not confident which ones are alive and well and which ones have moved, or are in the process of, moving on, and for a people pleaser that’s a recipe for sleepless nights.
The Hebrew word for friend is rea’, and my group of rea’ is small (introverts are like that). But if that’s true, all the more worry. I don’t have much to lose. I could say the world’s been falling apart, but everyone already knows that. We all have worlds unraveling in some capacity. So the question becomes, what am I going to do about it?
The camera shutter opens and closes and I’m snapping pictures of all these barren trees and they begin to take on life and I want to hold each of them, desperately wanting to love life back into them.
And I laugh at myself. Tree hugger.
It’s not the trees that need me, they’ve got a Creator that shifts the sun and the seasons and sends chlorophyll coursing through wooden rings and spiny twigs and those alive will blossom with this years green tops. No. It’s not the trees.
It’s the friends. My rea’. And no matter where we each are in the relationship, it’s the moment of putting down the screen, the dirty dishes, the appointment calendar and picking up a hand, a pen, and saying, writing, reconnecting. Your words, your connection, your caring is the chlorophyll that pumps life back into relationship.
Job learned the magnitude of this and his lowly move was the final conclusion in a story of a world collapsing.
“When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes.” Job 42:10a (NLT)
Read it again.
Job is teaching me much. Those friends, Job’s rea’. They were on the brink of a total break-up. And then they asked God for forgiveness and Job PRAYED for them. AND THEN his fortunes were restored.
Friends, I’m not looking for a fortune, I’m looking to keep my rea’ alive. And although I have a long way to go and I walk slow, I have begun to pray for the women in my life. Each of them. By name. And my fortune will be the life of those connecting to their Savior.
Join me? And may prayers fill the skies. May names of women be uplifted and encouraged, not trampled and forgotten.
And if you have nothing else to grasp onto, post this up, “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
You are REjoiced over by a God who wants to REconnect with you!
Read THAT again, sister!
In pure prayer,