My friend returned from overseas last week. She has been gone for over three months. I missed her and continued to pray for her family of 8 as their absence was felt. I was disappointed when I didn't see her at church yesterday morning. I saw her husband and some of her kids, but entered into a conversation with another friend and was convinced I missed her.
Today after work, I was racing and entered a very busy Costco with the intent of grabbing my dozen items and heading out the door as soon as possible. Costco was swamped and slow moving. As I rounded the corner after selecting my greens, squash and a pumpkin pie, I saw her third son by the baked goods. I said hello and asked who he was with.
He shouted, "My mom!"
And just at the moment, I felt my missed friend's hands on my arm and within a split second, I was enveloped into an amazing heart to heart embrace. You know those kind of hugs. Where your arms hold tight and breathing becomes just a little bit easier. The kind of hug where you weren't really sure what you needed up until that minute, but you find it was that hug was needed all along.
Oh, how I enjoyed catching up. Sharing our hearts and how we were praying for each other. To see someone's face to face, mask and all, to hear the words come from their mouth rather than read them from a text or email. More hugs were exchanged as prayers were said in the middle of Costco today.
In these times of Covid-19, do not forsake relationships. Foster friendships. Love each other and pray for each other. Knowing that some relationships with family and even friends can be strained during this time, find ways to practice forgiveness if need be so that you can continue loving, being encouraging and always kind. And as it was proven today, always stop in Costco, forget your to-do lists and warm your heart with a long overdue hug.
Thank you, Michelle. Much love to you this evening.