November 20, 2008 | My Jottings
I have always loved this verse from Galatians:
Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
I have experienced this blessing with the friendships God has given me. There are some burdens that just seem too heavy to carry alone. So in His mercy, He brings along friends who are temporary burden-bearers, and suddenly the load I’m carrying seems lighter and more manageable.
A few days ago I received a card from a friend I haven’t seen in a long time. Inside the card was a little booklet of handwritten cards, tied together with pretty ribbons. I cried when I read through them all.
Diane moved to a neighboring state years ago and our contact has been infrequent, but there are strong bonds between Christian friends that distance and time can’t sever. My friend told me that she hadn’t been able to sleep one night, so she was up in the wee hours putting together this little booklet of encouragement for me.
Inside, Diane took the time to write out many scriptures, meaningful quotations and heartening words to uplift my soul.
Even her handwriting felt like a hug to me, reaching out over the miles and telling me she cared.
One of the things Diane wrote that really struck me was “I’ve pitched my tent in the field of hope.” And in the midst of difficulties that bellow, “There is no hope!”, I pictured myself doing just that – pitching my tent in the field of hope.
It’s a decision I’m making. I’m pitching my tent. These fields of hope don’t look like hopeful fields should look, in my mind. There are no tall, whispering grasses and beautiful wildflowers bending in the breeze. I don’t see any sheltering majestic oaks dotting this field. There are no songbirds overhead nor the meditative buzzing of bees. This field I see looks rather rocky and barren. This field of hope doesn’t look like any field I would choose in which to pound down stakes, but I guess that isn’t what’s important.
What is important about this field is that hope is there. My friend Diane reminded me of that. And on this Thankful Thursday, this is what I’m giving thanks for. For the field of hope. For the flimsy but very real tent I’ve pitched there. And for a sensitive, loving friend who spent her sleeplessness not tossing and turning, but crafting a booklet for me, to uplift and encourage.
What are you thankful for on this day in November of 2008?