Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Friendship (04/04/05)
TITLE: "Always A Friend, Rosie"
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“Always a friend, Rosie”. That is how she always signed every Christmas card and letter I received from her. Was this a casual greeting? Is it something a person might just let pass by with little notice? Perhaps, but over the years that phrase has become dearer to me.
Rosie knew how to be a friend. She was always celebrating birthdays and anniversaries with cards and letters. She had a busy life caring for relatives and friends who needed a ride to the doctor’s office or the grocery store. She probably does not think that these things constitute greatness, but I can tell you that her love and the joy she brought to my life through her friendship with me live on in my heart. The story of her friendship begins about fourteen years ago.
My frayed nerves were at the breaking point through lack of sleep and intense worry concerning the condition of my youngest son who we had taken to the emergency room with breathing problems. I stood in the adjoining room and held myself in a tense hug as I heard him scream in a raspy voice while they took blood and poked and prodded. I felt helpless and frightened.
The verdict was that he had developed pneumonia and needed to be admitted to the hospital for the night and, perhaps, another day or two. My husband, at home with our other two children was able to get help from, you guessed it, Rosie.
She was at our house the next day to care for the children, cook and clean. The greatest thing she did for me was something that she did not have to do, but she did it because she saw my need. When I came home exhausted, I went to the bathroom, opened the closet, and saw a wonderful surprise. The unclean towels I had had to leave in haste, she had washed and folded. She not only folded them, she folded them so that more towels than ever could fit on the shelves. Folding towels may not seem like much, but it spoke volumes about caring friendship to me.
Within the past year, I heard from Rosie. She wrote to me that she wished she could be here to take care of me as I faced my own painful medical issues. I know her prayers are more than enough. She is “always a friend” even though we live hundreds of miles away.
Today I reflect on how Rosie’s actions mirror the love of Jesus. Jesus is “always a friend” who sees our need. He takes the hastily left dirty towels of our lives and washes them, but he does something even more wonderful. He makes room for more in our lives by folding them in a way we had never thought possible.
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