Mu called me early this morning, after we had gotten our kids and husbands out the door. We planned where we should meet for morning coffee and battle strategizing.
"I love the coffee at the bistro but they don't serve eggs there," I lamented.
"The atmosphere is good there, but I wish they would have bagels. I've mentioned it to them but they haven't taken the hint" she said with a tone of frustration. "The only thing that really gets me up in arms is when people don't give appropriate homage to food."
We then agreed to rush through a shower and meet at 9am at an alternate location. This place had a fireplace, okay coffee, and scored a 6 on atmosphere. We'll take it.
So we met. We talked. We laughed. I admitted where I was struggling in my attitude. "You've got a lot of internal conflict, you know that?" she said with a concerned look on her face as though maybe I should be eating more spinach and then the iron would fortify me and I would be more resolute, stable. We then talked about a decision she was contemplating making. Did I say contemplating? Mu does a lot of that. I have to encourage her to get to the "making" part of decision making. We never did bother to refill our coffee cups because we were too engrossed in our conversation.
Good conversation seems to come with an inordinate amount of trust- and trust can only be earned. It can never be commanded or expected. I trust Mu. I never labor when I'm with her. I never try to think of a way to perfectly express something so that she understands. She understands my words, my meaning, my silences, my looks. Oh, the looks we give each other, and then we burst out laughing. She knows what I mean even by one eyebrow raised, hand waving in the air, my right foot constantly tapping the ground. I don't even know what I mean by that- but she does!!
She came into my life 7 years ago and I wasn't even directly, specifically, asking for a best friend. I know God must have seen that I needed one, but I never made a specific goal chart with a check off list on how to find a best friend. I was conscious of my need for a friend, and I took one tiny step one day, inviting her to go shopping with me, but then the rest, as they say, is history.
Yes, I had a bit of a choice in the matter. I had eyes to see, so to speak, that she was there, and for some reason I saw something in her that made me dare to make an attempt to get together. I never expected the friendship of my life to occur. I never expected a friend who sticks closer than a brother. I just made a couple of small choices - noticed her, invited her, and opened up a teeny tiny bit. Just a tiny bit. But then each time we got together I found there was reason for me to open up even more.
I had every reason to fear she could betray me or be two faced, at some point- because I had known girls like that growing up, and then young women like that. I've known Christians who dare to act like they would never hurt you but are so unaware that they have the potential to do so. The fact they do not realize how low they could go is what scares me about people like that. We should all know , as the apostle Paul did, that we are the worst of sinners. We should be realistic about our shortcomings, our mixed motivations, our potential to avoid truth and to fudge and to hedge and to paint better pictures of ourselves than what is real.
But every time we make a choice to invest in an endeavor, in a person, in a relationship, we are on the brink of something. What that is- I don't know. It could be something great or it could be something painful. I've had some painful relationships, some terrible "friendships" and I could have made the choice to never go "there" again.
Fortunately when I met Mu, I did not have to choose to become best friends with her. I just had to choose to take the next step and see what happens. I never even knew the first couple years we were friends that we were becoming best friends. Thats what some miracles are like- you can't even tell when they're happening, at first.
Fear often precedes a miracle. That's probably what Lori Smith would say, author of A Walk with Jane Austen. She delved into the world of Jane Austen, traveling through the English landscape and personally connecting with the famous author through similar observations, experiences, questions, and trials.
"There are always fears. Maybe for some people there aren't, but I am not one of those people. C.S. Lewis said every time you make a decision, you change the central part of you that chooses... Every time you make a decision- to live your life, to do the things that call you- you change what you are likely to do the next time you have a choice," Smith writes.
The next time I have a choice to make it could be a miracle-in-the-making. Each time I decide to take just one more step, my life changes radically. I may not be able to tell, in that very moment I choose something. I can't even take credit for it- because I didn't even know it was a miracle that I took a step towards.