On Saturday afternoon, David and I began to feel our own mortality. We received a call that a dear friend of ours had collapsed and was being rushed to the hospital.
Susan and her husband, Jack have been friends of ours for over 20 years. Jack is a veterinarian and Susan runs his clinic. They dedicated their service to God by helping animals and the people who claim to own them.
Susan is a huge dog-lover and has raised several champion Corgis. She and Jack have "fostered" several animals that have been dropped off at the clinic because their owners had no interest in saving them. Some of these "orphans" have found great homes and a few continue to be familiar faces at the clinic.
On Saturday, Susan found herself living the words that she has counseled many of her friends with over the years. In this crazy, violent world that we live in it all comes down to trusting God. Right now, Susan is limited to a world not of her own making and most certainly not of her own choice.
When you have a friend who has helped you weather countless storms over the years, it is hard to see them helpless. As her daughter Jackie said to another friend of mine, "We will all just have to grow up."
There are those who set the standard in their every day lives by dedicating it to doing God's work. Susan's scriptures are filled with copious notes, and worn binders because of her readiness to open them and find the "right" scripture to answer a question or to present a thought.
But it isn't just Susan's dedication to study, prayer and service. It is her friendship and sense of humor that makes her a joy to be around.
She has taught Jr High and High School youth in her Sunday School classes for many years. Her Sunday school class doesn't end with her shutting the door on the classroom. Susan makes herself available to kids of all sizes and ages for any support that they might need.
We need the Susans of this world. They are the ones who comfort us when we cry. They give us reality checks when we are off course or pray for us in times of great darkness and despair.
For the person who has everything that life can offer, what can you possibly give them back in return?
Susan's treasure is her unwavering faith in God. It will not diminish because Susan is unable to speak. It is a continuing echo of the words that she has spoken to us over the years.
Her gifts of friendship are priceless to us all and it makes us all the more determined to provide the support that she will need in the coming weeks.
Friendships are formed for all kinds of reasons. Some endure and others disintegrate. It is the commitment of being a friend that keeps your treasure chest of blessings full.
Being Susan's friend has meant that my life has overflowed with blessings. There are bonds that cannot be broken if they are formed with love and respect.
Our faith may be tested by the trials and tribulations of this world. And goodness knows we have been tested more in the past few years than ever before.
We cannot make it through the storm without the faith that is beyond the realm of this world. We cannot live as though we are islands and pretend that our own puny strength will carry us through.
A week ago, Susan was walking in the forefront proclaiming the promises of God to her peers. Today, we are lifting her up in prayer and are willing to bear her burdens for her.
Life is too short to haggle over the petty details. We can all come together if we choose to leave our shoes of pride at the door.
How we get to the threshold of understanding might be a separate journey for us all, but when we knock and ask a Higher Power for wisdom- all of our lives will become a very different
Susan leaves her shoes at the door and calls upon Someone who is far wiser than herself. She reads the messages and road maps to keep her bearings and helps those who are lost and weary.
We all need a friend like Susan.