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Sometimes it really is the thought that counts.

Last week BMIWW asked me to babysit for her Monday afternoon.  I was happy to say yes.  I don’t get to spend nearly enough time with those kids.  Everything was clicking along, BMIWW was giving Eli his wash before taking him to the vet, the girls had eaten lunch and were settled into crafts and Barney for the afternoon, all was well.  Then BMIWW came out of the laundry room and said, “Do you know the real reason why you’re babysitting for me this afternoon?” I said, “Um, cuz you have errands to do?” She said, “I don’t want to tell you if it’s going to make you even sadder.” At this point she was so serious I was afraid she was going to tell me that someone had died, or I was being asked to move out, or… I don’t know what.  I don’t know what I said, but she relented.  “The Young Queen was supposed to come visit you.  She’s been calling here trying to arrange it for a while.  Then her ride fell through and she couldn’t come.  But she was going to surprise you.”

I stumbled back against the counter.  See, the Young Queen (so called because I think that’s what she looks like – those portraits of insanely young medieval royalty who carry their authority with so much confidence and self assurance) is one of my dearest friends ever.  She and I did a year of hard core traveling youth ministry on the same team.  We’ve seen each other at our best and at our worst, and loved each other through it all.  Her friendship is one of the best gifts God’s ever given me.  The only hard part is that she lives in Wisconsin, and I live in Ohio.  Neither of us has much money, so I haven’t seen her in almost two years.  We’ve been making plans to see each other in August, but August is a long way away.  To get to see my girl – I can’t even say how good it would be.

Even though I didn’t get to see my girl, it touches my heart to know how much she wanted to be with me, and the lengths she went to trying to make it work.  I didn’t know this was coming, so I don’t have any hopes or expectations to be dashed.  All I have is the delight of knowing how deeply I am loved.  And this disappointment will make our eventual meeting even sweeter.  So, Queen dearest, I love you (and I know that you will read this).  And I can’t wait to see you, whenever God lets that happen.

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