Her house was in piles, the leftovers of a busy and fruitful weekend spilling over into midweek. She had intended to tackle those mountains and get a fresh start on the remainder of the week, but I interrupted her.
I had questions and thoughts to sort out, and you know how sometimes you just need someone to hear? Not to come up with answers or methodically cheer you on, but just listen.
And she would tell me if I was crazy.
She said the house would wait and that I was more important.
She bought me coffee and she listened.
I stammered and spoke in broken sentences and grasped to get thoughts out into coherent phrases. Why is it that thoughts perfectly formed get all disfigured when they are spoken?
I twiddled fingers and I think I managed to get everything out, managed to convince at least myself that what I was thinking was right.
When I asked what she thought, she replied with her own question. What does your husband think?
She sacrificed her opinion, really.
She gave wise counsel and different perspective, as always, but she was careful not to overstep the bounds of friendship and sisterhood. Because so what if she thinks I should or shouldn't do x, y or z? I value her opinion but what if it's the opposite of my husband's? What does he think? She knew how to be a sounding board for my anxious thoughts and how to allow room for God to shape things.
And she did encourage me, said we serve a big God and she called me by name. Why does it mean so much when someone calls me by name? Catches me and lifts me and she could have just spoken generic words, but she chose words for me, for Tresta.
I came away more confident, certain that she was praying and if I was crazy and she was too nice to tell me, she would pray that I'd hear it from Him. Or my husband.
What a dear friend.
Today I took her example, left grammar and math and laundry behind for something more important. For someone who needed the sacrifice of my time. I rush by my own children on the way to the next task, day in and day out, and though I hear it a thousand times, I stopped short and remembered again today.
The laundry will always be there, the house will always need cleaning, the phone will ring and emails will pile up. "The tyranny of the urgent" my friend had called it yesterday, and I throw off the tyrant again and again.
I throw it off and call someone precious by name, try to listen well, pray hard, correct gently.