“Ya’ll make yourself at home,” my friend calls from the back bedroom, “I’m setting up mama’s lunch tray.”
I answer the question lodged on my children’s face. “Mrs. Bonnie’s mother lives here also. Mrs. Laura is ninety-five years old and is as healthy as a horse. She’ll probably outlive us all.”
I select my favorite coffee mug from the back of the cabinet. I know it’s here somewhere I mutter to myself. In a hushed voice my thirteen-year-old son said, “Mom that’s rude. You don’t go through people’s stuff.” Smiling at my jubilant find and the phrase on the mug I extend my arm so the kids could read the mug and said, “Normally, that is correct, but when you’re friends, you are allowed to make yourself at home.”
Unpacking the kid’s lunch we had earlier prepared, I swiftly moved about her kitchen. “How do you know where everything is located,” my daughter asks, propping herself up on the bar stool.
“I don’t,” I answer, arranging a handful of cherries next to her peanut butter and Nutella sandwich on her plate, “I simply imagine where I would put things if I lived here.”
The sky had retained the gravel-gray hue all morning. A murmuring rain gently fell dancing on the blooms of Bonnie’s garden of Impatiens. Cupping our fresh brewed coffee, we soaked up the friendship on her front porch.
For the next several hours, we refilled our coffee mugs, and refilled our hearts, catching each other up on the beautiful and gritty details most would not understand. Beyond sharing the same church and circle of friends, we also share the common thread of long-suffering and chronic illness.
“Church isn’t a building; sometimes it’s a friend with cherries and hugs.”-Bonnie M.
“Samuel to my Eli,” was the phrase she used to describe such events. Young Samuel spoke a prophetic word over an older Eli. While not all us have the gift of prophesy, we all speak words of encouragement over our friends. We can all be a “Samuel to our Eli’s.”
“Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25, NIV
As the summer rain refreshes the parched flowers, so does deep-rooted friendship refresh my soul.
When did our culture shift from relaxing front porch coffee to scheduled coffee shop chats? I’m reviving the lost art of porch coffee.
Come on in. I’ve got coffee on.
~April Dawn White