Welcome home. We are so glad to see you.
The enormous stalks of sunflowers in my flower box seemed to be cheerfully whispering to us as we stepped into our backyard. I couldn't BELIEVE how beautiful they were. My daughter had wanted so desperately to plant sunflowers this year. I have NEVER been able to grow them. We had been watering them and watering them since April and still nothing. It seemed those stalks were going to grow up and over our fence with not even a morsel of yellow. I bid farewell to them before we left for our two week vacation and, even though one of my friends would be watering my plants while we were away, I figured they would simply die. I was wrong.
"I didn't think your sunflowers were going to make it so I gave them a little fertilizer. Hope that's ok," my dear friend, Melanie, texted me upon our arrival. "Welcome home," she said.
I clipped those flowers and immediately placed them on our kitchen table. My heart swelled in gratefulness. I have wonderful friends. Melanie is one of those wonderful friends.
She is a listener. She is wise. She is a servant. She engages. She is a mother and a wife. She is compassionate. She loves animals. She loves Jesus. She is a real person... with real struggles. She struggles with honesty. She wrestles. She fights for Christ. She is an excellent friend.
There are few excellent friends. An excellent friend is one who more than waters your plants. She fertilizes. What kind of friend am I? Am I caring well for the body of Christ? Am I more than watering? Am I taking the time to go above and beyond? Am I noticing dry, parched souls in need of more than I was "asked" to give?
Jesus says, "This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:12-13)
I am so easily irritated by people. I long to love more. Jesus help me love the body. Help me notice those hurting. Give me eyes to see. Give me the wisdom to know how to more than water... to fertilize.
Thank you, sweet Melanie, for being an example of a friend... the kind of friend Jesus describes. You have poured more than water into our family over and over again. My soul is richer having been blessed by your friendship.