Monday, September 20, 2010

The kindness of friends

3:40 p.m. Today's project was to enjoy a nice visit with my dad, relax with Steve after a hectic weekend, and continue taking out plants that are drinking up water but are no longer producing high quality vegetables. The day began with a cell phone beep at 6:00 to come downstairs and write an anecdote to accompany the commentary and Bible study questions on the second half of Galatians chapter 5. I had tried to get going with it while Steve was napping yesterday afternoon after church, but decided to just reword some questions and references instead because my time was limited.
This morning, the Holy Spirit prompted me to write about the Fruit of the Spirit for Lesson 12, using my gardening experience over the years as an illustration. The planning, execution, nurturing, battling with enemies and ultimately, the victorious harvest all mirror our walk with the Lord, and our dependence on Him to develop good, worthwhile life-fruit. "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control," Galatians 5:22-23 says.
Kindness is the fruit I would like to focus on today when I think of my friends Cindy, Charlotte, and Debbie. On Monday of last week, Charlotte and her husband Howard invited Steve to come over and help in their orchard, freeing me up to write for 3 hours. Friday, Debbie and her husband Bob took Steve to see "Cats and Dogs" at the $2 movie theater and I got another chapter done. Late Friday afternoon, my neighbor Cindy brought over a homemade peach cobbler as a "thank you" for our Bible study! We've been enjoying that scrumptious treat over the last few days, a real bright spot on our menu! Heated, with a touch of whipped cream on top-- heavenly! I Timothy 6:17 says that the living God "gives us richly all things to enjoy," and that includes friends, food, and fun.
For all of the potential sadness Steve and I could be experiencing as his Alzheimer's progresses, God has sent us multiple sources of blessed enjoyment each day. The support of friends and their timely kindness mean so much in this difficult season. For Steve to feel useful and occupied, invited and welcome, is the best kindness of all!

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