It’s been a full week.
Last winter, my husband and I made plans with John and Joëlle to attend two plays at Stratford this season. We saw Hamlet in spring, and enjoyed our weekend together. We always enjoy our time together.
My pick was The Diary of Anne Frank. I’d read the book in high school, whenever I felt the need to remind myself of the resiliency of the human spirit, when I was going to Amsterdam and saw her hiding place and her tree. We were leaving on Friday, returning Sunday. Even better, Joëlle and I had reconnected with someone we went to college with, more than half our lives ago. On Wednesday, I had arranged for the three of us to have dinner together afterwards. It was going to be a fantastic time of catching up. Just us girls.
On Wednesday night, life got in the way. On Thursday morning, my husband and I cancelled. “Give our tickets to a deserving couple you know,” I said. “Take someone who needs the encouragement.” I wanted it to be me, and I cried as I typed the words. Life had punched me in the side of the face.
On Thursday afternoon, the mail came. One card was from a person who doesn’t even like me.
I considered returning it unopened. Curiosity got the better of me, and I’m glad it did. The card features a mischievous kitten, and words that made me cry–for all of the best reasons.
Thursday’s mail brought a second card, two surprises in one day. “Your friendship is a blessing,” it said, words I needed to hear just then. On Friday, more encouraging words from another friend, someone we’d seen when we were home a few weeks ago. None of the cards were sent for a particular reason. It wasn’t even my birthday.
That evening, Joëlle said they would be taking her parents to Anne Frank. “How perfect,” I thought. We have adopted each other, and truthfully, I should have thought to give them the tickets myself. I cried again.
By Friday, my husband and I knew we needed reinforcements, so we called Dave. He was the Guy of Honour at our wedding.
“I can be there on Monday and stay for a week,” he said.
Yeah, that’s why he is the Guy, still.
Let’s face it. Life is hard. It’s hard, and it hurts sometimes. It’s just the way it is, and has always been. No one wants that. Yet this week, I’m reminded also how everything I’ve needed has been met. There is no coincidence in the timing of these blessings. There is, perhaps, a greater appreciation of them.
My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 (NIV)