NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Monday, July 6th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. Commentator Kim Henderson now on the importance of strong friendships.
KIM HENDERSON, COMMENTATOR: The restaurant server mouthed at me silently, “Almost time,” then joined her posse of pizza toters behind a customer unaware.
Good thing she gave me a heads up, since I had to find my phone (which is notoriously unfindable) and set the recorder (at which I am notoriously unskilled).
In spite of my deficiencies, though, I somehow managed to video it, that mélange of clapping and singing and a crowd being called to birthday attention. Yes, I got it (well, most of it), and the look on my friend’s face, too. You have to love a device that lets you store away a moment like that.
Because it isn’t often that six of us soul sisters (as in “walking the narrow road that leads to life” soul sisters) walk right on past the pile of whites that need folding and the floor that needs sweeping to drive somewhere solo at supper time. But we did that night, because we had some big celebrating to do around a gourmet Wild Greek pizza. Significant birthdays, you see, demand extravagance. No plain old sausage will do.
We were having an initiation of sorts—into the 40s club—and not a single one of us was wearing black. Or discussing that it’s the decade you start to fall apart. Oh, no. We at the birthday table chose to pass our plates and focus on the positive.
We mentioned mid-life achievements, like finally getting rid of those jeans we’ll never fit into again. And being okay with it.
We discussed how it feels to receive dividends from investments that are reaching maturity. (That would be our children).
We noted that reading glasses really are a great fashion accessory.
And we told stories—a heap of them—the kind that take a bit of mileage to acquire.
Somewhere in there, the wonder of technology allowed me to send footage from our party to the birthday girl’s mother four states away, all in the space of about a nanosecond. What mom wouldn’t delight in seeing her child celebrated, whether she’s turning 4 or 40? I should have sent her a photo of the birthday cake, too–a stack of chocolate-drizzled biscotti balanced on a piece of fine china.
Because later, over that birthday biscotti, we soul sisters put away the stuff of this world and focused on having half a life left and how we need to be living it. We talked the truth of who we are in Christ and what we hope to take into eternity.
It was a Proverbs picture of an abundance of counselors and iron sharpening iron and wounds that can be trusted.
It was good. Real good. And when we left that pizza place and returned to our laundry piles and unswept floors, we took something with us. A fresh desire to finish well.
For WORLD, I’m Kim Henderson.