It was an ordinary Wednesday morning. I had the usual routine before leaving to meet friends for coffee and a chat, as we had met every Wednesday for the last six or so years. Some had been away, and so there was news to share. We chatted comfortably together, in familiar and pleasant company.
One showed us photos. She had been busy renovating a cottage at the beach. A cottage where she had spent holidays all her life. It was evident it was close to her heart. We were admiring the pictures. The beautifully refurbished rooms were attractive and inviting.
Suddenly my friend stopped telling us about her dreams for the place.
“I am going there on Friday for ten days. Come with me,” she said. I glanced up to see her looking at me.
“Oh, well, um …” The invitation had taken me by surprise. I was in the middle of a building project and my mind spun with options, reasons why I could go; and reasons why maybe I shouldn’t.
“Come on,” she said. “There will be friends there – eight of us. Travel with me and join us.”
“I’d love to,” I said, my heart drumming with excitement at this unexpected adventure. “But I’ll need to chat to the builder and see if he will need me at all during the next week.”
We agreed I would have my chat and let her know whether it would be possible for me to go. And the conversation moved on, including the other ladies there. But I could not get the invitation out of my mind and my thoughts spun around, distracting me from the discussion, whirling with hope and objections, mixed in a maze of options.
So I had my chat with the builder.
“Go,” he said. “We don’t need your input next week, and we’ll just carry on with what we have to do.”
I checked my diary. Nothing that would stop me from leaving town; and that evening it was with a thrill of excitement I phoned my friend.
“You have a travelling companion,” I informed her.
“That’s wonderful! How exciting!” And we chatted about leaving times and logistics for a while.
As I went to bed that night I was delighted with the sudden new plans that had come from nowhere. I had been longing to have a few days out of town; some time to sit and look at a view, to write for my blog and the new book I knew I had to start soon; to relax and distance myself from the hurly-burly of city life.
Suddenly I knew God had provided this place, this friend, this time. And so as I sit here, in this cosy room with others reading, dozing, sewing, I sing a silent hymn of praise to my God who loves me so much He has given me this gift through the graciousness and generosity of my friend.
And my heart sings ‘Thank you,” to all who have made this time possible. It is food for my soul; a time of renewal and I am full of gratitude.