Anne Shirley of Green Gables frequently referred to her bosom friend, Diana Berry, as her kindred spirit. While they were from two completely different walks of life, not only prior to meeting but also during the course of their friendship, their hearts connected from the moment they met. Kindred spirit...well, neither the dictionary nor Wikipedia do the term justice, so when I want to be reminded of what the endearing title encapsulates, I simply pull one of my treasured, tattered Anne books from the shelf.
The Lord graciously provided the means for my own kindred spirit to pay a brief visit this past week. Amber Shae and I have been friends since the age of five, and only attended school together for one year. Not that we are identical to the Misses Anne Shirley and Diana Berry (i.e. I'm not an orphan, and Amber doesn't have money out the wazzoo), but I am still reminded of some sweet parallels in our friendship. We do come from completely different backgrounds with completely different family situations, life-happenings, and we are currently in different seasons of life. I occasionally look ahead, wondering when I will ever be finished with school (don't get me wrong - I love it!), while Amber's husband is graduating in a matter of months just days after their first baby is expected to arrive. Amber has always been slow to speak, gracious and courteous in her approach and hospitality toward others, and seems to illustrate that which the New Testament refers to as a "gentle and quiet spirit." I, on the other hand, well... I'm still learning.
Amber and her husband took a whirlwind trip to Louisiana this past weekend for back-to-back baby showers with family and friends. Upon returning home, they stayed one night with me before driving the additional miles. We ate dinner together, then woke up the next morning to a breathtaking scene of sunshine, light breeze, flowers blossoming, and birds chirping. I took them up to the seminary for a tour and lunch in the cafe'. We didn't leave before stopping by and introducing Amber to Gretchen, as she had been curious about this friend I have met and grown to love in recent months. Amber and Greg left soon after lunch, and I was honestly a little saddened as they pulled away. Long-distance friendships can be somewhat bittersweet. While Amber and I literally talk everyday (thanks to the makers of Yahoo Messenger!), there is something to receiving a warm hug from a friend you haven't seen in over four years. Who knows when I will see this kindred spirit in person again, but one thing I know for sure -- the Lord has been gracious in keeping our friendship over these years, and while we have never lived in close proximity to one another, He has ordained our lives in such a way that our bond has remained. Thank You, Father, for such sweet gifts~