Might as well get the bawlin’ mess part out of the way right off the bat. On the day of my sweet Little Mama’s funeral, Mary Helen Garrett pulled me aside and wrapped me in her arms. “I’m an orphan,” I sobbed. “Nonsense!” came the quick reply. “You’re mine now.”
And her daughter, Jamie, is as close as a sister. Everybody needs a best friend. I have the best one of all. Apart from my husband, few people know me better or love me more than Jamie Stephens. Her husband will tell you we’re so similar in our thinking he’s pretty sure we share a brain! I’m not certain that’s a compliment, but whatever, Dwayne. Having her friendship for the better part of 35+ years is one of my greatest blessings.
Jamie’s family, the Garretts, have always treated me like one of their own. But in the days following the loss of my mother, Mary Helen and Jamie swept me up, wrapped me up in the love of family, and pulled me up out of the pit of grief. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for them. I’d give any one of ‘em a kidney, y’all!
I can never repay such kindness. But you know what is certain? I’ll spend the rest of my life on the lookout for ways to exemplify that kind of love. To them. To others.
Before he became King of Israel, David had that kind of friend. His name was Jonathan, the son of King Saul, whose jealousy burned so bright against David that he made all kinds of attempts on David’s life (See 1 Samuel 18-20). Seems to me Saul could’ve learned a thing or two from Mary Helen about how to treat your kid’s friends, but I digress.
In the moments when David was most alone and afraid, God provided a Jonathan. Jonathan made a covenant of friendship with David that overrode Saul’s hatred and underscored God’s kindness toward His children. Scripture describes this aspect of God’s nature in one of the names given Him: Jehovah-Jireh. The God who provides. At just the moment I needed a mother’s love, God provided a Mary Helen.
We’ll spend this week looking at how God provides for you and me at precisely the right moment. He’s never on our schedule, but He’s never late, friends.
Who has God brought into your life at pivotal moments? Who has shown you such kindness and care that you would never hesitate to provide care for them or theirs?