Saturday, October 31, 2009

"A Faithful Friend Is A Sturdy Shelter; He Who Finds One Finds A Treasure"

There is a proverb that says "A friend is one to whom one may pour out all the contents of one's heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away."

I first met Terri York a number of years ago when she was a shy young lady taking her first American Sign Language Classes as TCC.  At the same time she was interpreting in the public school system for a little deaf boy.  Terri was insecure about herself and doubtful regarding her skills.  Back then, she would leave the classroom saying that she just knew I did not like her.  When in fact, I believe I loved her from the first meeting.   Before our paths parted for a while, Terri cros-stitched a sweatshirt for me with the sign of Jesus on it.  I still cherish that sweatshirt to this day.  And, the Terri I know today is a bold, on fire, woman of God, working at ORU and standing up for everything she believes.  At the same time, she hangs drywall, paints, builds cabinets, shelves or whatever needs to be done to upgrade her home.

Terri tremendously impacted my life about five years ago when she calmly phoned me to ask me if I could cover an interpreting assignment for her --- her husband had just died. He collapsed at her feet in the yard and was gone.   I know she had to have been in shock, but she was so calm.  I did not see her much in the following year and while I'm sure she went through all the normal stages of loss,  grief  with denial, anger, bargaining, etc. she came out victorious.  She later took an interpreting assignment in Broken Arrow.  The contact I had  with Terri was amazing.  She did then and still does today constantly express how much she loves her life.  Terri has the ability through the strength of the Holy Spirit to bounce back.  When Terri began visiting COTM,  I met her great friend, Patti who now has a little home in Terri's back yard. 
I have a sneaky suspicion that Patti and Terri are the kind of friends that demonstrate "Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up."  Patti was there by Terri's side through all of the grieving process. 

Well having said all this, Terri just completed phase 1 of her remodeling home project.  So, she invited Ken and me along with Jimmy and Janie Schwyhart over for Bar-B-Q ribs and Apple Dumplings. 

I have to insert that Janie is another model of friendship.  For a season several years ago, Janie would come to my home with another friend for a time of soul searaching and prayer.  That season in our lives ended but the friendship is forever.  Remember the song:  "Friends are friends forever, if the Lord is the Lord of them."     Janie demonstrates that kind of friendship.  We rarely see each other, but I know she is there.   

So here is the secret: there is a problem which hides within myself .... I'm a recluse,  I have to make myself get out and do friend type stuff.  I have to make myself be hospitible. I have to conscientiously challenge myself to be sociable.   I find too much contentment in just my best friend and husband.  And I love doing for my grandchildren.   But I know that in order to be well-rounded, I have to work on maintaing other friendships.  God's Word says FAITHFUL FRIENDS ARE BEYOND PRICE; NO AMOUNT CAN BALANCE THEIR WORTH.  And that word Friends has a plural on it.    I had better get busy!  
So, after the viewing of Terri's creative art work in her remodeling endeavor, and after the sharing of one another's lives during a delicious dinner, this is how the evening ended .... in the hilarity of laughter.   This is what friends can do  for you.    Thanks Terri, thanks Janie, for being my friend.

Thanks for challenging me to be a better friend.  "My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me."  --- Henry Ford    ***  (By the way, what is up there Terri that you are looking at, or is it Papa you are talking to?) 
Click on photos to enlarge. 


  1. Terri wrote: I loved the blog!!!!! I had to choke back tears. I'm so glad we met and that I feel that I can call you "my friend". I'm sure Cliff just laughed...........he knew that I was so intimidated by you and wanted so much for you to approve of me following a hidden dream of becoming an interpreter. Thanks for coming over for dinner and sharing a part of your life with us. We must do it again.

  2. Janie Wrote: Jean, Your blog made me teary eyed. I just love you. I enjoyed last night so much...I want to do it again! The one thing I miss most about free lance work is working with you. You know...the only way we will ever get to spend more time together is to set a time to do it.