Today I had lunch with a parishioner with whom I have a special relationship. This woman has had a pretty remarkable journey through life, and we often have deep conversations about all manner of things. At various times she has offered to be a listening ear and confidante for me, and I believe that she is an appropriate person for me to trust in this way.
Today we talked about relationships. I shared with her the gory details of the ups and downs of the close friendship that has been causing me significant grief of late, and she listened. She also made some insightful comments, and offered some suggestions of things that I should raise with my counsellor when I see her on Monday. She also spoke of some books that she had found helpful in her own struggle with relationships and boundaries in the past.
I feel so blessed to have a number of close friends that I can talk to about this deep emotional stuff, and that the people whom I can trust in this way come from different eras and spheres of my life. So among them, they have a variety of experiences, insights and wisdom that they can share with me.
Tonight when I arrived for the Beechworth pub night (gotta love a congregation that says the only compulsory event for their minister to attend is the monthly pub night), there was a sealed paper bag waiting for me, with "Books for Caro" written on it. My lunch partner had hunted down the books she mentioned and sent them along to the pub with another couple from the congregation, with the instruction not to open the bag till I got home.
When I got home, I discovered that in with the books on relationships she had told me about, there was also an autobiography of a lovely lady who I know from one of the nursing homes where I conduct worship services, and who my friend had regarded as a mentor and role model as a godly woman she had known for many years. Along with the books, there was also a note, saying what a blessing I am to her. The feeling is certainly mutual.
So it looks like I have a whole lot more reading material for my time in Sydney, that will certainly keep my mind off illness, cancer and death.
Thanks be to God.