I felt like all of the energy I ever had had left me. I walked through the hallway, coat in hand, almost dragging on the floor. I felt heavy and worn out. This week had been so long and this day, even longer.
My friend saw me and slowed down. Our eyes met and I could tell by the look he gave me that all the emotions I was feeling were very clearly displayed across my face. In mutual understanding, as we got closer to each other, he opened his arms and engulfed me. For a brief moment, I rested there, my head against his chest.
“Are you going to smile today?” he asked as he released me.
“Have I not been smiling lately?” I asked looking up at him. I couldn’t remember if I actually had been in a good mood the last few times he had seen me. He responded saying that I had, I just didn’t look like I was going to today. I don’t remember what I said or what he said as we walked away. That doesn’t really matter though.
What matters is his kindness. It’s the soft way he looked at me. The gentle way he treated me when I could not have handled anything else.
This is why I appreciate my friends so much. It’s why I put so much value in friendships, why I cherish them the way I do. Would I have gotten through yesterday without running into my friend? Well, yes, of course. And did running into him really change the course of my day? No, not really. But it did remind me he cared for me. It did give me a moment of relief I didn’t know I would find. It warmed me and pulled me away from the numbness of my mind for a second.
You know when you just have this feeling that someone you know has a piece of your heart? I love that feeling because it reminds me that my heart is big enough to let everyone I have loved, everyone I love now, and everyone I will love have a piece. And thank the Lord for giving us the ability to love and care for people, for teaching us to love, and for being the very essence of love who loved us first and more than we could ever fathom.