It is amazing how people get connected to each other. We think the world is a big place, yet, we connect with one another from the most unlikely places and in the most unexpected ways. One is a stranger in another land, a connection is made and a friendship is forged. Such is my friendship with Carol Cartwright or my friendship with Pam and her mom, Barb, or Susan, the writer. Friendships unimagined, become reality by a book, a blog, a meeting, or a chance encounter. (A chance encounter is often an ordained appointment to connect.) When a connection is made, the inner “knower” just clicks in telling you this is good. This is right.
Today is my friend – Carol Cartwright’s birthday. A very happy birthday to Carol. I know God brought Carol into my sphere of friends to be a mentor, counselor and teacher, a trusted friend. I want to honour her for teaching me, for mentoring me, for counselling me in spiritual ways. So often those who have laid down their life for the Gospel, have not been appreciated for that sacrifice. How many times have you heard of a pastor and their family in dire need as the church has not been able to or not willing to pay a good wage for the job of teaching and ministering to the spiritual needs of the people? There are stories of excess and stories of neglect when it comes to ministers. Oh, I digress.
Back to the birthday girl, I first saw Carol in the 1980’s in Vancouver, thinking I would never be a close, trusted friend. But, that is exactly what happened. Now, over 20 years later, we still appreciate and love each other. My family loves her family. Her family loves our family. She loves Canada, Canadians and has equipped many christians into spiritual maturity. Always gracious, always willing to help hurting people, Carol is a true minister of the gospel and friend. Today, enjoy your family and birthday dinner, from your many, many, spiritual children in Canada.
Thinking of mentors – another true mentor was Molly MacMillan. A truly gracious, godly woman. Sadly she is no longer with us, but, she was a trusted friend, a beloved friend, always encouraging and loving. I was so honoured and blessed to have been Molly’s friend. Through Molly, I met Adrienne and Debbie, her daughters. More friendships forged, bringing my friend Jilly and her family into my circle. The circle is ever expanding just by one person being a friend, Molly to Adrienne & Debbie, to Carol, to Jilly, to Sarah, to Lizzie, to little Sophie and to Jamie, my other spiritual daughter. Just one connection brings unexpected pleasure and great friendships.
Do you know, YOU can be a treasured friend, a trusted friend and in return be a mentor, a trusted friend back to someone today. It just takes a connection, often in an unexpected way. That’s right, Pam and Barb; treasured friends I met through Susan. Now that was a most amazing way to make a connection.
Happy Birthday Carol. You are loved and honoured today for giving of yourself to Adrienne and me. Here we are in Ottawa so many years ago. Look at our hair, not a strand out of place.
Now that you are back home, I have been thinking of ……… oh, I will wait for you to rest first.