February’s Lesson: Got Friends?

“Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let's not be afraid to receive each day's surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy. It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.”  
    Henri Nouwen         

Did you learn anything special in February?

I changed my opinion about people.  Amidst the cable news stories of terrorists’ beheadings and drive-by shootings in cafes, good-hearted people came together in my small town and demonstrated love.  I saw it firsthand. 

When my doctor was diagnosed with cancer, his daughter was bummed.  She flagged down her prayer warring friends for help.  He was turning 53 and we decided to celebrate his life in style.  We threw him a party.  His old chums, family, and patients showed up with pot luck and birthday gifts.  His buddies, in a local band, entertained us.   I loved the way some of the guys told funny high school tales on him.  What a bunch of kind people that heard the call that one is sick among us and needs some cheering up.  These same people established a financial fund to help with his medical bills.

I’ll never forget the day I met him.  My son-in-law recommended his services because I could barely walk.  My back was out of alignment and I was desperate for help.  I saw improvement after my first adjustment.  On my second visit to his office, I called him my new best friend.    He was compassionate and cared not only about my physical problems, but my whole being.  He taught me exercises, reviewed supplements with me and held me accountable to change my diet to combat inflammation.  I believe he really wanted to help me get well.

He easily shared about his personal life and I found myself easily talking about mine.  He was curious about my food allergies and why they restricted me socially.  It’s embarrassing to go out to dinner and stress over the menu when you’re like me.  And you know how my fun co-workers order a glass of wine with their meal?  I reply with “No thank you; I’ll just have coffee,” explaining once again that fermented foods and drinks give me migraines.  Just once I would like to feel classy like the other girls and drink from a glass with a stem I told him.  I liked his answer:  “You don’t need wine.  You are happy enough.”  Yes, I am happy go lucky.  My family loves me and Jesus died for me.  All is good; I am approved. 


He finally arrived at the party.  I watched him enter the backyard bash and although he lost weight on his already small frame, he smiled warmly making the rounds with affectionate hugs.  He let us love him and show him how very much he means to us.   He danced with his mother and he posed with every guest for a photo.

1.       You can still be cool if all you drink is coffee in a fat mug.

2.     Life’s uncertainties are scary. 

3.      Friends get us through the hard times. 

That’s what February taught me.

Joining the writers today at Tell Me a Story
Linking to:  Spiritual Sunday 

The Weekend Brew


  1. This is just what I needed to hear tonight Mary! With all the negatives we are hearing around us, we forget what this kind of genuine caring love really is. THIS is what I wish we heard on the news every day. THIS is the way Jesus would do it! I loved this post. I'm betting your doctor loved this party and will never forget it.

  2. What beautiful lessons February taught you, my friend. Thank you so much for sharing this positive post

    I like your new background! Bright and cheery, like you!

  3. Wow. Tho' my day's just begun, it's already a GOOD day on account of this sweet tale. Too often I spend staring (um, glaring) at those 'pickles' among us and fail to appreciate all the good apples!
    Indeed, what would any of us be without the gift of friends.
    Holding your Danny in my prayers!

  4. What a blessing to demonstrate how Jesus teaches us to love on one another. I think my favorite part of this is where you said, "He let us love on him". That is hard to do, hard to let others take care of us when we are the care-takers ourselves.

    Coffee is classy! :)

  5. What a beautiful story of friends and family uniting together in fellowship for a loved one. This is a nice reminder to be content in the place that God puts us-and to enjoy life's simple and beautiful pleasures! :)

  6. What a very touching story. Made me teary eyed though because my younger sister has a cancer and the doctor said that she has only one month to live. So, like you said...life is full og surprises both good and bad.

  7. Hi Mary! What a beautiful thing to learn. (And I love coffee in a fat mug, it's my favorite!) I hope your doctor friend will respond well to his treatments and get better. In the meantime, you can savor his wisdom, and how his outlook on life changed yours. Powerful stuff...

  8. What a wonderful party celebrating a man who means so much to so many-and doing it while he can enjoy it. Each day is a blessing and as he blessed your life, you are blessing his.

  9. Too often people don't have the opportunity to see how they impacted the lives of those they touched until they are gone. What a wonder way to show him how much he is appreciated and loved by those he has helped. I'm sure it will be one of his favorite moments of his life.

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  10. Beautiful lessons, Mary. I enjoyed reading about every one of them. And I had to laugh - I can't drink wine either. So, why don't you and I get some fancy stemware and just fill it up with our coffee?!

    The lessons I learned in February came through a certain beagle. My granddog, Marty, teaches me so much about God.


  11. What a sweet thing to do for Doc, a party and a band too. He gave you good advice when he said, you have joy and don't need the wine. With all his nutritional education, I do hope he is taking an alternate route with his treatment. Thanks for sharing this inspiring post with us here at Tell me a story.

  12. That's a beautiful lesson to learn in February! Or any time of the year. Seeing love firsthand is what changes us. I'm glad you were able to participate in loving your doctor.

  13. Nice way of sharing. One thing that will make "me" funny to you is that I have not been using coffee since I was about turning 5, and something happened when I was with my mom. Anyhow, I can't even handle the smell of it. Most people LIVE with it happily. I can't. But other things YOU did, are similar to what I did in helping and encouraging people. Bless you...

  14. Wonderful story. We miss the best things sometimes in life. Glad you didn't this one. Praying for your friends.

  15. All I can think about is "beautiful" and what made it special was the bond of love that held all together! That's how His love operates...It's shared not kept. I knew...I was looking more with a big family of God!!! Always be joyful sister...hugs and prayers.

  16. Thank you so much for your comment about us controversy! I'll be on the lookout for the book you recommended!

  17. I agree with the list except for the coffee. Only because I'm a tea person. :)

    Happy weekend!


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