Of Friendships and Peanut Butter
She was the friend who invited me over for peanut butter and jelly one day.
Juggling our kids in the hallway after Thursday morning Bible study, she spontaneously invited my kids and I, and several other moms and kids, over for a spontaneous let’s-scrounge-up-and-share-whatever-food-is-available-lunch. Over peanut butter and grape jelly, we smoothed toddlers’ faces, nursed babies, and poured endless tin cups of milk and water. Her dining room and kitchen were deliciously lived in, and she welcomed us into her life and home, teaching me mounds about true hospitality. Moms and kids were welcomed, safe; crumbs were allowed; and our conversations flowed long that afternoon.
Today she drove here under gloomy clouds, pulling a trailer behind her. Despite an ominous sky, the websites cheerily announced a scant ten percent chance of precipitation. Two daughters piled out, clambering up my steps, and racing comfortably into the house. My youngest ones were happy for companionship too.
We poured hot coffee, pulling wooden chairs close to talk over kids and toys. Peering out the windows we worried about rain.
“Will your bookshelves be okay? Do you have tarps?”
The last of our belongings were coming home today, if the thunderstorms would hold off long enough. Grey skies suddenly split and the rain smashed loud against the deck and house.
“Do you have a bit of leeway?” I wondered. “Can we wait ten minutes to see if it clears?” We checked storm radar websites, guessing at the duration.
Fifteen minutes later, in a lull, we dashed across the yard to her truck. Soaking wet, we clinked seatbelts and turned on the vents. “Everything we do together becomes an adventure,” she laughed.
Two hours later, I hugged her, and she drove away. Raindrops were evaporating off my bookshelves, but they were safely home.
During some time in God’s word last week, I came across an NIV study note that grabbed my attention. Being a language lover, the Latin interpretation of a word struck me. Did you know that “companion” means “with bread”? Your friends and family, the people you do life with, that come “with bread” — cum panis –those are your companions.
Who are your “with bread” people? Which of the people in your life take time to do life together, to invite you over for coffee or peanut butter sandwiches, or who linger to talk long?
It makes me ponder where am I doing life “with bread” as well? Who am I being intentional about doing life with?
It takes time. It takes effort, but it’s worth it. So, this week, this summer, pause with me… Don’t worry about the state of your home, and look at the people around you. Who can you invite over for peanut butter and grape jelly? Where can you drive a trailer, or invite kids over for an afternoon, and do life “cum panis,” as companions?
Had you heard this interpretation before? How are you intentional about building companions? Who is someone who has embodied this to you?