"Oil and perfume make the heart glad; so a man's counsel is sweet to his friend." Proverbs 27:9 (NAS)
"I got my first stone."
That was my announcement at a luncheon a few months ago with some of my favorite women. Patty has a gathering of her older friends at her home to celebrate various occasions, and this time it was Billie's birthday.
I happened to be the youngest woman at the luncheon, and I love listening to and learning from these seasoned and sage ladies. We discussed spiritual things, home décor, and of course, their grandchildren.
Then came the moment for my big contribution to the conversation: "I got my first stone."
There was an awkward pause.
I couldn't figure out why they were so shy to respond. Maybe they're unfamiliar with stones, I thought, and how much better they are than traditional baking sheets. Or maybe they don't know how much better a pizza crust turns out on a stone.
But my thoughts were interrupted by a brave older woman as she asked, "Honey, what kind of stone, kidney or gall?" I began to giggle.
"I meant the kind you bake with!" They all chuckled, and reminded me that the kinds of stones that came to mind during their stage of life had little to do with baking. Yet these geriatric gals knew their stuff, and quickly began to tutor me on the proper use of stones.
"Don't use soap on it," one instructed.
Oh, and if it breaks in your oven, the sound is awful so don't be alarmed," another advised.
Since I left that luncheon, I have never used or thought of my stone in quite the same way. But here's what I have thought. "Thank You, Lord, for women who walk together, talk together, do life together, cry together, grow together and laugh together."
Do you have someone in your life who makes your soul blossom? Scripture reminds us that "oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel" (Proverbs 27:9).
Your faith will continue to grow as you fasten yourself to faithful friends who give good counsel. Whether they instruct you about baking stones or lead you to the "rock that is higher" (Psalm 61:2), they will enrich your life. And, if you don't feel you have that kind of friend, become one. Someone needs a charming gardener to bring joy to their life. You have a friend who sticks closer than a brother, lean on him, he will never leave or forsake you.
"Keep me safe, O God, I've run for dear life to you. I say to God, "Be my Lord!" Without you, nothing makes sense. And these God-chosen lives all around — what splendid friends they make!" (Psalm 16:1-3, The Message).
Dear Lord, help me to become the kind of friend to other that I long to have. May my friendship with Jesus make me secure and wise and equip me to receive and be the kind of friend who glorifies You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.