Confession: I set my alarm clock, got up early, and watched the royal wedding on Friday.
The way I saw it, having 'attended' Prince William's mother's wedding in the same manor 30 years ago, I felt it only right that this sparse, although long-standing tradition be continued.
The one thing that most struck me, in the deluge of information that came at the world through the lens of the media, was a photo released on Wednesday, of Kate and her sister/main of honor Pippa leaving their home, and driving to London for the big day. Photos captured them smiling, looking comfortable in each other's company, as they headed towards all that lay ahead.
When I saw those photos, I started to feel sad for the late Princess Diana. Thirty years ago, the hours preceding her wedding weren't filled with laughter with a friend. She had no equal in age as her maid of honor, just a bunch of children as bridesmaids. A friend, who is an avid royal watcher, told me that in the 24 hours before the 1981 wedding, Diana was alone at Clarence House, her last meal as a single woman was served to her on a tray by a maid. She didn't even receive a phone call from her soon-to-be groom.
You can think all you want—or don't want—about Britain's royal family, but no matter how you feel about them, I cannot imagine anyone thinking that this was a good way to begin what was supposed to be a happy, fairytale-ish, new life.
All these thoughts came the same day as Life Journal reflections about David and Jonathan's friendship. It all started with these words of David in a Psalm...
Look to the right and see:You can feel the pain in David's words. While I am not sure of the timing, either David would be missing his friend Jonathan because of Saul's madness, or Jonathan's own death. Either way, how David's heart must have ached for the friend of whom he said in 2 Samuel 1:28b (ESV), "your love to me was extraordinary". It was clear that even among all the mighty men that David was surrounded by, he did not find Jonathan's equal.
there is no one who takes notice of me;
no refuge remains to me;
no one cares for my soul.—Psalm 142:4
It is easy to find others with things in common. It is also easy to believe that an actual friendship can be had with someone, even if you only ever see their face on a monitor. But a friend who 'cares for your soul'? This is a much more rare and beautiful gift.
The poet Rilke wrote,
I hold this to be the highest task for a bond between two people: that each protects the solitude of the other. —Rainer MariaBasically, to care for each other's soul.
I am so blessed to have friends who care for my soul. From the friendship that celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, to those the have come into my life more recently, but are no less vital. Beautiful women of God who not only care for my soul, but allow me the privilege of caring for theirs as well.
Without a doubt, I know that the night before I marry my own prince—should that day ever arrive—I will not be alone, but will be surrounded by my beautiful friends and family, caring for my soul as always.
And if one of them wants to serve me dinner on a tray, I don't think I will object too strongly!
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Although there is only one thing on today's list, it is a big one, and should encompass many more than one...
I am grateful for...
158:: the friends, the guardians of my soul, who so enrich my life, laugh with me, hold me together when life falls apart, and make my world a much better place.