When my family and I moved to Collierville about 15 years ago, I started my search for a new friend. I was invited to a neighborhood Bunko group, and I thought this would be the perfect time and place. I would surely find a friend there. At the first Bunko, I looked at all the women and picked out a few "friend candidates." What a lot of these women had in common was a cute haircut, designer handbag, or stylish outfit. I thought surely one of these women would be my new friend. After getting to know these selected women, I soon found out that they were not the sweet person I was looking for in a friend. They were false friends, women who gossiped, didn't put their husbands and families first and, most of all, claimed to be wonderful Christians when their lifestyle proved otherwise. They were pretty on the outside, but ugly on the inside. So I kept searching.
Well, I finally did find the perfect friend. She was at the Bunco group with me on that first day, but I hadn't noticed her. She was very ordinary looking with reddish hair, simply dressed and somewhat on the plain side. I didn't choose her, but God sent her to me. My daughter was in school with her daughter and they had become friends. Through their friendship, we became friends. That was over 15 years and 4 moves across country ago. We don't see each other often, but we keep up through modern technology like Facebook and email. And when we do get to spend time together, it is like not a day has gone by. It is very true that beauty is on the inside. Just like a home. A home may not look perfect. It may not have the newest of everything, or designer colors. Your rug may not match your sofa. The drapes may be old or out of date fabric. But what truly matters is how people feel when they are welcomed inside. A house filled with love, laughter, family and friendship is much more important than one that is perfectly decorated. It is about warmth and hospitality. It is offering a glass of fresh lemonade to a neighbor who comes to the door. It is sharing a slice of pie with a friend. It is a pair of chairs that welcome friends to sit and stay a while. The most important thing is that people feel welcome when they enter your home. Feeling at home is much more important than having a perfect home.
A true friend is like a happy and welcoming home. It is what is in the heart of the friend and the home . . . . . .genuine love and hospitality.