Faith Durie from Pretoria writes this letter about her and Lindie Strydom’s friendship, which already spans 15 years:
I still remember the moment like it was yesterday: It was August 2008 when I came back from maternity leave and you finished at Egoli. Our meeting place was our workplace at Helpende Hand. How prophetic these two words were then: helping hand.
It was the beginning of the most beautiful gift, a true friend TREASURE.
The treasure was great and so were our differences.
You blond, I brunette.
You who speak pure Afrikaans beautifully, I who mix pure languages.
You the busy bee, me the calm butterfly.
You the eternal plan maker, me the executor. (What a team!)
You the routine and I the rhythm person.
You like coffee without sugar, I like it with.
You like preparation, I don’t.
You the city girl, me the forest child.
You the actress, me the viewer.
And so I can go on…
Thousands of kilometers across continents together – laughing and crying, dreaming and doing, the knowledge that words are not needed, but a place to just be.
We stood together on the Eiffel Tower and looked out over Paris, but also to be able to drive with you through Paris in the Free State on the way to a women’s function – the treasure was our friendship, not the place. Something that never stops giving and receiving.
To eat together from a paper plate and instead spend money on something that could be kept in the heart. To be able to share clothes and call each other excited if someone saw a bargain somewhere. To pray together about and for our children, husbands and our community. To believe together that less good days are just a passage to more and to keep going – in believing… in doing… in serving… and in being!
Most importantly, and this is what I believe is the foundation of our precious friendship, is our love for the Lord. To be able to see His dreams unfold for each of us – so uniquely – over the last few years – remains a gift. To not find value in what we have or do, but in who we are, with Him – on our way!
The English use the word: accountability. This is something that is a regular part of our conversations. The why and the why! To also hold each other accountable for what we are busy with or not busy with. What our health looks like and also our mood. To be able to soundboard in a safe space – not because we think the same, but because we complement and encourage each other.
Then of course there is the space of grace that the safe space in our differences came to create, and it came to give more than I think we could both pray for or ask for.
I wonder if I would ever really be able or want to attach an amount, percentage, commodity and or word to our friendship?
My friend, Lindie, is emotionally strong for me, but also vulnerable. Her true wealth cannot be counted together on a calculator, but rather in buckets full of true care and love.
Her wisdom and knowledge are not framed against a wall, but traces in squatter camps, women’s mornings, congresses, schools and also tar roads of life.
Lindie thank you for being totally different from me. It is a treasure that never fades. It’s fresh and new every day. It invites closer and yet it also pushes further.
May every woman be as blessed as I am to have a friend who loves her unconditionally, but also doesn’t just leave her as she is.