Several of us were enjoying an intimate ladies’ luncheon. Conversation turned to when and under what circumstances each of us had come to our small town or if we had always lived here. From there we began chatting about various people in our church and community who had made lasting impressions on us. We sipped coffee and waxed enthusiastic about the Mott sisters, Mr. and Mrs. Harris Jefferson, Mr. Ben Mauldin, Dr. Singleton, Bonnie Manry, Mr. Cuy Broome, Norman and Minnie Pipkin, Madge Clark, the Askews and many more.
I listened to the stories about this one and that one learning new things about people I’d known for years. It was fascinating to hear the many different ways members of this one little group had been affected by so many mutual friends. Phrases like “Oh, you knew her?” and “Did you know he…?” or “Remember when…?” were tossed around with a mix of merriment and sadness.
Several mentioned the one who had invited them to First Baptist Cairo, others recalled a Sunday school teacher who had meant so much to them raising responses like “Oh, yes, I was in her class one year.” We talked about those who had faithfully cared for our babies in the nursery and others who had been there as a strong shoulder when disappointments and sorrows hit. We remembered fondly folks who kept things going like Raymond Hurst who claimed the ministry of keeping the First Baptist chimes playing, and “Miss Wessie,” librarian at Roddenbery Memorial Library who might call individuals to alert their attention to some book she knew they needed to read. “I’ll have it ready for you at the front desk,” she’d say positively. We laughed at many a funny tale including some interesting matchmaking endeavors, some that failed and some that were a great success.
After everyone had gone home, I thought about what a huge difference any one person can make in another’s life without even realizing it. What a witness Mr. Pipkin was in simply coming to church when he could no longer hear. When we opened a bank account, what if the clerk, Mrs. Jefferson, had not warmly invited us to her church?
Is it possible we, too, might make a difference in someone’s life as our friendships weave together like a colorful afghan in progress?