Friendships Made In Heaven

One hot, late July afternoon I decided to take a walk around my neighborhood.  The sweltering weather was made even more so by the fact that I was overdue with my second child.  As I wobbled around the block, pulling my two-year-old son in a wagon, I noticed a young mother planting flowers near the front of her home.  She didn’t look up as I passed but continued planting her flowers. 

I circled the block once and, as I neared my own drive, felt inclined to circle the block again. There was no real reason to do this as neither my son, nor I, was enjoying this stroll.  Nonetheless I avoided walking up my driveway and continued on with a few steps that would change my life forever.

As I rounded the block a second time all my senses were focused on the heat, my overdue pregnancy, and my complaining son.  I chided myself for taking this additional trip around the block, not knowing what had every come over me.

Then, out of the blue, I heard a sweet voice say, “You look like you could use some lemonade.”  Although normally quite reserved this invitation seemed to hit a chord with me and I uncharacteristically accepted the kind offer.  The thought of resting my feet and letting my son out of the wagon was just what I needed.

As it turned out, the invitation came from that young mother who had been diligently planting her flowers.  We sat, laughed at the dilemmas of young motherhood, talked of the weather, and went our separate ways. 

Two days later I gave birth to my second son and, to my delight and surprise, received a beautiful bowl of fruit from the lady with whom I had shared a much-needed refreshing glass of lemonade.  With the fruit she also gave me a beautiful book about raising sons (she has three of them) which I have since enjoyed over and over again.

Make no mistake about it, the Spirit will move our life’s circumstances, and us, in priceless ways…Here is Pam’s side of the story:

It was late July and Pam’s flowers were long overdue for planting. She finally found the time to work on them and was bound and determined to get the job done.  The plants needed to get into the ground if they were going to survive.  If not, she would have to throw them all out. 

As she got to work she noticed a VERY pregnant lady walking in the street.  The lady was pulling a little boy in a red wagon.  It was quite hot and neither of them looked like they were enjoying the walk.  As they passed her driveway the Holy Spirit urged her to speak to the pregnant lady, to say “hello.”  She resisted the urge as the flower matter was quite pressing.  She really wanted to get this job done and enjoy the garden.  She didn’t want to lose the flowers.  And so she let the lady pass by.

Pam continued working industriously when she noticed the lady passing by a second time.  The little boy seemed more miserable than before and the lady looked like she was going to deliver at any moment.  This time the Holy Spirit was quite insistent.  “Speak to her!”  And so Pam put her trowel down, looked up and said, “You look like you could use some lemonade.” 

And from those inclinations, both hers to offer lemonade and mine to take a second walk around the block, God has forged a most beautiful friendship: a friendship that has lasted tweny years and several moves.  A friendship that now sees children graduating from college, getting married, and having children of their own.  A truly blessed friendship orchestrated by the Holy Spirit.

Cheryl Dickow


Cheryl Dickow is a Catholic wife, mother, author and speaker. Cheryl’s newest book is Wrapped Up: God’s Ten Gifts for Womenwhich is co-authored with Teresa Tomeo and is published by Servant (a division of Franciscan Media); there is also a companion journal that accompanies the book and an audio version intended for women’s studies or for individual reflection. Cheryl’s titles also include the woman’s inspirational fiction book Elizabeth: A Holy Land Pilgrimage. Elizabeth is available in paperback or Kindle format. Her company is Bezalel Books where her goal is to publish great Catholic books for families and classrooms that entertain while uplifting the Catholic faith and is located at To invite Cheryl to speak at your event, write her at

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  • I was on a bus trip once and we stopped in a small town to stay overnight. There was a hotel in this town and across the street, a bar and restaurant. I overheard a youngish man talking to the bartender, asking him if it was OK for him to sit on a barstool, without ordering anything, until closing time. The bartender was telling him that if he stayed in the bar he’d have to drink.

    Even though I could easily afford it, I was planning to camp that night instead of staying in the hotel, but as I was unpacking my tent, I thought, “This isn’t right,” and I went and found the young man. I asked if he would like to share a hotel room with me. He immediately agreed and was very grateful. He was clean-cut, wearing a sweater, and had a strange foreign accent that sounded like German but wasn’t.

    We checked into the hotel and he went in to take a shower. I dropped my stuff on my bed and went out for a walk. When I came back, the young man had seen that I had left a book by Benedict Groeschel on my bed. He asked if I was Catholic. I said, yes. Then he asked if I knew St. Anthony. Anthony is my name, and I explained that Anthony of Padua is my patron saint. Then he pulled out his wallet and showed me a picture of himself dressed in clericals with several other people. The young man was a priest of the diocese of Budapest, Hungary. A parishioner had given him this trip as a gift but he had no money for “extras” like overnight lodging.

    Then the young priest told me that, upon arriving in this little town, he had gone to the edge of town to pray at a small shrine by the road. He had lain down in the shrine, intending to sleep there for the night, but he said that next, “St. Anthony told me that if I went back into town I’d find a place to stay the night.”

    You never know what a small act of kindness will accomplish, if you follow the lead of the Spirit. I was greatly strengthened in my faith by this encounter, and as for the priest–I never saw him again. But just maybe I’ve made a friend forever.