It was a Sunday afternoon girlfriend lunch date.
At the gated entrance we were greeted by a neatly dressed woman welcoming us to her exquisite property. When asked, we told her we were visiting the resort for lunch. We were encouraged to enjoy our meal and take full advantage of their amazing panoramic views. She gave us a receipt to pass on to the valet ahead.
Inching forward I had a sudden urge to make a mad dash for a carwash. The grounds were impeccable.
Perfect rows of flowers outlined the carpet of green grass leading up to the stately Ritz Carlton. Perched on the coastal cliff was a vision of beauty. Its European architecture proudly declared opulence and hospitality.
I looked around for open parking but the only option ahead was parking by valet.
Pulling under the arched entrance we were greeted by formally dressed attendants who flocked to our doors. They treated my pumpkin-of-a-vehicle like Cinderella’s royal coach. Our sandals seemed to magically transform to princess slippers. Of course they would – we were at the Ritz.
As my humble car was swept away, the unobstructed view of the castle was reset. Their pristine welcome mat invited us inside.
In the dining area, windows lined the entire west end of the building for obvious reasons. Each table had a strategic view of one of the prettiest coastlines in the world. Foamy white waves flirted with the shore while golfers eased their way over the rambling course above it.
Naturally we asked for window seating – we wanted an unobstructed view of this incredible scene.
We felt like honored guests. The setting was luxurious and the wait staff attentive. It was a magical afternoon.
Toward the end of our lingering meal I realized we had talked nonstop the entire time. Our attention had been focused and singular. We shared stories. We laughed and gave advice. Seated in this amazing place with an amazing view for close to two hours – I realized we had barely looked outside.
Healthy, meaningful friendships require an unobstructed view. And not the kind the Ritz worked so hard to create but rather an unobstructed view of our true selves. Friendship is about honesty and authenticity, not façade. Friendship thrives when the heart – and conversation – is open and unobstructed.
The heart un-obstructs naturally through shared stories and vested relationship. When conversations go deep, friendships flourish and we’re nourished no matter where we’re seated. Inspiration is unleashed. Healing words are able to flow. The view captivates.
The stunning view of God’s face becomes clearer through the unobstructed face of friendship as well. He speaks through heart connections and openness. His words can intermingle with our thoughts when the focus is other-centered and true.
It’s no wonder we long for such views.
When we left the property, glitter spots seemed to rest on the hood of my pumpkin-of-a-car, reminding me that we are in this world but not of it. He gave us friends for support – to lean on and to do the journey with. But one day we’ll stroll up to his unimaginable dwelling and marvel at the unobstructed view of his face.
And that will be breathtaking!
Do you have people in your life that help to give you an unobstructed view of yourself?
Do you have friends who challenge you, inspire you and broaden your view of eternal things?
Are you that kind of friend?