“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

 

I have a friend named Shela.  Shela with no “i”.  I have never known someone to embody this Mother Teresa quote so fully. She truly has no time to judge people.  She is too busy loving them.

Shela eases suffering.  She soothes fevers of all kinds.  She takes care of the children.  She brings air and peace into every room she enters.  She is one of the few living angels I have met on earth. 

It is not an exaggeration to say Shela has saved my life.  I cannot count the number of painful nights she has helped me through, only to make pancakes in the morning.  She would hate my praising her here because she sees herself as far from perfect, but in my eyes, she is pure beauty, and I am filled with gratitude for her this weekend.

I have known Shela for more than half my life.  There is something about a friend who “knew you when.”  A friend who knew you before you were anybody, not that you’re all that much to brag about now.  A friend who knew you before you were married or a mother or a homeowner or any other thing.  A friend who knew you when your car had no air conditioning and your future didn’t look so bright.  That friend, who has always seen magic in you, is a miracle. 

She never spent time focusing on my mistakes, even the big ones.  “Everyone makes mistakes,” Shela says with such ease and clarity, as if I’m missing the most important point.  “I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t.”  And with that, she is done judging and back to loving.  And lifting.  And inspiring.

I have a friend named Shela with no “i”.  And when we are sitting on my couch or at Starbucks or any other place on earth, holding hands, feeling each other’s hearts, I know Aristotle had a friend like her when he said a friend is a “soul in two bodies.”

Thank you my friend.  May I serve you humbly all the days of my life.

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