It will be eight years ago this fall that I wrote and published this brave story. Brave because I hadn’t ANY idea what I was doing except taking the advise of a friend that I trusted. I was obeying a call, and I am grateful. That obedience profoundly changed my life. I now write professionally for a living. I have grown, but I had to start somewhere.
Unedited, here it is.
I had lunch with a very good friend yesterday.
We don’t see each other regularly, but I am convinced that she is pivotal in my life; we run into each other at times that, while seeming random, never are.
We met years ago, when she was on staff at our children’s private school. She got my sense of humor, which can be quirky and obscure at best, and always caught my random references. I guess we have similar pop culture context. What I found even more powerful, however, was her spirit. I would describe her as almost childlike in her transparency, and utter devotion to her faith. With her, there is no pretense. And while I would certainly NOT describe myself in this manner, I was drawn to her.
In matters of faith, I have always envisioned the Kingdom as those who watch and those who pray. Now I know we are admonished to do both, but in discerning spiritual gifts, we are variously equipped. I think in this friend, I found my balance; she prays, and I keep watch, allowing her to do what she has been gifted to do so well.
How do I watch? Well, we generally run into each other when she’s walking somewhere (and could use a lift), and I am usually traveling in the opposite direction. It is for me another indication of God’s presence in the world as well as the notion of free will that I have to see her, and then decide, by way of illegal u-turn, that I’m supposed to pick her up and carry her on her way.
In the manner of an itinerant preacher she always has a blessing to lay upon us, my children, my family, and always says just what I need to have my own spirit lifted. There are no random accidents. I always need to see her when I do, and I am always so much better for the experience. God is always glorified, and I am always humbled and so filled.
So, lunch yesterday. Once again, my children and I were driving in the other direction when my daughter saw my friend walking alongside the road. It was chilly, and at least 2.5 miles to her supposed destination from that point; I don’t know how long she’d been walking when we passed. I made my u-turn, and we drove alongside. Without saying hello, as we rolled down the windows, she began to bless and pray over my children, and then me. Although we were interrupting her prayer walk, she accepted the lift and jumped in.
In the few minutes it took to ferry her to her destination, we caught up on everything, as we usually do. We also made plans for lunch, which we kept. In one hour, we laughed, fellowshipped, conspired, and really enjoyed each other’s company. I can be my authentic self with her. She gets the humanity in my Christian walk. I giggle, even in church. In prayer, I expose everything, since He knows it all already. I believe God has a sense of humor, and I often feel like a source of His amusement. It’s okay, because it gives me a Redeemer I can actually relate to, understanding that He made us in His image. That means that the piece of Him that looks like me is silly, passionate, profane, seeking, intuitive, tenacious, and forgiven. And, even in my times of want, I clearly live an abundant life. Further evidence that God is good.