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Weekend Wandering

Wandering down memory lane I count the years back to being 15. It was March 27 and I awoke knowing that this was the day my dearest friend would die. I was in the Dallas, TX area, she in the Phillie, PA. She'd had cancer for 2 years or so, and the last time I'd seen her she had assured me she was ready to die, wanted to see what an angel looked like. But she was worried about her mother. I walked across the lot from her family's summer trailer to mine looking up at a brilliant black sky dotted with stars and opened my heart to the Father. So I think when he told me before waking that this would be the day, March 27 her mother's birthday, 8 days or so after she herself had turned 15, I think Father was giving me a gift. I think, okay hang with me here, I think it was a birthday gift to her mom. NOT an easy one to open. When the call came at 8pm that night I'd forgotten I think. But when my mom told me I screamed silently "NO!" In the silence following my no there was presence. He was there. Not explaining, just being. I wept hard. My mom told me to stop, and trained to obey that voice, I did. Later I complained to her and she explained she worried I'd cry myself sick.

My mom hadn't wanted a girl, had asked God for a second son since her first was so good! A month before I was born she started thinking that she'd compare them, and maybe that wasn't good. So she changed her mind, fortunately in time since I don't think God changed my sex at that point! She hadn't wanted a girl because girls are so mean to each other. So gossipy/crabby/cliquey and all that. I was a bookworm good girl until she started pulling me out of my shell, and then my best friend died, and instead of retreating I decided one single good friend wasn't the way to go. I'd have many friends because if you have just one, she'll die on you.

After I got married I worried about my husband dying for about the first 7 years. Anytime he was late, I asked God if he'd died. Was relieved when he reappeared. (He hates lateness too but not because he fears I've died!) He outlasted her. I no longer fear he'll die. I don't think so anyway!

But I still seem to want a deeper friendship than most people realize can exist. Partly it's Greek culture, which comes from my mom. Partly it's the loss of that one best friend (who wasn't as close a friend as I now imagine but was an only friend of my childhood). Partly perhaps it's normal, I realized as I read Nouwen one Lent talking about First and Secondary love, and how we get upset when we're looking for First Order love from humans instead of God.

And my wandering leads me home to my Father. Father, thank you for you have so many people through which to show your love. Thank you for grace, forgiveness. Thank you for gifts, for the arrival today of One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp's book. Ann herself a gift. I had a friend named Ann. She lived across the street in PA, she had a barn we used to play in, play we were lost girls. Mom says I taught her Bible stories but I don't remember it. Oh Father, thank you so for many friends, none of them perfect but all of them LOVED!

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bethlee
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