Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Breaking



Almost thirty years ago I lost my best friend.

It was during a terrible time in my life when I lost my footing and fell from her grace.
It was a rip to both of our hearts and yet I see how this separation drove me into a more intimate relationship with my Creator.
I mean when everything your life is built on disappears -- Who ya gonna call?
My marriage was broken, the mailbox was empty of the usual kind notes, my phone quit ringing, and I was left with my shame and regrets.
I would have quit going to church but I didn't fit in anywhere else because I was ruined by a conversion that convinced me that my Christian faith was true. Even when I'm not.
I believe that God gives us little pictures or dreams to help us journey on in life. My picture was a movie that came out about that time titled "Places In The Heart".
The story is one of life's inequalities and mistakes and unforgiveness but the closing scene is stunning.
After the cotton crop is finally in and the farm is literally saved we see the widow owner and her faithful black man worker sitting on a pew in church passing the communion plate.
"That's odd" you think "people didn't have mixed racial churches back then?"
But as the plate is passed down the row you realize that some of the communicants were killed earlier in the film. And then it dawns on you just before the credits roll that the scene is in heaven where all of the dirty baggage is sitting on the unloading dock back on earth.
All is forgiven -- all is equal.
I tucked that picture into my heart and would often comfort myself by knowing it would be played out for my friend and I in heaven if not on this earth.
Sunday morning this week found me sitting in a pew along with 5,000 other church attendees at a church in Louisville. I was a little distracted because I was flying home that afternoon after a summer of being away.
When it came time to stand and greet our neighbors I realized my dear friend from years ago was sitting right next to us.
It took us a minute to recognize each other (30 years takes its toll) but when we did , in that holy place, all of the bitterness was gone.
The sermon was preached and communion was served.
After the service I had to tell her how much I've missed her and thank her for being the person who introduced me to the faith that has been the foundation and rudder of my life.
We hugged and left.
They say timing is everything. God's timing is perfect.
I once heard a quote that goes:
"The mills of God grind exceedingly slow but they grind exceedingly fine - indeed."

3 comments:

  1. This made me very very happy.

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  2. Suzi, I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes, thinking of your pain...and of mine. So wonderful to hear about the reconciliation with your friend. I remember you telling me this story when friends and loved ones turned their backs on me during my divorce. I reminded myself of that quote about the mills of God many times through the years, and only recently have I seen it start happening, as people started realizing -finally- that my ex is gay. You helped save my life during those dark days, my friend. I will never forget you coming over and dragging me around forcing me to decorate my apartment in order to cheer me up. God bless you.

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  3. This post is so encouraging. I had a great friend who suddenly "wasn't"...I still haven't figured it out. It's broken my heart. Hope to someday have a God-resolution.

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