Here’s the deal. Five Minute Friday. You go find the little prompt at the wonderful Lisa-Jo’s blog, set the time and write for five minutes, and then just stop. Where you are, no edits, just publish raw words.
I find myself on a bench in Ben Brown Plaza, an open meeting place on campus with a big, gorgeous fountain and a constant stream of people rushing to and from or lazing around to soak in the warmth of both sun and conversation. The sun is shining in my eyes and I can barely see my hand in front of me, but then I hear my name from somewhere behind. I turn and it’s her, calling out my full name.
I enter a building and am so focused on where I’m going, my to do list for the day, and all that needs to be accomplished that I don’t see her until it’s too late. I side-step to avoid full on running into her, and it’s only as I apologize and turn my face that I recognize her long brown hair and sly smile, saying “Oh so sorry, I didn’t see you there.” A few minutes later my phone buzzes as she says she wanted to make sure she saw me, so she stood there until I ran into her.
I sit in a campus service, tears rolling down so fast and furious that my face is red and my forearms wet from trying to hide the fountain that has become my eyes. My favorite mint jeans are splotchy; you could play connect the dots from all the tears that have soaked through. As I struggle for breath I feel hands pulling back my hair and an arm around my shoulders. I look up and see the face of a new friend staring back. She quietly whispers, “can I pray for you?” and I nod yes and breathe relief. She pulls me into herself and I hang on as she echoes what I myself had been praying just seconds earlier. So recently strangers and so completely heart sisters, it feels like I’ve known her my whole life.
I shoot a quick text and invite her to a free concert in the park. Barbecue, cupcakes, and live music – what more could a girl ask for on a Thursday night? We grab sunglasses and go on an adventure, neither of us sure how to get there but sure we’ll make memories no matter where we end up. We enjoy the food, the company, and then we leave for our favorite hidden spot – the one that holds the best chocolate chip cookies you could ever imagine. As the sunset fades and the stars come out we laugh and I realize she is home to me.
All of these “shes” are different women in my life who have poured out and poured in, through the thick and thin of smiling joy or tears falling. They stick up and listen close and speak truth loud.
Years ago I stopped trusting her, quit believing in love and was done with community. She was dead to me.
I’m in the midst of a very long process, a renewing of trust and belief in love – that she can be kind and good, generous and loving. I’m learning that He revives, restores, and always breathes new life. She is becoming family through so many different versions of ‘her.’