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Crying In The Aisles

October 11, 2008

“Ah, how good it feels…the hand of an old friend.”

-Mary Engelbreit

The air is almost crisp tonight, but not quite. I dragged my daughter with me to buy shoes – then, later, a birthday present. Hannajean raced up and down the aisle of the shoe store, admiring the styles. She brandished a black boot, waving it at me, saying, “Mommy, look! Do you want to wear this shoe?” After pausing to reflect for a moment, she reconsidered, then decided, “No, you are tooooooooo large.”

I was too tired to be embarrassed as we went to the front of the shoe store and then headed to Target for the birthday gift for tomorrow’s party.

My daughter was just as excited in this store, flinging Disney Princess toys into the cart and telling me that Abby will, of course, need a crown that says “Happy Birthday” spelled in jewels. I started to put the crown back when a little voice called my daughter’s name.

“Hannajean?”

It took a minute to register the little friend, and a second longer to realize who was with her. An old friend – someone I have missed for a long time.

I did not expect to see her at Target – or in any store…or house…or coffee shop…Any of the places where we became friends and I first loved her laugh and transparency.

The words were stilted at first. Then one of us started to cry. Soon we both had tears running down our faces in the middle of the store while we talked, our children running around us – my daughter using the opportunity to throw new toys in the cart.

We stood leaning against the Polly Pocket toys, bawling and talking and having a conversation that we should have had a long time ago.

Finally, it was time to leave.

“I’ll call you tomorrow,” she said as we hugged and I kissed her cheek.

“Yeah, yeah…and, um, we’ll talk again.”

I drove home with Hannajean chattering to me in the backseat. When could we see her friend? Why didn’t she get any presents? She loved going to Target and maybe could she have popcorn soon?

I was almost to my driveway before I started to pray. “Oh, wow. God, that would never have happened without you. You just take such good care of me. I…I am so grateful for this…” I breathed Him in, feeling His Presence, gratitude washing over me.

Now I am at home, about to write an email.

It will start:

“Dear Friend,
I am so glad I saw you tonight. How great is our God to do this for us.
So, let me tell you what happened in school this week – you won’t believe it. I was teaching about polygons…”

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 11, 2008 7:00 am

    He is so tender and so personal. To me, there is just nothing quite like that friend who calls right at the right time…especially when it is someone you just don’t normally talk to. Such a sweet taste of our Father’s overwhelming love for us.

    I am so glad He had that all lined up for you. And I am sure it was equally a sweet, sweet blessing for this old friend of yours.

    I hope you are able to have some down time to relax with your Savior and with your family this weekend.

    Love and blessings,
    K

    (And I hope that you don’t mind me coming by here, Jess. I know I don’t truly know you. But I am just so drawn to the beauty I always find here. The beauty of devotion. The beauty of surrender. Blessings, sweet friend.)

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