Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Friendship (04/04/05)
TITLE: What A Friend I Have
By Tammy Bryant
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Ann picked up the phone and dialed Trish's number, still not sure of what she would say to her to apologize for her forgetfulness. Trish answered on the second ring in her normal, cheery tone.
"Trish, I am so sorry I forgot your birthday. By the time I realized I hadn't called you last night it was so late. I wouldn't blame you if you never spoke to me again."
Trish laughed, "Oh honey, don't be a dweeb...it was just another day."
Ann piped in, "No Trish, I'm serious. I should have at least called you. I have no excuse. I'm so so sorry. I promise I'll make it up to you."
Trish gently scolded, "Now listen to me. I won't have you beating yourself up over a silly birthday.
I understand how crazy life gets. Don't give it another thought."
The sincerity in her voice only deepened Ann's guilt pains. She knew Trish wasn't the least bit hurt over not having her birthday acknowledged. She was just that kind of person.
"Trish, I'll do anything. Dinner, a movie, flowers, my first born child." Ann laughed in spite of herself. Let me make it up to you."
Ann could tell her friend was toying with her. "Hmmm...let me see...my flower garden is in desperate need of weeding, my gutters need to be cleaned and I have been wanting to get my kitchen cabinets repainted."
Ann shock her head, "Weeds don't grow within a hundred yards of your garden, you gutters are seamless and need I remind you what happened when I tried to repaint my bathroom.....try again."
Trish's voice took on a serious tone, "Okay...are you sure you're willing to do ANYTHING?"
"Anything, I mean it."
Trish took a deep breath and said, "Come to church with me on tomorrow."
Ann cringed, "You must really be mad at me."
Trish laughed, "Hey...YOU said ANYTHING....and no I'm not mad at you. It's only a one hour service. You don't even have to go to Sunday School with me. Just come for service."
She had really stuck her foot in her mouth on this one. Trish had asked Ann to go to church with her on several occassions but she had always declined. Church just wasn't her thing. Ann just didn't believe all the things Trish did.
Ann sighed, "Okay, I'll come. But understand...I'd much rather clean gutters."
Sunday morning Ann rushed to the door of the small church. She was running late. As she approached, an older lady met her, reached out and took her hand, smiling.
"You must be Trish's friend. I'm Liz. Trish wanted me to wait for you. She said you might be a few minutes late." Ann wasn't sure what to make of this woman who spoke to her as if she knew her and where was Trish? "I have a seat saved for you with me."
The woman was still holding her hand as they walked into the sanctuary doors and headed down front. Music was playing and Ann was glancing around wondering where Trish was. Liz stopped at the third row from the front and slipped in at the end of the pew pulling Ann along with her.
Ann heard a familiar voice resinating through the entire church. She looked up on the platform and saw Trish standing there with a microphone in her hand. "Good morning, everyone." Trish said with her usual chipper tone. "Won't you stand with me and sing "What A Friend We Have In Jesus."
The congregation stood in unison and began to sing. Ann's shock turned to astonishment as Trish began to sing. Ann didn't even know Trish could sing. Suddenly Ann felt like she was the worst friend in the world. She realized there was another life that her friend led that she knew nothing about. What other things could she have missed about Trish. She wondered why it was that some people have the ability to be such supportive friends and why was it that she didn't have that abitlity. As she sang along with the song she could feel the answer prickling at the back of her mind but couldn't quite grasp it.
"Friendship with God is reserved for those who reverence him. With them alone he shares the secrets of his promises." Psalm 25:14 (LB)
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