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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Threefold Cord (04/12/12)

TITLE: We Really Do Need Our Friends
By Mary Frances Moore


Threefold Cord

It was an early fall morning; the warmth of the coffee mug against my chest was a comforting contrast against the chilly air. Neighbors were beginning to head off to work and my little hometown was awakening.
This was the best part of the day. Here on my front porch I easily connected with God, prayed for my family, and in general started out on the right foot. The antics of nearby squirrels caught my attention, and for some reason I thought about Karen, my childhood friend, and wondered how she was doing.
Wed been best friends from Kindergarten until she moved away, just before high school graduation. Wed done some wild and crazy things, and on the very rare occasion of getting together as adults, we laughed as if theyd happened yesterday. After Karen moved, we lost touch for the most part. She had gone out of state to live with her dad, but her sisters had stayed here with their mom, and Id catch up on her life when I saw them at the grocery store.
Last I knew she was living in Arizona with her husband and children. I wondered if she was healthy, whether her hair was still long and thick; if shed stayed married and how her kids were doing. By now they could be grown and it occurred to me that she may even have grandchildren.
With my coffee cup now empty, I finished my quiet time by thanking God for the many blessings of my life. I also said a quick prayer for Karen, then went inside to start my daily routine.
Later that evening I received a phone call from Karen that rocked my world. She was sobbing hysterically, trying to talk through her tears. It was difficult to understand her; I listened intently, trying to make sense of her words.
MY SON IS DEAD! she screamed. Then she repeated it, and then again. My mind refused to comprehend what she was saying. With intense energy and pain, she relayed the events of earlier that afternoon.
I was talking to him on my way home from work; we talk every day, she said. I stopped at the store for a few things and when I got home, he was dead! Her youngest son, 18 years old and graduated from high school only three months prior, had committed suicide after hanging up from their telephone conversation.
Karen had not detected anything out of the ordinary.
Already having to make funeral arrangements, she would have him buried in Michigan next to her brother. She needed practical guidance in getting things done, but mostly she was trying to understand how this could happen. Nothing made sense.
Why, why, why? she sobbed over and over and over again. The only thing I had to offer was a room at my house when she came home, and she readily accepted the invitation.
The next night when she arrived I hardly recognized her. Dark, puffy circles had formed under her eyes and her face was swollen from crying. We embraced and she cried until the shoulder of my blouse was soaked.
Her cries rose from the very core of her being, as full of pain as nothing Id ever heard before.
At the funeral, several high school classmates came to offer their support and condolences. They hugged freely and she openly accepted their gifts of love. In turn she experienced a small, inner sense of peace.
Over the years since then, tragedies have found their way to most of us, including the death of my own adult son last December. At that time I had to lean on my friends for comfort and strength, as Karen had done in her time of loss.
God tells us in Ecclesiastes 4:12, Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
And so it is in real, everyday life when hard times slam us against the wall and our faith suddenly dries up. One of the ways our Heavenly Father extends His grace is through the love and understanding of friends. When we can accept that gift, we are encouraged and strengthened to continue our spiritual journey on to the higher level of true and heartfelt praise.

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This article has been read 213 times
Member Comments
Member Date
PamFord Davis 04/20/12
Emotional article. I felt like you were personally sharing the experiences with me, as friend-to-friend. You might try to break up future articles into paragraphs, easier for readers to follow. I especially like the phrase "hard times slam us against the wall." Great action words! Keep up the good work.

Wing His Words!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/25/12
This brought tears to my eyes. I assume it is based on a true story because the grief just leaps out of the page. My heart hurt for the MC and her friend.

My only advice is to do more showing and less telling. Sometimes that can be hard in a testimonial but let me give you an example so you know what I mean. Take for example your first sentence. At first glance it may seem like you are showing but something like this might be easier for the reader to picture I sat on the porch swing hugging my coffee cup to my chest. I shivered as a fall breeze blew through my hair. This isn't the best example but I hope it gives you a tiny idea of what I'm saying.

The ending was super powerful. My story this week, is somewhat similar to yours. My best friend from HS had died. No one knew why at first and there was several speculations, one of which was suicide. There is something extra painful about dying that way. You did a great job in showing the pain and despair. Your story was spot on topic and kept my interest from the beginning to the end.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/26/12
Congratulations for placing 8th in level one! (check the message boards about 10 hours after official winners are notified and you will see the top 12 in your level)