“I’m pregnant. I have to have an abortion.” Melinda said calmly.
I looked at her incredulously. How could she be so callous? “Melinda. No. What does God’s Word say?”
“Listen. My sister has already broken my parents’ heart enough times with the pregnancies she’s had. One aborted. One given up for adoption. One they’re raising. I can’t do that to them! If I have an abortion they never have to know I’m pregnant.”
“I read Psalm 139. I can’t go through with the abortion.”
“I’m here for you every step of the way… you know that, right?” I said as I breathed a sigh of relief.
“Yeah… thanks.” I could hear a smile in her voice.
“I slipped on the ice at work. I had a miscarriage.” Sadness colored Melinda’s voice.
“Oh Melinda. I’m so sorry.” Tears filled my eyes.
Wait. This was the same day her abortion was scheduled.
My voice laced with contempt and pain, I questioned her. “You had an abortion didn’t you? Why did you lie to me?” I asked, my heart breaking, realizing she had. Knowing she had killed her baby ripped it in two.
“I didn’t think you’d figure it out…” she said, her voice trailing off in uncertainty.
I had nothing more to say…
“I never want to speak to you again. You can burn in hell for all I care!”
My heart sunk within me as Melinda severed our close relationship of many years.
I had no words, only tears.
The phone line went dead. I was left with the ashes of our friendship.
Melinda why are you throwing our friendship away?
Over the next several days deep sadness gave way to an intense anger. How could you have done such a thing? Here I am enjoying my own pregnancy and you’ve tossed your baby away like so much rubbish! If you never want to see me again, fine. I don’t want to see you either!
Several months prior Melinda had given me a start to a plant saying, “This will probably grow faster than I do.” Looking at that plant now, made poison ooze in my heart. In a fit of anger I grabbed it off the windowsill and tossed it in the trash. I didn’t need any reminders of her.
God intervened. Keep the plant as a reminder to pray for Melinda.
The ache and anger in my heart remained deep. But I had to listen. After arguing with God for a bit I removed the plant from the garbage, putting it back on the windowsill.
I prayed. Three years.
That plant became the bridge back to me loving her.
One day not long after we had moved into a different home, I was unpacking when the phone rang.
As soon as Melinda spoke my name my heart overflowed with love that had never died. It also set up a staccato rhythm of nerves. Three long years of silence and now…
I was in the kitchen when someone knocked at the door.
Oh my. This wasn’t the Melinda I had known. Her face was hard as flint. Her eyes as empty as a dry riverbed.
I wrapped my arms around her…
I hugged a statue…
As we sat at the dining room table she told me why she had come. “I was sicker than I’ve ever been from drugs and alcohol. But through the haze I heard God speak to me. As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly. I had to come back to Him. He was calling me. And I somehow knew you would welcome me.” A lone tear trailed down her cheek.
After three years of a downward spiral of debauchery and loose living she was ready to come back to her Savior.
Several years later my family and I moved from Oregon to California.
There was only one person to give the thriving green plant to.
Melinda and I both know that God used that plant as a bridge. At times the bridge was wobbly and a bit unsteady as I dealt with the strong emotions that came from grief. God in His faithfulness kept urging me to pray every time I looked at it.
As the plant flourished during those three years of prayer so has our friendship over the last two decades, and today is strong and secure in the love of our Savior who was a Bridge of Reconciliation for us.
Scripture reference: Proverbs 26:11
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