Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Friendship (04/04/05)
TITLE: The Cookie Kind
By Sally Hanan
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A few weeks later Cindy arrived. She lived nearby and was an obvious choice, even though she scared me a little. She always looked like she had it so together. Later I was to find that none of us ever had it together!
And thus began our weekly coffee and prayer mornings. Our children were of similar ages, and as they played we prayed and talked each otherís ears off, as women have been known to do since the dawn of civilization.
My first year in this new country also became my first year of learning what having a best friend was like. It is a moment of great vulnerability when one takes a breath and really reveals oneself to the listening person across the table. One leans in, eyes searching, waiting for the reactionÖ and I found acceptance. In this world of rejection, betrayal and pain, we are all in need of at least one who understands. Iíd had many friends in the past, but the relationships had been nothing like these which I had the privilege to become a part of. I had never felt loved and liked by the same person before.
Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. (John 15:14-1, NLT)
We were like an Oreo cookie, one part vanilla, one part chocolate, and one part of creamy filling. We varied in which part of the cookie we played. I always had someone to talk to, someone to pray with, someone to vent to, and someone to cry with. I learned how to give back in the same ways they gave to me. Yes, I was Godís friend and my spouseís friend, but these women understood. They had been there too. They were God with skin on.
Life got busier. Laura and Cindy had more babies. Both women switched churches. Our weekly times together stretched into monthly, then occasional times, until finally, when Cindy packed up and moved to Kansas, our circle of friendship that had been tried and tested broke apart.
These days we still pick up the phone or send an e-mail, but we are no longer intertwined in each otherís lives. God sent us the ones we needed most at the right time, and now He has sent us each new friends. Sometimes though, just like yearning to live again in the brand new experience of being loved by God, I yearn for the old days when we would sit together outside drinking freshly ground coffee, sharing our hearts freely as our children swam and laughed in the Texas sun; I yearn for another bite into that Oreo cookie - my first taste of God-given, true friendship.
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