Jessica grinned broadly as her friend Ellie approached. Her shoes were the flattest, most comfortable attainable and her clothes out of style. It didn’t matter at all; lifetime friends were still the best kind.
“I swear that hall gets longer every time I come. It is hot outside today. How are you, Jess?” Ellie greeted her, without taking a breath.
“I’m fine. It’s about time you sold that big old house and car and moved in here, anyway. Then you wouldn’t have to make the trip every week.” Jessica picked up the conversation right on line. They always connected, and no explanations were needed.
“Well, I can’t just follow you to this retirement home. You’ve always got me in trouble and I don’t trust you.” Ellie teased.
Jessica protested, “Don’t start. It’s been a long time since we took my Mamma’s car without permission and went on that joy ride.”
“Joy, indeed. I won’t ever forget landing in that ditch, and your folks coming to pick us up after the police had the car towed to the station.” Ellie was laughing now. “ Your Dad was mad, but your Mamma was the one who really wiped me out. She was tough.”
“Yes, she always started with reminding me that I was a Christian, and the Lord was watching me, even when she couldn’t. She asked me if I thought He was pleased , and I still remember how I answered her. ‘I’m sorry, Mamma, I guess I just didn’t think.’ was all I could say.”
“And that made her even madder,” Ellie giggled. “She said that was a pitiful excuse even if it was the truth.”
“Oh Ellie,” Jessica got a little more serious. “I had so many chances to get involved in what God wanted for my life. But I just went on my merry way. When John and I married and I got into my thirties, I decided I’d be different from my parents. I thought I knew what I wanted. We made a lot of money, bought a lot of stuff, and got caught in the world’s whirlwind. We even let our kids get out of control pretty early on.”
“It was a part of the times, I guess, Jess.” Ellie, dear friend that she was, tried to make Jessica feel better.
"Thanks, but no, it was just that I was so determined to do life my way, and I thought I knew it all. As Mamma said,though,the Lord was still watching, and all my excuses didn’t impress Him either.”
“You got it all together after awhile, friend. I remember that first Sunday you came back to church. There were genuine tears coming down your cheeks, and it seemed like we had so much catching up to do,” Ellie finished.
Jessica recalled, “Well, by that time I was raising two teenagers, paying piles of bills, wrestling with problems at my job, and grappling with all the problems in my marriage. I was so out of solutions that I was finally convinced Mamma had been right. I had to find out what God thought, what He wanted, instead of clinging to my own stubborn viewpoint. It took a long time, but those were the best years of my life, getting things all lined up. I was finally getting my thinking right.”
Ellie surveyed their surroundings, seeming to be in deep thought. The lovely view from the retirement home lent itself to that. There was a long comfortable silence between them, and Ellie’s next observation was unexpected.
“Here we are, after all these years, and it’s no different. Except that now we both spend our time trying to remember all our appointments, and looking for stuff we’ve lost. Today we just need to ask the Lord, to help us think, period.”
They both laughed and laughed.
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