Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: MAIL (02/18/16)
TITLE: Long-lost Friend
By Lisa Enqvist
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My sister Mary called with news about her upcoming trip to our childhood homeland. She would travel with her twin brother Samuel and his wife.
“Do you want me to bring you something from Sri Lanka? Tea or sweets or spices?”
“No, I don’t want anything. I only want you to find the address to my friend, Vinitha.”
“How do you expect me to do that? Where do you think I can find such an address?
“I don’t know. Maybe there is some magazine or newspaper where they take in ‘Search for’ notices.”
It did seem an impossible task.
Vinitha and I had been childhood friends since we were eleven. We were neighbors for a while, sharing preteen secrets and later teenage dreams and heartaches. Our friendship held through the years, in spite of the thousands of miles that separated us after we turned seventeen. We met just once when we were in our twenties.
We had kept in touch by mail for years. We both had married. I moved several times and lost her address.
About a week after my sister had traveled, a postcard arrived from her saying, “We met Vinitha on the street today. She promised to write you a letter.”
I couldn’t grasp the news. How and where could they have met? My sister couldn’t possibly remember my childhood friend. How would Vinitha recognize a middle-aged foreign lady more than thirty-five years after they had seen each other as kids?
I waited eagerly for answers.
Vinitha’s letter arrived in the mail.
“For the past five years, I have been asking pastors of different churches if anyone knew your address. No one seemed to know where you live now.
Last week one of those pastors met me in the store near my mother’s house in Kandy. I was visiting her for a few days. I live in Colombo now. We had a curfew here due to the civil war. We could go outside just a few hours each day.
The pastor said your sister Mary is here now together with your brother Samuel. They live up the hill here in a guest house. Samuel has borrowed Pastor L’s white Toyota Hiace minivan.
The next day I went to the shop again. On my return, I saw a foreigner driving a white van down the hill. I took a bold step forward and hailed the driver to stop. He did not know who I was, but he stopped.
“Are you Samuel?” I asked.
“Where is Mary?”
“She’s sitting at the back of the van.”
That is how I met Mary. I’m so thrilled to have your address again. I must tell you that I kept your old letters from more than twenty years ago. The words you wrote in one of them finally led me to know the Lord. That is why I was so eager to get in touch with you again.”
Two years later I was able to travel to meet Vinitha. We picked up our chat as though we had never been apart.
Now e-mail helps us continue to keep in touch though thousands of miles separate us again.
Like a cool drink of water when you’re worn out and weary is a letter from a long-lost friend. Proverbs 25:25 MSG
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