Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: ALL TALK, NO ACTION (01/10/19)
- TITLE: In Honour of Betty
By Jennifer Woodley
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Vivian looked towards her chaplain-friend with a forced smile. “It’s hard Miranda, I’m missing Betty so much. Some days I feel like a dark cloud has ascended upon me and it just won’t budge no matter what I do.”
Miranda exhaled loudly. “I know just how you feel, Vivian. We are all feeling the loss. Such a vibrant, giving woman, the entire community has been rocked by Betty’s death.”
“What day this week is the funeral?”
“It’s planned for Friday, at St Bart’s Anglican Church. Vivian, you were Betty’s friend for over twenty years. You knew her so well and loved her so much. Remember how I asked you to write a tribute for the service? Have you been able to do that yet?”
Vivian avoided Miranda’s gaze as she answered. “Well, I just don’t know. I’m not very good with words or standing up in front of a crowd. Isn’t there someone else you could ask? What about Beryl or Celina, they were Betty’s friends too.”
Miranda fidgeted with a napkin. A tight knot was forming in her gut. What was it with these women who talked about being Betty’s friend but refused to step up and pay tribute to her wonderful life?
“Both Beryl and Celina said they would write something to share at the service, Vivian, but it’s less than two days away now and neither have answered my calls or shown any genuine interest in writing a tribute. To be honest, I am a little tired of chasing up people who talk a lot about being Betty’s friend, but when it’s time to put that friendship into action, they are unwilling. It’s up to you Vivian. You know I am happy to read out whatever you write, so don’t be deterred by having to speak in front of a crowd.”
“Oh Miranda, it’s just too hard, and Betty would not have expected me to do that.”
“No, she wouldn’t have expected you to, Viv. But I can’t understand why you don’t want to.” Miranda tried to level her voice with kindness, but inside she was screaming at Vivian whose procrastination was making her boil with rage.
Vivian’s lips began to quiver again as Miranda calmly said, “This service is about Betty, Viv. Not you. Not me. Not any of us. This is a chance to celebrate our friend’s life. To give honor where honor is due. We have to look beyond our own feelings, and preferences just now and focus on the wonderful life of our friend. You have told me so much about this beautiful lady and the impact she has had upon your life over the past two decades. This is your time to share about Betty and celebrate her.”
Vivian looked away from her empty coffee mug and timidly raised her eyes to meet Miranda’s.
“Vivian, it’s time for you to come out of your hiding place and act upon Betty’s friendship by telling others about it. And in the act of sharing, you’ll be surprised at the healing it will bring. Writing and reading a tribute about your friend will help put the broken pieces of your heart back together again.”
“I don’t think I can Miranda. I’m afraid.”
“I can’t trust my emotions. I’m afraid I will just freeze up and not be able to speak a word.”
“Would you like me to stand beside you? If you falter, I’ll be right there to keep you going.”
“Yes, please” said Vivian in a tiny voice that was barely audible. “I know that I need to do this. And I might be able to if someone stands beside me.”
Squeezing her hand, Miranda said, “Vivian, I will be there and so will Jesus. A threefold cord of friendship is strong and His presence will give us both the strength to do what we need to do on Friday in honor of Betty.”
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