Sunday, November 20, 2005

My Friend, My Gift

I want to tell you about my friend. I met her when I was good and pregnant with Nia Grace. These were dark days. It wasn't long after my last suicide attempt, and it was during the time when Ken's drug use was raging. I'd also given birth to a stillborn baby less than a year previously. I was caring for my mother who had Alzheimers disease. I was one sad woman.

I had the children in tow, and my mother. We'd starting going to this large, wonderful church, but it was predominately white. We were, at that time, one of two African American families, and I didn't know the other family. I didn't really know anyone but Pastor Rob, who had helped me right after I'd had the stillborn baby. The love of Christ in him drew me to that church.

Evette spotted me at some fellowship function, and God told her to go and talk to me. I will always be grateful to God for telling her that, and grateful to Evette for obeying. You see, Evette's friendship has blessed me far more than mine has blessed her. Evette is grace in a 4'11 package.

Me, I'm a loner, with a bonifide diagnosis with a social phobia. I don't have many friends, and I don't visit with girlfriends much. I am not even that social here at home. You can often find me in my bedroom, and it takes a lot to draw me out of my own dreamy world. But Evette can. She's always been that way.

Lately, she's been tired. I wrote this because I wanted her to know something, and I think it is from God: if there were a gift of friendship, Evette possesses it in spades. God uses her to draw people like me out of our hard, selfish shells. She engages me in a way that few people have, and I treasure her.

Evette, don't change. Take your weariness to Jesus--the God man of easy yoke and light burden. The grace you give quite naturally is a light to us spiritual cave dwellers. Without you, and the gift of friendship you offer, my life would have turned out very differently. What a difference you made. You are from God, and I love you.

I am not the friend you are. You teach me. You show me the way. I don't deserve you, but somehow, you hang in there with me. You were the one birthday card I got many years. You were the weekend phone call, even though you were hundreds of miles away. You were the first at the hospital after babies were born. The one who gave me a sugar bear, and your mother's pearl earrings. You were the one to call when he'd stayed out all night, or was gone for two days with the car. You were the crazy woman with the racy jokes, the one who in the milk aisle in the grocery store, when I said I use both lactaid and cow's milk, you said, LOUD, "So you go both ways?" You were the one who on a day full of dreams, let me by my first set of bedroom furniture with your credit card. You were the friend who didn't let money stand in the way when I didn't pay you until a year after I was supposed to. You were unexpected Christmas gifts, and the glass casserole dish I still cook in. You were Baskin Robbins ice cream (but now you are Starbucks in the summertime). You are the one who I can't write a poem about, because my meager words don't do justice describing that kind of love.

Thank you, gift from the Father, wonderful mother, Godmother to the baby girls, friend that sticks closer than a sister. Thank you for loving me for nine whole years. Thanks you for teaching me through your unmerited favor, how Jesus is. I believe you will have many rewards for what you are to people, but hopefully, you'll get some way before heaven. This is such a small offering, to such a big-hearted friend, but accept it anyway. I know you will, that's the kind of woman you are.

And yes, honey, I'm crying, too! ;-)
I'll always love you.
your friend,
Claudia

6 comments:

Bonnie Calhoun said...

I think Evette would disagree with you. You said you weren't the friend, she was!

I bet she'd say you were the friend. Don't sell yourself short, you have a very gentle and sweet spirit.

Heather Diane Tipton said...

Awwwww. Claudia, that was beautiful. I have a couple women in my life like this... that I could never hope to be the friend they are to me. They are God's gift to me.

spiritual cave dwellers... sooooo understand that

Paula said...

Oh so beautiful, Claudia. We do need each other no matter how we try to deny it, don't we?

Jammie J. said...

Your writings bless me and uplift me. Your words are so heartfelt, full of soul.

This post was such a blessing.

You have described how I perceive my friendships to be. I don't feel like I give half as much to my friends as they give me. I'm often closeted in my bedroom, my sanctuary. My friends thank ME for making them feel needed. But doesn't that take a toll on them? Perhaps not as much as it would take on me. I don't know.

But thank you for the gift of your blog. I love reading.

upwords said...

Mair,

I hope hope this blessed Evette half as much as it blessed me.
Mary

tvykTJHr said...

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