I spied her as I entered the cafe area of the bookstore; thankful for her patience as she waited for my arrival. While heading toward our agreed upon meeting spot, I had taken a wrong turn (in my own hometown!) Hastily and frantically, I corrected the error and prayed that my friend would not grow impatient in her waiting.
This anticipated coffee date was no routine gathering between two women. It was an encounter of two childhood friends after forty years of life’s detours leading us to different paths. After my family picked up from our neighboring house and planted ourselves in the alternate jr. high district, our friendship withered. Truthfully, those tween years often stretch relationships. Identities shift, new interests emerge. Perhaps we had begun that transition also. Although together again in high school, new friendships had bloomed; creating different horizons for us.
Thoughts of my friend entered my mind intermittently during those forty years. Joyful memories of long hot summer days playing games, swimming, sleepovers; at times living in a world created by the imaginations of innocent minds. What was she doing now? Where does she live? Does she have kids?
Two years ago, we reconnected on social media. Truly a blessing, yet, a bit daunting. How do you pour out forty years of a life online?
Since social media provided a glimpse into our lives, our common interests were revealed. Leaning toward a taste for coffee beverages, finding refuge in books, and rooting our lives in Jesus led to a decision-to meet at a Christian bookstore the next time I made the trip home.
So on that day, after my frantic journey, I spied her. Surreal. The embrace affirmed our roots remained deep; despite the lost connection. And we talked….for hours. Stories exchanged of walking in deserts, stung by thorns, feeling parched and, yet, blessed by the beauty of redemption and restoration blooming in other seasons.
One never knows the ways God moves through us as we wander in and out of each other’s lives. But what we do know is that in some way fruit is produced. Even if it takes forty years to see the abundance.
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