I fluffed the pillow beneath my elbow as I watched her hands move in tandem with aching words, describing the years I'd missed. We'd been friends since grade eight but had lost touch in recent and apparently, difficult years. She'd experienced pain through admittedly unwise choices but also through horrible injustices forced on her by others. This beautiful woman wiped her tears with the corner of the napkin from the fancy little lunch she'd prepared on a silver platter. I clasped her flailing hand in mine and shook my head at the trauma she'd endured. How could one person face so much? I leaned back against pillows that matched her one room apartment and sighed. I wished I'd known, that I could have helped... something.
But as we talked, I noticed more and more that my friend's words were laced with grace. Her suffering had drawn her closer to God, not pushed her further from Him. Her resolve in believing He had a better plan for her future was her theme. It wasn't false hope or Christian clichés, but she truly knew all along that the Lord, whom she'd been raised to fear as a harsh judge over her every move, was actually a loving Father who'd been protecting her mind and heart all those years. Although, anger arose in her from time to time, she ultimately spoke lovingly of those who've wronged her and she desires for them to have God's goodness too. I sat breathless.--amazed, but not surprised, at how our awesome God kept my friend from falling into unforgiveness and bitterness--both of which only hurt the one feeling them.
stopping for a photo in the rainy streets of Toronto
a beautiful garden stairway
little markets along her neighbourhood (she's embarrassed at all the pics I took of her--making up for lost time :)
another lovely yard and home
what a splendid pathway to one's front door!
trying to identify these flowers (oh, Terry where are you when I need you?)
gateway to a gorgeous backyard
huge gardens in bloom and well-manicured
standing in front of Casa Loma, which is just down the street from my dear friend
saying goodbye and heading home after promises of meeting again soon--so thankful for God-connections and His timing--so grateful for His redemption of our pasts!