Sunday, August 8, 2010

I was only two years old when I met Katie, a cute redhead at campmeeting. At first I remember us pacing the grass outside of her house when we were tiny, wistfully staring at each other and pondering in our little minds what to say. As time passed, we graduated from our shyness and got to know each other much better. Katie's younger sister Tory, and my sister Amy would suspend jump-ropes from their top bunk and we older girls slid under the bed to tie stuffed animals to the bottom handles. Together we became involved with music and everyone tackled recorder, dressing up as angels and playing a special music near Christmas time. Our golden headbands and belts were tickly and itchy, and soon we had to file out of the pew and change. Our family's took adventurous walks in the summer, vigorous sledding parties in the winter, and had camp-outs together in the fall.

As the years passed we girls emailed and chatted, living in the pure joy of true friendship. The memories will go on and on. We had so many adventures together! I remember a cold winter day and a particular slide which sent Amy and Tory right on top of each other. They were laughing so hard, they appeared to be a mass of giggles resting in a heap in the white snow. And the time when we got lost together, ran from a swarming nest of ground bees, and ended up in someone's backyard in town. We enviously passed by a woman sipping a luscious glass of lemonade on her front porch and satisfied our appetite with sour crabapples as we trudged up our road. Taking a walk, we giggled and stuck ferns and flowers in our dad's back pockets as they talked together. I remember when, more recently, we girls gave a special music at their church and the microphones screeched like I've never heard before. The memories went on and on.

Last Sabbath, we finally gathered together to say good-bye. This family - our friends for almost my entire life - were taking a journey across the country to go to academy. We took a Sabbath walk, wandering through the woods and found a winding dirt road up Tucker Mountain. When we got to the top of the hill, we rested together and refreshed ourselves with the beautiful view. Yet there was a trace of sadness as we rested together, because we knew this was the last walk we would take in a long time. At home we sang a few songs together, and my fingers lingered over the piano keys as the last strains of harmony ceased.

After saying a tearful good-bye, we watched our friends walk to their car. I could only wave and watch them leave. In a way I felt that I was saying good-bye to those past years of childhood, and that things would never be the same again. Again I faced reality: life is full of change. Some change brings us pure joy, and some brings us heartache and pain. But through it all, Christ calls me to surrender all to Him and ultimately trust in His perfect plan. Friendship is a beautiful gift that God grants us, and I have learned how precious it truly is. I want to thank each and every one of you for being my friends. Let's live next door in heaven.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

He Cares


I roused myself from the depths of "The Story of Redemption" to hear Papa's voice calling me from the other side of the basement.


There was a quick silence and I strained to hear what he was saying over the noise of his huge box fan which he kept in his window.

"Can you hear it?"

I dashed down the short hall to Papa's half of the basement.

"Can you hear it?" he repeated.



Sure enough, that troublesome cricket had escaped. I have always held a fascination for all of God's creatures, and just recently I had found myself juggling eight small-mouth bass in my fishtank, one fearsome crayfish, and two crickets. After a night where my grandfather couldn't sleep from the chirping, I decided to release the little creatures, but to my dismay, I found that they had escaped. Now somehow one of my crickets had made its way into Papa's room.

He turned on the light, and I searched frantically to find the insect, but it had stopped chirping.

Wearily I walked back to my room and waited to hear the chirping again as Papa turned off his light. Sure enough, soon the little feller was making shrill chirps echoing through my grandfather's room.

"Lord, please help me find it," I prayed, knowing that it was nearly impossible to find a cricket in his many bookcases, crevices, desks, and so on. Thankfully the chirping continued with the light on. And then I saw it, chirping away on top of Papa's desk. After several grabs, I caught the cricket in my hands. "I got it!" I announced triumphantly.

"Thank you honey," my grandfather sounded relieved as he prepared to go back to bed and turn off the lights.

I let my cricket jump out into the cool night air with a smile. He joined the many other crickets outside as I slid "The Story of Redemption" back to the usual place under my bed.

Not a day seemed to pass but that I realized all over again: God cares about the little things. He cares about the little cricket to the horse that our family is getting. He cares about the little trials just as much as the long, hard struggles. Knowing how Jesus cares about every little thing in my life cautions me to be careful even in the things that don't appear to matter. Whether I prove faithful to Him in the little trials of life determines the final outcome of this battle for my heart. To know that God cares for me and my future, inspires me, convicts me, and gives me courage. I can face whatever lies ahead when I know that He ultimately cares and will do everything in His power to take me to His kingdom.