We walked into each other’s lives at a dinner party. Her work colleague was my best friend N. N’s last gift to me before moving far away was the promise that Christie A. and I would hit it off perfectly. Towards the end of the party, we sat down at the long dinner table and confirmed the few things we both already knew. Yes, we went to the same church. We were both lawyers and fairly newly married. That’s it and we were off to the beginning of one of the sweetest friendships I have ever known.
Christie A. is a tough cookie. She flings words around like – See you later, loser or You’re a dork – like it’s nothin’. Me, on the other hand, I have a medically confirmed non-existent level of testosterone and surplus of estrogen. In other words, thin skin and sometimes fluffy. Christie A. finds all of this hilarious and tells me that it explains a lot.
Christie A. and I share a seriousness about the things of God. We have sat on her plump couch snuggled in blankets sharing our souls over conversations that I think must be in His Book of Remembrance. Malachi 3:16. She is the kind of friend that I get so excited to see – – so much so, because I know we will get a chance to talk about God and spiritual things late into the night. She will undoubtedly offer for you to sleep over. And, most of the time, you can’t resist the comfort or welcomeness of her home.
Christie A. loves things like Pepperidge Farms cookies and red wine. She loves orange and blue together for some incomprehensible reason. She loves her boy N.V. and her man. She follows rules, breaks them when necessary and stands up to fight when she is called to it.
She’s undergone pain and loss. First through almost losing her boy N.V. shortly after his birth. Later through almost losing her marriage. But this woman doesn’t clam up or give up. Even when she is lying broken on the floor, she grasps onto truth and life.
God has plans for her beyond her wildest imagination. I think she is in a place where she can see that now. I am the friend who found just enough favor with the Lord to see just a glimpse of what is ahead of her. I am the friend who at times has been able to share with her what I see in that glimpse. God has made me one of the many vessels in her life.
And, she has been a vessel to me by leaning away from her tendency to be opaque. By being transparent. By choosing to trust me. By telling the truth. By being steadfast. By prospering out of the pit. By going against her grain to wear her heart on her sleeve just to be my friend. That is my friend, Christie A.