Saturday, November 5, 2011

My Joy

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18
I have a friend like that. It does not matter what I say to this friend, he never rejects me. Fairweather friends are many. Some linger awhile longer, some leave quickly. Some take and take, without giving. A listening ear is all that they want, without having to listen in return. For some, the newness wears off and they wander to chase a newer bauble. I am not a bauble, so I bid them farewell and Godspeed.

My brother-friend told me that I should expect to be rejected and despised. Those things should not surprise me, but somehow they always do. When life becomes challenging, my one true friend doesn't leave. He listens to all my whining and heartaches. Patiently, he listens and shows me my faults. Even bringing up embarrassing emotions, he shows me without shaming me and listens. I am so thankful for this friend that sticks closer than a brother.

Do you know him? His name is Jesus.

He told me long ago that he was despised and rejected, and all of us that belong to Him should not expect to be treated any differently. Thank you, Jesus, for sticking closer to me than a brother. For being the faithful One that loves me, with all my faults and imperfections. He loves you, too, dear reader. Praise God!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Mourning Rises

Miles and miles apart, almost 2000 miles. But the fondness and love remained. Encouraged and encouraging is how I think of her.

When Madeline was young, she told me, "Draw her now as a baby. While she looks this way to you, draw her now. Do not wait."

We grew up miles and miles apart, many more than 2000 miles apart. She in Mexico City, me in San Jose. Two different countries, two different cultures. She fascinated me. So different, yet the same.

"Maybe you have grandma's artistic ability. Someone in our family should!" I tell her it's really in my brother.

The grief grips my belly and tears rise in the bottom of my eyes. They leak over and down my cheeks leaving tiny rivulets that I try to brush away lest someone will see. The little streams arrive at unexpected times.

Cousin, I miss you.

Juanita, March 10, 1952 – October 27, 2011