One of those people has been my friend Judie. We began swapping e-mails this summer after a pause of several years. We’d been through some intense family and church stuff together, and though our lives had diverted, she always had a special place in my heart. Her blunt honesty, roll-with-the-punches humor and 111% committment to her big, one-of-a-kind family were a tutorial in The Real Deal Christian Life 101 for me.
Judie is one busy lady, and so when her e-mails stopped just as suddenly as they’d began, I didn’t really think much of it. I was consumed with caring for my terminally-ill mom.
So imagine my surprise when I got an unexpected e-mail from another long-ago friend, telling me that Judie had leukemia and was in the hospital receiving chemo (and all the accompanying “proceedures” – proceedure being another word for “science experiment”). Coming off the heels of my still-fresh experience with my mom, the news staggered me backwards. Literally. I walked around with a lump in my throat and a very heavy heart for days.
One of the best things that has happened to me in the last few weeks came first in the form of yet another e-mail – this one from Judie – asking me again to call her. (She’d sent one a few days earlier with the same request in it, but I figured she was just being polite. I didn’t want to bother her, so I didn’t call.) But after the second e-mail, I picked up the phone and called her immediately.
It was one of the highlights of my month. It was a great conversation with one another and with God, but I think what made it amazing was that she went out of her way to welcome me into her life at a time when it might be easier to close the circle so she can focus on fighting her battle with this stupid disease. She blessed me – and reminded me again what it really means to LIVE a parable life – an improbable life that tells God’s story.
If you’re reading this, take a moment or five and pray for Judie and her fam.