Fast Food Faith
Too many times I had sat that same way - shoulders slouched, head in my
hands, wearing despair like an old, familiar blanket. When you don't
have enough money, all you can think of is money; how much you have, how
far it will go, how many days until your next paycheck. The money litany
becomes a leaky faucet of thoughts, a constant dripping of worry and
I sighed deeply, and sat up. It wasn't as though I wasn't trying. I did
everything possible to provide for my two children. However, unlike my
parents and siblings I had not graduated college, and finding a decent
paying job without a degree had been difficult. So I sold shoes in an
upscale department store by day, and used my experience as a beautician
to do hair in my kitchen at night. The kids were used to the smell of
perm solution mixing with their Spaghetti-O's.
Most of the time, on a wing and a prayer, I could just manage to get by
on my income. Still, it was a delicate balance and sometimes my small
weekly budget disappeared too soon. Like right now. I sat staring at the
paint chipped walls in the upstairs apartment of the old house we lived.
I tried to lean on God and to hand him my worries, but most of the time
I took them back again. I ran into God's arms when things were hard, but
it was difficult to remain there when everything stayed the same. Maybe,
I thought, I really only had a fast food faith. Maybe I expected
drive-in window solutions, with answers to my prayers all neatly wrapped
and no waiting.
As I had done a hundred times before, I went into my kitchen and dialed
my friend Kathy's number. I was so grateful for a friend like this - a
soul baring, sharing laughter and tears kind of friend. And as we had so
often before, we discussed Life and talked about how difficult it was
sometimes to hang onto faith when things were hard. But a true friend,
she was my cheerleader - her words brimming over with encouragement.
"God knows, and he cares. Something will happen, it will all work out, I
just know it," said the voice of my lifeline on the other end of the
"Ah well, he better hurry then," I joked, absently twisting the phone
cord around and around my fingers. "I only have $1.56 left in my
checkbook until payday."
"He will," Kathy said with quiet conviction. She always saw beyond the
joking, and knew it was my way of not wanting to impose on her by crying
instead. "You're in my prayers, you know. Every night."
"I know Kathy. Thank you so much. I don't know what I'd do without you."
And it was true. Everyone should be so lucky to have a friend they can
pour their heart out to, without any fear or hesitation. Somehow,
someway, it would turn out. I had a best friend and she was praying for
me. And so I let it all go again - I sent all those desperate concerns
back to heaven. "God, you know I only have a dollar fifty-six left," I
told him, as if we were sitting having coffee together. "I need your
help; I can't do it alone anymore." There was no bolt from heaven, no
sudden rush of the Spirit filled my soul, but somehow I felt more at
peace. God had turned off that leaky faucet of worry and I wasn't going
to twist the handle out of his grasp again.
The internal peace I experienced would have been enough of an answer,
even if nothing changed. But a day later I went down the stairs and
across the street to my mailbox and pulled out a letter from another
friend of mine. Why would she write to me, instead of call? I wondered
as I tore open the envelope and pulled out the note inside.
"Dear Anne," it began, "Thanks so much for doing my hair - I love it!
And thanks for waiting for the money - sorry it took me so long to get
it to you. Patti." Inside was a check - twenty dollars that I'd
forgotten all about my friend owing me. In a heartbeat, every detail
around me seemed to shift to a brighter focus, the edges of the grass,
the trees, everything - took on a sudden sharpness and clarity. Not a
coincidental occurrence to me, but providential, I stood silent in a
sacred moment. Even the sunlight dancing over the mailbox seemed alive
and filled with the divine. Finally, reverently, I lifted my face to the
skies and thanked my Father above. And I knew before I even stepped off
the curb that before I went to the grocery store I'd be calling my
[ by Anne Goodrich, copyright ©2001 (Webmaster@ohangel.com) -- from '2THEHEART' ]
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