|remember when we went cherry picking?|
laura called one day last fall and asked, "do you think you could get away to london?" the Mister was lying in bed beside me. he heard her question and answered before i could ask, "go".
laura is my silly, single friend. she's a genius in the kitchen and game to join in some of my daft antics like when we decided spur of the moment that our wedding toast was going to be a ridiculously choreographed interpretive dance at the rehearsal dinner of our dear friends ryan and gabe. the two of us get along famously and usually find ourselves enjoying a laugh, a scripture, a recipe. often an anecdote.
growing up in mississippi, she's a southern girl through and through. basically orphaned at age 16. she pronounces monday "mondee" and can tell you stories that would give any piece of new york times best selling fiction a run for it's money only her stories are real.
a quick glance at wikipedia tell me: "In mythology, a phoenix is an immortal bird that, when it dies, bursts into flames and is reborn from its own ashes. 'To rise from the ashes of the phoenix' means to make a miraculous comeback." i know of a lot of people who remind me of the mythical phoenix, but one who stands out most is my friend laura.
i did not know laura before her miraculous comeback, but every once in a while she'll lift the curtain to her past with a narrative that makes me wonder how she's still alive. it's clear. there is a god, and he supernaturally spared her. there is no other explanation.
as a caterer to the stars, she's rubbed elbows with the famous. i would drop names, but that's not the point. the point is, she has dined with kings and have left saddened by their shallow sights. she has called with observations such as, "what benefits a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?"
today my friend from afar texted to ask, "would you all please pray for me? i am really sick." the 11 year old asked, "can i stop calling her 'fake aunt laura'? when i pray can i just call her 'laura'?" and there we asked god to be with her in her sickness. to be her comforter. her companion. her father. because he promises to be all of those things to us.
when we moved away, mine and laura's friendship took flight. it was no longer a given we would bump into one another during the week. living far away means making an effort to stay in contact. and we have. and it has been a touchstone in my life. here's why.
when she asks hard questions and i give hard answers, she accepts that sometimes friendship means being willing to faithfully, honestly peer into one another's life and with grace and delicacy speak truth-hard truth. by the way, that is a two way street. and friendship means hoping and waiting with expectancy that god will answer prayers. to laugh when another one weeps and weep when another one laughs. okay. that's not exactly true. comic relief. but always, always pointing one another back to He who called forth the phoenix.
postscript: due to family commitments on my part, our trip to london was postponed, but not canceled. looking forward to jet setting soon.