Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dolly Calling

A couple of weeks ago I was having a rough morning. I had stayed up too late the night before, trying to "make breakfast" for some people who have gotten the better of me lately.

We woke up later than we should have and were met with a few household mishaps which we used as our lame excuses for treating each other poorly before going our separate ways for the morning. Safe to say the goodbye kisses at the door were not much more than obligatory.

I then granted myself the luxury of having a good boo-hoo at the kitchen sink while loading the dishwasher full of breakfast dishes. The broken dishwasher, that is, for which I had forgotten to call Steve, our amazing repair guy. Later in the day I would need to rewash those and other dishes by hand. We dirty an alarming amount of dishes. But I digress.

I have learned by now that a good boo-hoo must be tempered with heart-guarding thoughts like Zephaniah 3:17: "The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing" and my old standby, Philippians 4:5-9.

In between recitations of everything I ought to know and would tell a girlfriend if the tables were turned and she called me for a pep talk, I found myself wishing that I could think of a friend to call who would pray for me. And just pray. Not one who would join in my whining with me or one who would need a detailed description of my drama or ask much of me in return.

I do have quite a sphere of girlfriends, but I needed to reach outside the realm of fellow mommies with young children underfoot whom I wouldn't dare call before 10 AM. So I dialed up one of my Titus 2 divas. And don't you know that she said that she had already thought of me and prayed for me while she was in the shower that morning? (Part of me shudders to think of how much worse a morning it could have been had she not prayed for me! Yikes!)

Our conversation was enough to get me back on my feet and ready to do the kind of domestic battle I am called to do. Loving these people and meeting their needs in the midst of crazy interruptions in a place where the unforeseen is the routine.

And then He really showed up. The phone rang back at me. I walked across the room to check the caller ID and determined that I was only answering that thing if it was one of the big kids calling about something they had forgotten or The Banker was calling to say he was sorry.

It was neither. On the display was the name of a dear friend, Dolly. Now Dolly and I are dear friends for sure, but we are the kind of forever friends that might only get to talk once in a blue moon. In fact, we had last talked about a year ago when we ran into each other at a local farmer's market.
She is a gem, having been refined by many trials, not the least of which was a long-awaited liver transplant several years ago. Her conversations are always laced with wisdom gained from years of faith-walking. I could not imagine what would cause Dolly to call so early in the day and my delight at the thought of catching up with her was mixed with the suspicion that something was amiss. My curiosity was piqued and I picked up the receiver.
Dolly answered my greeting by getting right to the matter at hand: She called me by name and asked if I was okay. A tricky question. "OK" is such a relative term, isn't it? I stammered and said that yes, I thought I was "basically OK", but why would she call to ask that?
This is where it gets really good:
Dolly proceeded to tell me that her Bob had gone out to get their mail and was startled to find, tucked in with their mail, an envelope address to us
at our address, about 5 miles away, in a different town with a different zip code. Realizing that there was no earthly reason that a piece of mail should be re-routed to my friend's doorstep without the intervention of an automated mail system or a postal worker along its journey, Dolly looked at Bob and said, "I have to call and see if anything is wrong that I should pray about!"

I repeated back to Dolly the scene she had just described: Our mail...her house...she defaults to prayer mode...calls me ASAP...on that morning?! Well shut my mouth! Unreal. He lives and I know that I know it.

We spent the next while visiting and good old Dolly lavished me with words of instruction and wisdom and reassurances that perseverance is the only answer. When I drove over to pick up my annointed envelope I moved aside her back issues of Birds & Blooms to have a seat in full view of multiple framed pictures of her grown children. Another one of my Titus 2 divas.

Without wanting to delay what could be chain reaction, I hastily called a few girls I know could use some unsolicited prayer and told them so. In the last few days I have seen the effect of those calls abounding in power.
We can't know the impact of a wee bit of encouragement applied to a friend's hurting heart.

A divine payment forward.

"Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." Phil.4:9

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