“Ah…hello?” My brain cells were, without a doubt, still in a state of transition.
“Hi—Mick? Pause. “Know who this is?” The person on the other end chuckled.
Contact! In an instant I recognized the voice of a woman who had been my best friend through our late teens and twenties. We had not spoken in years, not because our friendship had fallen apart or been damaged. It was simple. I lost contact with her after she experienced serious and dramatic change in her life. I had tried locating her via various online searches, but to no avail.
“Oh. My. Gosh. No. It. Can’t. Be!”
“Yep! So, how are you?”
For the next two hours our conversation bounced back and forth. We laughed, we sighed, in other moments we grew quiet and somber. We had a lot of ground to cover. Happy stories, mixed with a fair number of those that had to do with pain and suffering. Transcending all was our joy in discovering our ease in picking up where we left off. It was real and meaningful for both of us.
As we flew through that initial conversation, I noticed her repeating a certain sentiment. “I’m so sorry. It was my fault. You were such a good friend. And please know--I'm not about to use the turmoil in my life at the time as an excuse for not staying touch."
I assured her I understood. But there was something else she said early on that caught my attention. “I was so afraid to call, afraid you might hate me for the way things happened." I was afraid to call.
She meant it. There was a tremble in her voice as she spoke. I could sense it had taken every ounce of courage on her part to press through her fear and pick up the phone.
Several days had passed since the morning we reconnected (we talk on a regular basis now). My beloved and I were taking a walk. We stopped at one point to enjoy the beautiful fall sky. I pointed out a long, unbroken contrail overhead. Its puffy pieces of water vapor draped like a white ribbon across the blue. It got me to thinking of some similarities with that first “Hi.”
Neither end connected to anything visible. As we watched, the molecules of the contrail began to disappear. Yet I knew that didn’t mean something had not existed in the first place.
When she stopped communicating I never thought or felt our friendship vanished. I missed her and hoped we would reconnect at some point.
As I watched the contrail disappear, a further truth emerged. Invisible hope. People had boarded a plane at one end to travel to a destination at the other end. Many of the passengers and those who awaited their arrival were witnesses to hope. They believed all would be well. Take off, the duration of the journey, setting down for a safe landing.
My friend had been honest in sharing her fear. Not knowing how I would respond to her desire to reestablish our “visible” friendship. But in the end, how grateful we are fear did not have the last word. The tiny glimmer of hope she carried in her heart was enough to convince her to persevere. She embraced that hope and pressed the numbers to call.
Hope isn’t always visible. It’s a heart thing.
So, fellow sojourner, what is your choice this day? Will you be of good courage, breathe deep of hope, soar on its wings? If your response is yes, you just may delight in being carried into new places of healing and restoration.