“C’mon, just come with me,” I invited my friend as I planned to park in a favorite spot my family had enjoyed, too occasionally whenever we wanted to take a break.
I took the tong and started picking up some chicken wings from a nearby grocery store. Being kept hot inside the warming bins, I asked my friend to tell me what flavor she wanted. We decided to share and ended up stashing some in a bucket: honey flavored, teriyaki, buffalo and some plain ones.
Finding the perfect spot which thankfully was empty as the whole row was already crowded with a mixture of cars and RV’s, some late afternoon surfers and swimmers were enjoying the warm day in the cold water down below and others were taking a stroll on the sandy shore. The sun’s glow was so beautiful and calming as the rays kissed the oceans and our surroundings.
“Talk!” I commanded to my friend after we devoured the chicken wings.
“That’s the reason I invited you. I just wanted you to get out of your house and be able to vent out. I know how much suffering you are going through. I am stressed out, too, you know that…from my work.”
Silence…Her smile vanished. She let out a deep sigh and started letting go of the heaviness residing at the core of her heart. Tears flowed as she related, my eyes taking turns to stare at the ocean and look at my friend.
“Sometimes…I just want to go to that ocean and just not swim…”
My heart was pierced with the familiar desire. Once, I thought of ending my life, too when I thought I faced the “dead end” on a road I was walking on.
Clearing the lump in my throat that formed, I looked at her and said, “I know how you feel. I know you believe in God. I know you may doubt Him at times because of a tragedy. You know how I thought of ending my life once. But instead, He gave me that strength to end my life doing everything on my own. He led my steps to go near Him.”
“Okay, you tell me, too if you had anything to say,” she requested.
Despite the building up frustrations on what was going on from my workplace, I felt it was not the right time to say anything but…
“I love you. You know that. And I had already offered many times that if I could be of any help, please call me. I want you to know that you’re not alone. If I love you, God loves you much more.”
“Thank you…”she wiped the last bead of tear that fell and a faint glow of smile started appearing again on her face, wearied with everyday’s battles. She is a good person who believes in God and I know that cord that links her to Him always makes her feel she cannot wander away without feeling that thug…Thug of life. Thug of love. Thug of grace.
“Thank You, God for this,” I heard her soft whisper. I couldn’t help but paint a smile on my face, too and prayed quietly, “Lord, I lift my friend to You…”
|view from inside my car yesterday|
I glanced to the ocean which was right behind my friend’s face and the horizon truly was endless. Like God’s love and mercy. Cars and bikers passed by on my driver’s side so fast. I wondered if they enjoyed the scenic spot and what a blessing it was to souls hungry for peace. Like the ocean, God’s love had been revealed already and His grace made available to all. And it is sad when no one takes notice and does not see what was already done for all…