did it get better?

“did it get better after you went back?” the question hit her in the past and right between the eyes.

she answered him without missing a beat. it was an easy question to answer, even in telling the truth.

“no, it did not get better. it got quite a lot worse before it got better, train wreck that i was at the time.”

photo credit: pixabay

she recalled fond memories, the beach, the mountains, his red porsche, other foggy details. he had been a true friend.

thirty-some years earlier, they’d met at a 7-eleven in pacific beach in san diego. he took her under his wing and looked out for her when her life had fallen apart to an even larger degree. this time, it was just further away from home.

the tipping point had been her parents’ divorce. when that last bubble burst, she ran fast and far, driving across the country on her own at the age of nineteen.

he’d spent time and energy tracking her down the day before, finally sending an email to her boss with her name in the subject line. when the boss asked if she knew so and so, she stopped breathing for a minute. “what?!?!” he asked her again. “what?!? wait. you have an email from so and so asking about me? how did he get your email address?’ he’d played detective on the internet to get a message to her.

she’d last tried to contact him in 2014, but they never really connected then. she knew he was on the east coast now. funny. she was back on the west coast.

she found his profile on facebook. in one moment, she sent him a friend request, and two minutes later, she’d messaged him to call her.

playing detective herself, a google search yielded several photos of him from 2006. he was older, but he still looked great. she was older, too.

two hours later, she was fielding a customer’s question and he called. as her cell phone rang, she saw the area code and knew it was him. she told the customer she’d call him back. answering the incoming call, she almost screeched his name as she pushed the answer button. “david, is it you?!?!?”

for twenty minutes, they played catch up, asking each other questions, laughing, talking. it was delightful conversation, one that kept her smiling long after they ended the call.

the drive home from work was a photo montage in living color, time spent reflecting on what her life had been when he befriended her. she knew she wouldn’t have lived to tell if he hadn’t shown up at the 7-eleven that day.

jesus gave her the whole slide show. as she watched, she shook her head and let out a low whistle. oh, my goodness. he had been a gift of stability when she’d had none.

she saw more redemption in that 6-month time frame than she’d been aware of before. healed fragments returned to her soul, happy to be home again.

holy spirit whispered, ‘ to whom much is given, much is required.’ she nodded, smiling.  she knew about much being required. it was okay, even welcome.

that jesus, he just never stopped looking out for her.

in that tumultuous season, he’d sent help in the form of a handsome, kind italian man with a big heart, an easy laugh and a passion for soccer.

she let the tears of gratitude join her smile. she was so thankful.

thank you, david.

(copyright 2017 jane doe)

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