There were four of us. I don’t remember when and where we met. Memory recalls only that at some point in our freshman year in college, we formed a group. We hung around often during the week and especially on weekends. We often studied and ate at the cafeteria together. We even took a hayride, camped out for concert tickets, and went to Disney World during spring break, sharing a little motel room I wouldn’t consider staying in now. And of course we did the girl thing: coloring our hair and crying over guys who broke our heart. They saw the worst in me during a difficult time in my life, but they accepted me despite that. We were friends.
The following year, I moved. We kept in contact for a while, but something–time, distance, my radical conversion to Christianity, perhaps all–came between us, and we lost touch with one another.
If you’ve read North of Broad, that friendship might sound familiar. While the characters in the novella are far more affluent, mature, and–ahem–quieter than their real-life counterparts, the four of we were, nonetheless, the model for that fictional band of friends.
A few weeks ago, I decided to look them up. Why after all this time, I don’t know. They had certainly come to mind several times over the years, especially when I shared our antics with my husband. I wasn’t able to find two, but one–the model for Brooke in North of Broad–came up in a search after I remembered how to spell her German last name. My joy was short lived. She passed away three years ago. I was shocked to see that still-too-young face and bright smile on an obituary page.
I found out about my friend the same day I learned about the death of an acquaintance. The thirty-nine year old man died suddenly of a heart attack, leaving behind a wife already accustomed to grief and two young children.
The reality of life is that we don’t know when we or a loved one will draw our last breath. Despite all the temptations the world has to offer us on a daily basis, we need to hold fast to the faith given to us and share that faith as it’s presented in the Scriptures. I was once told my work was too Christian. My response was, yea, I finally did something that may please God. With society as troubled as it is today, I humbly pray that my “too Christian” work may plant a seed in a reader and direct them to the living waters contained in the Word of God. Since my friend’s funeral was held at a church when I had never known her to step foot in one, who knows if God used the witness of my radical conversion to Christianity to plant the seed of the gospel in her.
Because if we’re not planting seeds of faith in people’s lives, what seeds are we planting?