CJ is my mentor, both literally (for school) and honestly (she is God’s heart to me). I wish I could number all the reasons why she’s a gift from God in the wake of G&J moving south.
Yesterday, at our weekly “meeting” which is usually a walk or a lounge in a new coffee shop, I told her all the things i have to do for next week: two papers, a presentation and a devotional for my office (sort of). I also work at a conference this weekend for high school girls. And next weekend I have the Fall Retreat for my own youth group…. Needless to say, I was expressing some stress.
We talked about E and all my consistent emotional confusion there (some day I will explain this more fully). I said I was so busy and preoccupied with school that I didn’t mind the fact that he was stuck in the mountains though I did want to see him in a distant sort of way.
And then she asked what I was going to write for the Christmas Devotional that goes out to staff, board members, donors, alumni, etc. I recited a couple of basic ideas: kingdom, Mary, in breaking of God’s reality to ours, advent as waiting, maybe something about my high school girls. She looked at me with the half grin that always says she’s going to call bull on something I’ve said. And with her one cheek puckered up into her bright blue eyes, she said through the lower half of her sideways smile,
“can I just be honest and say, all those things are easy? too easy.”
“well, I’ve thought about writing something more personal but I don’t know how to narrow it down. I don’t know how to write about my own stuff.”
She leaned forward and said, with hands clasped together in anticipation, “what does Jesus coming mean to you?”
I didn’t even have to push down the normal backlash against such postmodern language. The answer came immediately. My eyes welled up with tears as I sort of shrugged and said, “hope. hope that things will… get better. that someday I’ll be whole again. and lots of stuff. but hope.”
CJ settled back into her chair with a nod.
“then that’s what you write about.”