Friends For Always

“Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place.”
Luke 4:24

A recent email exchange with a childhood friend turned my thoughts to the old neighborhood and someone I’ll never forget. I’ve told you about Glenda before, nonetheless, I can’t resist…

Glenda and I had been classmates from first through sixth grade. We played together whenever we could. During sixth grade, we endured some troubles. Glenda began to blossom into a young woman quite noticeably and I managed to annoy our teacher on a daily basis regardless of my genuine effort to do just the opposite.

One day, Sister announced that we must read the essays we’d just written to the entire class. Since Glenda and I were shy, we trembled in unison at the thought. When it was my turn, I managed not to fumble. When Sister called Glenda, I closed my eyes and prayed that she would do the same. A giggle from the back of the classroom interrupted my prayer. A second giggle prompted me to open my eyes. By the time I focused on Glenda, everyone in class was laughing, except for me. When I noticed that Glenda’s blouse had unbuttoned, I was mortified for her. Fortunately, Sister took control and sent Glenda and me into the hallway.

While I explained what had happened to Glenda, Sister mercilessly reprimanded the rest of the class. Poor Glenda sobbed until I convinced her that we were the lucky ones because the rest of the class was in trouble. In the end, our classmates ostracized us for a bit because we “got them into trouble”. Never mind their cruel laughter which caused Glenda’s tears. As for Glenda and me, our friendship grew stronger and Sister managed to muster a bit more patience when it came to judging my behavior.

Dear God, thank you for helping me to put my friendship with Glenda ahead of my standing among my classmates. Help me to put my friendship with you ahead of everything.

©2019 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Friendship That Lasts…

“Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place.”
Luke 4:24

A recent email exchange with a childhood friend turned my thoughts to the old neighborhood and someone I’ll never forget…

Glenda and I had been classmates from first through sixth grade and we played together whenever we could. During sixth grade, we endured some troubles. Glenda began to blossom into a young woman quite noticeably and I managed to annoy our teacher on a daily basis, regardless of my genuine effort to do just the opposite.

One day, Sister announced that we must read the essays we’d just written to the entire class. Since Glenda and I were shy, we trembled in unison at the thought. When it was my turn, I managed not to fumble. When Sister called Glenda, I closed my eyes and prayed that she would do the same. A giggle from the back of the classroom interrupted my prayer. A second giggle prompted me to open my eyes. By the time I focused on Glenda, everyone in class was laughing, except for me. When I noticed that Glenda’s blouse had unbuttoned, I was mortified for her. Fortunately, Sister took control and sent Glenda and me into the hallway.

While I explained what had happened to Glenda, Sister mercilessly reprimanded the rest of the class. Poor Glenda sobbed until I convinced her that we were the lucky ones because the rest of the class was in trouble. In the end, our classmates ostracized us for a bit because we “got them into trouble.” Never mind their merciless laughter which caused Glenda’s tears. As for Glenda and me, our friendship grew stronger and Sister managed to muster a bit more patience when it came to judging my behavior.

Dear God, thank you for helping me to put my friendship with Glenda ahead of my standing among my classmates. Help me to put my friendship with you ahead of everything.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Teach Love

Let us move on to the neighboring villages
so that I may proclaim the good news there also.
That is what I have come to do.

From Mark 1:29-39

Our neighbor, Ellie, became an auxiliary grandma to our son Mike from the day he was born. Because she lived next door, Mike saw Ellie every day. When she relaxed on her patio after a long day of teaching, Ellie always had a snack and some juice for the little guy who wandered over. I admit that I benefitted from Ellie’s friendship at least as much as my son did.

When Mike was just seven years old, he wasn’t at all happy with what I had asked him to do. In response, he shouted “I hate you!” I never used that word myself, and it broke my heart to hear it from my little boy. Still, I remained calm until Mike’s bedroom door slammed. It was then the tears flowed. When I went outside to our backyard to recover, I saw Ellie. Still teary-eyed, I told my neighbor what had happened. “Did your kids ever say that?” I asked. “Sure they did. They’re kids. And you know what I did? I pulled them close and said, ‘Well, that’s okay because I still love you!’” Ellie added that this gesture quickly put an end to such talk. As it happened, Mike repeated his comment only once more, probably because I followed Ellie’s example to a tee.

Dear God, your good news makes good sense always and everywhere. Thank you for sharing so much of your good news through Ellie and the many good souls like her. They teach us to transform the worst of this world with love.

©2014 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved