The Day Wendy Came
No one knew how much I wanted to see her. I kept the thought, along with many others, to myself. I was sick, kept prisoner by iron hands that pressed upon my chest, and to make up for my body’s captivity, my mind gallivanted. It often chose the path of the past, stopping to smell the flowers of childhood, striding hurriedly through the woods of adolescence, and gazing at the skies of my college years, sometimes stormy, sometimes sunny and laden with clouds as white and fluffy as cotton. It was in the clouds that I saw Wendy.
Wendy was my roommate in college. She became a friend when I had none and she restored a level of joy in my heart that had been absent in high school. Maybe that was why, eight years later, I longed to see her. To remind me of that same joy. I knew it was impossible, since Wendy lived with her husband and baby daughter overseas. I kept the thought to myself and wasn’t sad, for I enjoyed even the idea.
Another month passed. The iron hands held their grip, and in protest my mind roamed even further. I thought of many people…friends, teachers, relatives. I thought of my grandmother who had died three years before. I missed her.
One day I received a message from Wendy:
We are in the States. Want to meet up in Chicago?
What a surprise—Wendy in the States? So close, yet so far!
I would love to see you! But I can’t go to Chicago. I can’t even leave my house. Was in ER last month and am not doing well. I’m sorry!
What if we came to you?
That would be great!
Wendy would be here in two weeks, and the iron hands punished my excitement by pressing harder, pinning me down into my bed. I struggled to breathe, eat, and talk. I couldn’t stand up in the shower. I told my mom,
"You need to tell Wendy how bad I am. I want to see her so much. But it doesn’t make sense for them to drive all those hours for this."
“This,” being me; or rather, what was left of me.
My mom sent a message to Wendy and reported the next day. “Wendy wrote back,” she said.
I braced myself for the disappointment.
Tears that had been lodged in a cave of despair loosened and fell at this happy word.
God brought Wendy, Simon and Libby to my home during the darkest week of my 30-year-old life, illuminating the rooms with a peaceful glow. No one knew how much I had wanted to see my friend, no one could have foreseen my fragile physical state on that particular week. No one, that is, except He who “perceive(s) my thoughts from afar” and sees “all the days ordained for me.” I marvel, as Hagar did in the desert, and say to my Maker, “You are the God who sees me!”
All who are in Christ experience those days when Wendy comes, those gifts from the Lord by which He demonstrates His love and care in a personal way. They are tangible evidence of the truth of God’s word, deepening our faith in the rich promises given to us in Scripture. On Christmas we celebrate the ultimate demonstration of God’s love for all mankind in the birth of His holy Son. “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light, on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned,” Isaiah wrote. While we were held under those iron hands of sin and death, Jesus came, the friend of sinners, to offer much more than a passing glow. The illumination of Christ vanquished the dark forever! As Paul David Tripp writes in his book, Come Let us Adore Him, “Jesus didn’t come to earth to do a preaching tour or to hang out with us for a while; He came on a radical mission of moral rescue. He came to rescue us because He knew that we couldn’t rescue ourselves.”
As I look back on this past year, I am thankful for the day Wendy came, and many other gifts the Lord so graciously gave. And as I look forward to Christmas, I praise God for the birth of His Son and the spiritual blessings that abound because of my life in Him.