My across-the-street neighbor loves cherries. I didn’t know that until last Friday. How funny to discover that both my son and James Keith are crazy about pitted fruits in the same week- ha! 😀
It just sort of spilled out while we were all hanging out together on our front porch.
“Do you want a Cherry Coke?“, I asked our visitors- James Keith (JK), his wife Denise, and our mutual friend, Laurel.
“Yes! I LOVE cherries!“, JK chimed in first. Denise and Laurel both wanted one too, so I slipped back inside and joined Kevin who was already pouring one for himself in the kitchen. The Cokes were room temperature, so I pulled three thick glass tumblers from the cabinet and got to work filling them with ice. I don’t drink soda anymore, but oh how my mouth watered as the red-brown, fizzy liquid crackled its way around the cubes and turned into foam at the top of each glass!
Back on the porch, I handed our guests their drinks and offered them each a Kit Kat from the heart-shaped box I gave Kevin a few days before. Then, as Denise shared a story about how they had cherry turnovers instead of a groom’s cake at their wedding, I watched James Keith take a deep breath,
After that, we talked about how you don’t ever see a sweet cherry tree in Alabama. Turns out, they wouldn’t bloom at the right time here.
We hadn’t planned to get together, the five of us. It just sort of happened after school that day and I felt grateful for the
After a traumatic
But impromptu gatherings with people who know exactly why I might currently feel most comfortable fellowshipping out front? YES, LORD. Send them over. And if I start to sweat in my swingy seat, pull Luke 10:17 out of my mouth just like you did last time we were all together. (“Lord, even the demons submit to us when we say your name!”) Sure, it was a little embarrassing to stop everybody in their tracks so that I could loudly reveal that I needed help regulating, but in doing so, my “demons” did flee and I ended up having such a good time that day.
I never did get squirmy sitting on the porch on Friday though. I just swung there next to Laurel and enjoyed everyone’s company.
And let me tell you something: healing happens when we sit with each other and listen. By the end of our visit, I left that porch feeling like a woman reborn.
You can imagine my surprise when I opened my Bible app a couple of hours later and saw the word “cherry” in the very first sentence of the Verse of the Day. Go back and look, it’s right there on February 16th. Here’s a condensed version of what it said, “Though the cherry trees don’t blossom…I’m turning cartwheels of joy to my Savior…I take heart…and gain strength…I run like a deer and feel like I am king of the mountain.“
Those kinds of “coincidences” always make me smile. 🙂 And reading that particular verse, on that particular day, reminded me to be thankful for my struggles, because without them, I would never know my Strength.
…and for cherries, whether they grow here in Alabama or not. 😉
PS – One more interesting note that feels fun to mention: That scripture above is from the book of Habakkuk, and its final chapter ends with a song. Our neighbor, James Keith, is a musician (many folks believe Habakkuk was too) and his new song was released the day before we all sat together on the porch! Here’s a link if you’d like to check it out: Out of the Water
It’s such a fun creation and so is he!