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Sole Song
by Kristine K.

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"Find a beautiful anniversary card and send it to Marilyn (not her real name) as a token of My love for you."

"Lord," I sputtered, "you don't understand. Send Marilyn a card after what she did to me?"

His velvet steel reply was unequivocal, soft but unbending: "Yes."

Marilyn acquired the dubious distinction of "former friend" over a year ago. Now God was asking me to do something for her that Marilyn hadn't done for me.

Marilyn and I exchanged cards and gifts for years. It was our way of saying, "I care about you." I thought Marilyn and I were on the same page until my November birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas all went unnoticed by Marilyn  for no discernible reason. Ditto Valentine's Day, Easter, Mother's Day and my May anniversary. It was a sizeable shift in our relationship that was never explained. When asked, Marilyn mortared a thick wall of busyness: "I don't even have time to send cards to my own family."

It was a small thing to Marilyn, a dust mote on the canvas of our relationship. To me, however, it was The Last Straw. This latest oversight capped a year-long series of snubs and woundings of varying degrees that eventually resulted in a crumpled relationship. I tried to tell her. More than once. Marilyn never had time to listen.

Soul-clarifying communication, contact and expressions of caring are my Love Language. So when Marilyn slid out of my life with "too busy" and "otherwise engaged," I felt as lost as an F flat in the key of A. Even worse was her icy indifference, a dissonance that continued unabated even after I confronted her on it. They say that the opposite of love isn't hate, but apathy. Truer words were never spoken when it came to Marilyn and me.

Bewildered, I watched helplessly as the relationship crumbled despite my best efforts to shore it up. Eventually, I was as burned out as prairie grass after a lightning strike. Continued unresponsiveness on Marilyn's part hauled me to the heart-wrenching conclusion that our friendship was over. I finally gave up, let her go. I don't think Marilyn noticed. She was too busy "doing ministry." Hence, when Marilyn's anniversary rolled around, I resolved to let it go by unsung--a reprise of her tune. But Someone had another song in mind.

The sense of loss was still raw when I heard His lyrics. Paralyzed, my frayed heart was too Lilliputian to manifest the kind of love and grace this seemingly small act required. So He enlarged my heart, pouring out His love for me in a million different tunes--until my "heart reservoir" overflowed with Him. The result? I couldn't refuse His command to "leak" His love onto Marilyn.

A card and gift went in the mail. My hands shook as I dropped them into the postal box. Reaching out like this, taking a risk this big when I had been hurt so badly? What am I doing? An Alaska-sized lump rose in my throat. This kind of vulnerability terrified me. What if she blows me off again?

Marilyn never acknowledged card or gift. I was disappointed but not devastated. Why? Because in the process of trusting obedience to a divine imperative I didn't understand, Jesus enlarged my heart. The relational spark I hoped my gesture might ignite never materialized. But I did what He asked me to do. I left the rest with Him.

I'm learning that the hole in my heart left by the loss of a cherished friendship drives me closer to the only One who can fully fill my soul. And when the Lord Jesus pours His love into me, stretching me beyond the limits of my small, weak self, the music He makes can be as breathtaking and as powerful as a Puccini aria. He's slowly--sometimes painfully--replacing my soul-shrinking solo with soaking splashes of Himself, orchestrating a duet as vast as His Love for both me and Marilyn.

Written by: Kristine K.

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