Saturday, October 14, 2006

This Is Asbury Weather

"This is Asbury weather," remarked Cathy Price, a friend who qualifies for top rankings in the "Friend for Life" category.

Cathy joined Ashley Atkins, another top contender in the friend category, for dinner on my birthday. We realized as we stepped out of the restaurant that a faint chill haunted the air outside. A few leaves tease us with their color. Most importantly, the heat is gone, and we know that autumn has come.

These women are my college friends. On days like this, Asbury College was at its best. The huge oak trees marveled us with their bright red hues. We would sit under them and let the falling leaves bury us alive.

On a perfect fall day, temptation called. Would we remain faithful to our collegiate classroom commitments? Most likely, I would find myself sitting on Reasoner Green, circled with a group of friends I loved deeply, laughing and laughing. Our professors usually walked passed us when he or she finished the class that we had just skipped. Usually, they would find their way over to sit down for a second and enjoy the day that ranked as our new top priority over their class. On a perfect day, no one ever objected.

I desperately miss those days.

Now those friends who sat with me under the oak trees dot a global map with their new homes. They own a piece of my heart. I feel the missing parts when the weather cools, and the days are perfect.

During my four years at Asbury College, I am not quite sure if I ever understood the sheer importance of those days. My goals and ideals were shaped by friends and mentors who believe that we could live for the good of the world. Also, they believed that my life mattered, and they brought to life dreams that I had never imagined before.

The late nights in my dorm room traced visions of what kind of woman I hoped to become. My girlfriends promised each other that we would be strong, hopeful, generous, intelligent, and committed to God and the people He brought us to love. Never in my entire life have I been surrounded by such phenomenal women. On Sunday nights, a handful of us would gather together, study, pray, and talk about ideas that mattered to us. I still use those notes, even today.

Conversations in the dining hall lasted for hours. We had nothing better to do than sit and talk. Those talks with so many people showed me that simply listening to whoever sat before me changed all of us.

When the fall of the year comes back around, it is Asbury weather. Cathy was right. This kind of weather reminds me to pray for those dear friends who serve God in so many ways. Pray for the young mother in Maryland who is raising Rex and little Caroline to know God and to love others. Pray for the teacher just up the road who loves children in a way that people can never understand. Pray for the dear man in Sri Lanka who works daily, even during war times, to rebuild a culture and people devastated by the tsuanami. Pray for the missionaries in Africa, India, and South America who strive to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the poorest of the poor.

May these Asbury kind of days spur me to be the kind of person we dreamed of becoming. May our conversations today around dinner tables shape the future of those sitting beside us.


Blogger clave said...

You are making me miss Asbury Seminary.

5:47 PM  

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