Best Friends by Barb Witt

“When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.”

(Psalm 94:19 ESV)

Bonnie and Caroline burst into Edna’s room. If they weren’t such good friends, she’d have been very angry. But truth was, she needed them just now. She hadn’t been able to eat much since the accident. She hadn’t slept well either. She couldn’t even find the strength to climb out of bed.

“Honey, you need to get out of that bed. You’ve been in there way too long,” Caroline said as she peeked at her under the covers where Edna had buried her head.

“Yeah, you’re pretty ripe. You need a shower girlfriend,” Bonnie held her nose.

Edna couldn’t help but burst out in laughter. She sat up laughing and crying at the same time, She threw her legs over the side of the bed, and her friends hugged her.

As all three blubbered and caterwauled loudly, the nurse ran in the door. “Is everything all right in here?” she asked, looking at the three women sitting on the bed with their arms around each other.

“Yeah, we’re okay,” Caroline said through sniffs and snorts while wiping her eyes on a tissue.

“Nurse, Ms. Edna here could sure use a shower, can you help her with that? We’ll change her sheets while you take care of her, okay?” Bonnie held her nose again.

“I’d be happy to,” the nurse said with a grin.  “Come on, Edna, let’s get you cleaned up.” She got Edna’s walker and helped her into the bathroom.

When she was all cleaned up, Edna opened the bathroom door to a freshly made bed and a TV tray with a plate of eggs and bacon, toast, and a cup of steaming coffee. Bonnie and Caroline stood behind her chair, smiling at her as only her two best friends could.

“Come on, Edna, sit down and have some breakfast,” Caroline said.

“Yeah, we made it just for you.” Bonnie snorted a laugh.  “Not! We got it from the cafeteria.”

Edna sat down, smiling as she looked at the feast in front of her. Suddenly her tummy growled loud and long. “Oh my! I must be hungry after all,” she exclaimed.

“We’re really sorry about your granddaughter, Edna,” Caroline said. “We know how close you two were. She was so young.”

“Yeah, it’s such a shame,” said Bonnie. “Drunk driving should be against the law.”

That made Edna and Caroline laugh.

“Yes, it is a shame,” Edna said. “She was on her way home from college for a long weekend visit with her parents and out of nowhere another car T-Boned her. The paramedics tried to save her, but it just wasn’t meant to be.” Tears rolled down Edna’s cheeks as she thought about her granddaughter. Such a lovely girl. “But I do know that I’ll see her again when I get to heaven. And that’s something I can look forward to. And I know she wouldn’t want me sitting here moping either. I will miss her. A lot. And I have my memories to cherish.” Edna wiped away the tears.

After Edna finished her breakfast she grinned at her friends. “Okay, girls, let’s go see what mischief we can get into today.”

Bonnie and Caroline laughed, and said in unison, “All right! Let’s go, girlfriend!”

They all walked out the door talking and laughing and Edna whispered a prayer, “Thank You,  Lord for these friends. And please say ‘Hello’ to my granddaughter. Tell her I can’t wait to see her again.”

Best Friends (© Barb Witt 1/7/2020)

And now we pray…

Lord, thank You for Your comfort which comes in many forms. One of the best is through our friends. Thank You for the strength of friendships and for the support they give. Thank You for everything.

In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN!

About the Author:

Barb Witt is a Christian wife, mother and grandmother who loves gardening, quilting, crafting, writing poetry and devotions, and is working on a children’s book. She has created an email devotional and prayer warrior ministry that she sends out daily. If you’re interested in being added to her email list let us know.

A Sunrise Song by Catherine Hershberger

“Awake, awake, break out in song.” (Judges 5:12 ESV)

I heard my first robin of spring last week. After the cold weather we’ve had in southern Ohio, his song was welcome. He was singing outside the front window. Click on the following link to hear the robin’s songs. http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/american_robin/sounds When I looked out, there he was on the porch railing, his red breast a welcome spot of color against the dull concrete driveway.

I always thought robins were migratory birds, but when I did a Google search I discovered while some migrate, many remain in the same place year round. In winter they form nomadic flocks that travel to where there are fruits and berries left on trees and shrubs. When spring comes, the flocks break up and the robins choose a territory, often where they were the previous year, and begin defending it in preparation for courting and raising chicks.

While researching the migratory habits of robins I also discovered some else I never knew. Male robins sing upon reaching the territory they’ve chosen as their new home. They don’t usually sing when they are in the winter flocks, because hearing other male birds sing stresses them. Birds sing and call for a number of reasons: to attract a mate, defend a territory, keep in touch with family and flock members, warn each other of predators, announce they have found food, and to welcome the dawn. In fact, near sunrise birds often sing more loudly and vigorously than they do at any other time of day.

I found this last tidbit of information very interesting. I’m not usually up at dawn, but I have been awakened on several occasions in the summer by the birds singing outside my window. In my opinion, it’s a hundred times better than the alarm clock.

As a vocalist, I can imagine no greater way to express myself than through song. I wonder how much better our day would go if we, like the robin, started it with a song. Breaking out in a joyful melody to greet the day might lift our hearts, soothe our souls, and would, I’m sure, be appreciated by the Lord.

When we get to the place God’s preparing as our new home—heaven—I know we’ll be singing as joyfully as the robin greeting the sunrise. After, all we’ll be experiencing our own Son Rise. We won’t have to endure long cold winters. There will be no more sorrow, no more pain, and our lives will be filled with peace and praises sung to the King of Kings.

Are you singing a sunrise song to the Son? If not, try starting your day with a song of praise.

A Sunrise Song (© Catherine Hershberger 3/16/15)

About the Author:

Catherine is a member of Greendale First Church of Christ. She is also an award-winning author of sweet and inspirational romance under the pen name of Catherine Castle. Many of her devotions have appeared on various places on the internet. You can find her books on her Amazon Author page or at Barnes and Noble. Sunrise Song is a devotion from Catherine’s unpublished book Lessons From Nature—A Gardener’s Devotional by Catherine Castle

Whiter Than Snow by Catherine Hershberger

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” (Psalms 51:7 ESV)

When I lookout my breakfast nook window after a snow I see a snow-covered hillside garden. (pictured above) The scene always puts an old hymn into my mind—“Whiter Than Snow” (circa 1872). As I admire the snowy beauty, glad that I don’t have to get out in it, I find myself  humming the tune and marveling at its words.

If you aren’t familiar with the song, whose lyrics were written by James L. Nicholson, you can hear it on YouTube. Online,  I found six verses to this hymn, but my favorites verses are 1 and 6, and, of course, the chorus. These two verses, in my opinion, sum up a Christian’s assurance of heaven—our confession of faith in the Lord, our baptism, and God’s response to our surrender.

Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole; I want Thee forever to live in my soul;

Break down every idol, cast out every foe—Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

The blessing by faith, I receive from above; Oh, glory! my soul is made perfect in love;

My prayer has prevailed, and this moment I know, The blood is applied, I am whiter than snow

Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow,
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

The song’s inspiration was most likely Psalms 51:7: “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” (ESV)

As much as I love the beauty of a fresh snowfall, its glory will diminish as time goes by. Children will roll snowmen in the front yards, exposing the brown grass and mud beneath the snowflakes. Cars will splatter gray mush onto the pure white edges of the road. And eventually the sun will come out and melt away winter’s glory. The picture perfect moments that have drifted from the sky aren’t permanent. 

But when God washes us and makes us whiter than snow, that purity won’t fade as long as we are His.  In the book of Revelation, Jesus said, “..and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of Life.(Revelation 3:4-5 ESV)

I don’t know about you, but I take great comfort in knowing that my walk with the Lord has made my soul whiter than snow.

So, the next time a winter storm comes your way, remember this old hymn and celebrate the storm’s beauty—even if you have to shovel ten inches of snow. Because as the song says, The blood is applied, I am whiter than snow. Oh, glory! my soul is made perfect in love. And that’s something to celebrate.

Whiter Than Snow (© Catherine Hershberger 2/17/2020)

About the Author:

Catherine is a member of Greendale First Church of Christ. She is also an award-winning author of sweet and inspirational romance under the pen name of Catherine Castle. Many of her devotions have appeared on various places on the internet. You can find her books on her Amazon Author page or at Barnes and Noble.