Find the first part of this series here: When God Breaks Your Heart
PART 2: The Necklace
“Two sugars please.” Her soft voice rang in my head as I walked away from the counter with the coffees. I debated grabbing a third one for Him, seeing as He’s going to be in this conversation with us. I paused momentarily exploring the validity of the idea, but quietly chuckled at the thought – The God of the universe having a cup of coffee. In a few short hours, that image would no longer be confined to the realms of my imagination but rather an incarnate reality that I would live to speak about, or more accurately, write about.
I opened the sugar packets almost robotically and poured them in. Lost in thought as I observed the granulated sugar dissolve in the coffee, I suddenly felt the weight and significance of this seemingly simplistic act. “Two sugars please” was much more than a coffee order. It was a symbolic acceptance of a difficult conversation that was about to unfold between two strangers. Strangers, whose only current ties were a silent cry and an inexplicable connection to a cross necklace. I softly let that sink in as I prayed to God for the strength that this conversation deserved, the strength I didn’t have.
I carefully clenched the mugs and took my seat at the table as I heard the sound of my heart pounding in my ears. I secretly hoped the beating would synchronize long enough with hers to break the silence. I was nervous, not because of the conversation to come, but more about playing the role of mediator between the hurt and the Healer. A role I woke up not knowing I’d be playing, assigned merely based on desire and not merit.
She grabbed the mug and wrapped her fingers around it instinctively while letting out a half smile of gratitude. Her gaze caught my eyes and I gestured a quick nod of acknowledgement but kept my eyes fixated on the coffee. We sat in silence for a few minutes. I allowed this silence to infiltrate us, taking with it the unwanted superficial discussions that would have been generated in the name of comfort. Distracted by the background noise, I listened to the pressing of the coffee machine, the milk frothing, the laughter in the background, the door opening and closing. Until she spoke…“I wasn’t always like this you know”. The weight of those words hung in the air shattering the silence I now found comfort in.
I wasn’t ready for that. With all the conversation possibilities I had conjured, this was not one of them. This was in fact the one scenario I would not let my mind wander to. Oh how I desperately wanted to believe that there was a time before this for her. That she had joyful memories stored away, waiting to be called on as artillery in this battle she was silently fighting. Naïve me. Memories are like caged birds, once released, they never come back the same…the cage that was once a sense of security is now no longer able to confine them. To think that mere memories can withstand in a battle, let alone hold true against the test of time.
As I frantically searched for the right words, I saw her reach into her pocket and pull out a necklace that she placed on the table. I looked at the beautiful gold chained cross necklace that was identical to mine, and yet so different. I picked it up and examined it. On the surface, there was nothing particularly different about this cross…except the story behind it. I could sense there was more to this necklace than the few grams of gold I was holding. This was her cross. The cross that she’s been carrying, literally and figuratively. I quickly realized the story I’d been so eagerly waiting to hear might quite possibly be the same story behind this cross. This cross that is no longer on her neck but now being carried in her pocket. I sat back and waited for it all to unravel…
TO BE CONTINUED