Behind the Scenes – Bridges to Friendship

crystalstine.meTuesdays around here means a fun link-up with Crystal Stine.  One picture and a story about what was happening just before, just after or outside of the shot.  What’s the story that we don’t get to see in the frame.  There is some lovely words over here so won’t you join us in the fun? 

The Photo

It started out pretty much as any normal Saturday morning.  A little bit of a sleep in, coffee on the couch while wearing our jammies and our hair looking wildly for combs.  After a quick breakfast and a shower we headed to the local Farmer’s Market to meet my parents and brother for coffee and pick up our meat from the butcher.  Pretty normal eh?  
This particular Saturday however, we had made plans with friends to do just a little cross-border shopping.  This Canadian shopaholic can’t let the opportunity for a potential good deal go. About 12PM we loaded up and drove the 90 minutes to our destination.  A little town near Port Huron, MI. 
The picture above is the one I snapped as we crossed the Bluewater Bridge to wait in line for the US Customs.  I couldn’t believe I captured the water with such clarity from a moving vehicle with my iPhone.  While on the bridge we were all checking our phones to make sure we wouldn’t be hit with any roaming charges once we landed on US soil.  We also sent out last Tweets, Facebook status updates, emails and texts. 
We spent some time in the Burlington Coat factory and I marveled over the deals and practiced the starving-student restraint I must now that I’m not working, (I was pretty proud of myself as my wallet only became lighter by $30). My friend and I decided that we needed a coffee break and I noticed a Panera Bread close to where we were.  Once we settled into our seats I connected to the free WiFi.  
I knew Five Minute Friday Party goers lived in the area.  I wasn’t exactly sure where, I didn’t know if they were 30 minutes away or 1 hour way.  So I sent out a tweet saying that I was in their neck of the woods and before I knew my phone was pinging in rapid succession. My heart was beating with anticipation because just that morning I wrote here about how God used Five Minute Friday to help me find community.  The possibility of a real life, out of the blue, meet up was just too much to even imagine. 

I may have crossed a bridge to go shopping but God had other plans.  Andi, one the sweetest most beautiful people I know responded to my Tweet regarding my whereabouts with “SHUT UP, I’m like 10 minutes away!”  and her next Tweet went something like this “Stay there, I’ll be there in 10 minutes!”  

10 Minutes????  10 MINUTES!!!!!!! Oh. My. Stars. This was really happening.  And before I knew it my arms were full of this and my eyes were stinging with tears of happy.

She walked through the door and it was like we had homing beacons in our hearts. I squealed, yes squealed, like a giddy school girl and wrapped her up in the biggest hug, over and over and I think I even cupped her face in my palms, because really this doesn’t happen to me. And at the risk of being dramatic it was a holy wonder to look her in the eyes and feel such kinship, such friendship.  We’ve never met in real life, up until that moment our friendship consisted mostly of tweets, blog comments and, of course, Five Minute Friday.

We only had fifteen minutes together, but it was such a precious time.  I couldn’t help but smile a goofy smile for the rest of the afternoon and even now recalling, in vivid detail, every moment of our conversation brings me to tears. 

Over a year ago God used the internet to build a bridge back to Him, back to community, and on Saturday He had me cross a bridge to fill my arms with such loveliness, a confirmation of how He pursues me. 

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