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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Fried Rice & Friendship

It was always over Chinese that Chloe felt the safest. Was it the comforting warmth of the Wonton Soup? Was it the encouraging note she would find hidden in the fortune cookie at the end of her meal? Maybe. But she was pretty sure that it had little to do with the meal and mostly to do with her Company.

After a long day of work and trying to smile through her frustration at her demanding boss and inconsiderate co-workers, she grabbed her sweet & sour chicken to-go and headed to her apartment in solitude. She didn't bother with sitting at the kitchen table. Her coffee table did just fine for her on nights like this. She pulled out her chopsticks and placed them next to her Bible and journal. 

Bowing her head, she gave thanks and then dug into her fried rice.

"Thanks, God, for everything." she said out loud as she took her first bite. 

"So tell me, Chloe, how are you doing?" the Voice of her old Friend said deep in her heart.

"Oh fine." her heart responded as she took another bite.

"How are you feeling about your boss' reaction to your project today?" her Friend inquired.

Her heart sank at the thought of it. Mr. Miller is a hard man to please. 

"Oh fine." she said in her heart again, brushing off the sting she was feeling.

"Chloe."

"Yes?"

"How are you really feeling?"

"I'm fi- " she sighed.  "Well, actually..." 

Tears began to well up in her eyes as she began to relive the rejection she felt five hours ago.  

"God, I'm trying to enjoy my meal, here."  she said, choking a bit on her food. "Can we talk about this later?"

"Chloe, I'm bringing this up because I want you to enjoy your meal."  He said gently.

Chloe stopped and looked down at her carpet and thought for a moment.

"I forget sometimes, Lord, that you are a True Friend," she whispered, "and true friends are quick to bring you back to being honest with things."

She took a big bite of her egg roll and opened her journal. Without filtering her feelings, she began writing down adjectives of how she was really feeling about her job and boss. She wrote hard and fast. She could feel her whole body tense up as she filled the paper with emotion. Tears began to stream down her face as she felt the release of so much stress.

When she was done, she put her pencil down and stared at the paper.

"Lift up the paper, Chloe." her Friend said.

Chloe lifted it up toward heaven and lowered her head.

"Now, cast it all on Me." He whispered. "This, too, is nailed to the Cross."

"I give it to you, Lord." she whispered back.

Lowering her arms, she looked one more time at her paper and ripped it out of her journal. Then, she walked over to her fireplace, rested the paper on top of the burning wood, and watched as the flames consumed it from its corners to its core.  

"It is finished." the Lord said. 

Chloe held her hands to her chest as she felt its release and a Joy replacing the sting. A smile came to her face as she looked back at her dinner.

 "Now, how 'bout some Chinese?" her Friend said with a smile. 

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