Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Magical Moment 55, "Free to Chat"

My older sister, Regina, and I have a special bond. We’re close in age and grew up as each other’s built-in-best-friend and playmate. My mother dressed us in matching outfits and we often were mistaken for twins. We played barbies in the basement, pioneer girls outside, board games at the kitchen table, and Regina made up a game called, queen and slave (I always had to be the slave, but I was ok with it). At Christmas, we set up an ornament-making factory downstairs where we created decorations with orange juice cans, yarn, glitter, and cut up Hallmark cards. We spent Sunday mornings giggling uncontrollably in church, eventually having to be separated after getting the evil eye from our mom. Yes, we fought like any siblings. I have a scratch on my chin in my 2nd grade school picture to prove it, but we were always there for each other.

We remember the really “old days,” living in my grandparents basement, playing with Grandma’s big blue curlers under the dining room table, finding a snake in our parents closet, and being babysat by Grandpa and Stan, the neighbor. We remember the kinda “old days,” when our parents were extremely strict, dad didn’t vacuum, and mom was exhausted from working and trying to keep up with us. Of course, by the time our little sister, Erica, arrived, the parents had mellowed out and Regina and I were grown and out of the house before she hit her teens. Our history has created a special relationship of closeness, honesty, support, and friendship.

Even though we haven’t lived in the same state for 7 years, we’re as close as we ever were. We talk on the phone every day and text about a billion times a day. I know I can ask her for any favor, and she’ll blindly oblige. We listen to each other drone on and on about our problems and do our best to offer advice, knowing we’re not really qualified to do so.

Our new goal is to hold each other accountable to eating healthy. We made a rule to tell the other everything we eat, like weight watchers. Since that can be a little taxing for me, who is not an expert texter (ooh, that’s a lot of “x”s), we discovered a new plan. Yahoo chat. We leave our yahoo chat window open all day long and can type anything anytime, anywhere (thanks to internet on phones). It’s the closest thing I have to someone else being in my house. I’m gonna take a bubble bath, I tell Gina about it. I don’t know what I’m gonna eat for supper, I just type a little message to Gina. I have to run errands, tell Gina. I’m working on my computer and up pops a little message from Gina. All throughout the day, we’re free to chat to each other. It’s the simplest thing, and so very comforting to know that the other is right there on the other side of our computer.

I explained all that to connect to this metephor, cheesy as it may be. But it is even more simple to chat with God. The line is always open. You can tell Him the most menial things about your day. You can ask His advice on things you don’t think anyone else will care about. You can tell Him you’re bored, frustrated, sad, nervous, or that you regret eating that last handful of Doritos. And you don’t even have to put in the effort of typing. Or talking. You can just think it and He hears. He is always free to chat. He never sleeps. He never says, "be right back." He never has to go to work. He is never not-available. Technology is wonderful, but it doesn’t come close to matching the measures that God has put in place since the dawn of time to be close to His children.