A drive across Canada helps bring a friend to
Here we were driving all the way across Canada, and I remember thinking:
This friendship is either going to sink or swim based on this trip! Sometime in
the days ahead I will talk to my friend about Christ.
It was a pretty neat experience. Hope and I were driving a car she'd bought
in Maine back to California. We took the northern route, drinking in the
Canadian landscape. We were in our 20s, camping out in the most gorgeous
scenery. One day we saw a moose just munching on grass by the side of the road.
We slowed down and got a good look. Hope's car was a 10-year-old Volvo in mint
condition. Usually we slept in a tent, but one night we stayed in the car
because of the insects. Good thing it was a station wagon.
I don't know how many times during the three-week trip Hope asked me: "Is
Christ really who He says He is?" I told her it would come down to her taking
that step of faith on her own, that I couldn't convince her based on my own
experience. She had to find out for herself. She finally did.
Hope and I had known each other for about a year when we took that trip
across Canada. We met in Oakland under funny circumstances. As a graphic artist
at a firm, she'd been given the assignment of designing a brochure advertising
a conference for Christians who worked in the medical profession (before I
became a wife and mom, I was a nurse). I was a workshop speaker at the
conference. We still hadn't met, but later she said she thought the person in
the photo looked vaguely familiar.
Well, turns out Hope and I both had studio apartments in an old Victorian
mansion. These were charming but cramped little units with Murphy beds stored
in the wall to save space. One day she saw me in the building and recognized me
from the picture in the brochure. So we struck up a conversation.
Hope wasn't a Christian, but I really liked her. Sometimes we'd pool
resources and eat our dinners together. She had a cooking habit that really
cracked me up. As an artist, she'd describe her moods as colors and cook her
meals accordingly. So if she was in a yellow mood maybe she'd fix pasta. A
green mood might mean a big bowl of broccoli with a green apple for dessert,
that sort of thing. Anyway, I would invite her over or take whatever I had
fixed to her apartment (even if my food didn't match her crazy color code!).
That's when she'd pepper me with questions about my faith.
I had a feeling the Lord was putting us together for a reason. I decided to
make myself available to her, since she seemed to be searching. But it was
scary in a way. I wanted her friendship and approval, and I was afraid I'd say
something that would make her back away. It was hard to put her needs before
We've stayed friends the past 20 years, and now she's a career missionary.
I'm glad I invested that year in getting to know her and talking about
--Cindy Uttley, 45, Sisters, Oregon
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