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A Rainy Friday
 is a story of a young girl whose life will become forever changed by the simple knowledge that God loves her! 

This story, as all my stories, are dedicated to my mother, Leona Tice, who was my first inspiration of imagination and creativity... and to my father, Russell Tice, who was also proud of me! :) (I will love them both dearly... forever.)

This story is also dedicated to my best friend Cindy (of whom this story's character is named), whom I will always cherish for the true friend she has been to me for the past 37 years... and counting! And for bringing me back to our Lord, many years ago, through her own commitment and love for Him. (I truly look forward to spending an eternity with you BFF!)


Written by: Barbara Ann Hall

It was a cold and rainy Friday morning in late autumn. Wet, heavy leaves covered the ground making it difficult to walk about. Not to mention, trying to keep warm and dry on such a gloomy day. So, with a peaceful feeling of God’s approval, I decided to spend the day at home.

After my shower, I put on a pair of warm, cozy sweats and made myself a cup of hot tea. Then I sat at the kitchen table and stared at the window as the rain beat heavy against it.

I don’t know how long I sat there before a loud crash startled me, causing me to jump and spill over the sugar bowl! After calming myself for a moment, I tried to grasp what direction the crash came from. My attempts to see anything through the rain-painted windows failed. So, I slipped on my shoes, tossed on my rain poncho and ran outside.

It was raining so hard that it was difficult to see even two feet in front of me. As I struggled to look about, I could vaguely see what looked like headlights shining in my direction. I held my hood tightly around my face and pushed through the heavy winds toward the light. As I started to get closer, I could hear the constant sound of a blowing horn, as a little gray car became visible.

When, at last I managed to reach it, I saw a young girl sitting inside crying. I frightened her when I knocked on the window. “Are you okay?” I yelled, trying to lift my voice above the screaming of horn and the rain that beated down violently against the metal car, sounding like thousands of tin cans falling from the sky. “What?” she mouthed, cracking her window a bit. “Are you okay?” I yelled again. She nodded, “I think so, but I don’t know how to get the horn to stop!” I told her to pop her hood. When she did I disconnected the horn’s wire. She looked relieved as I closed the hood and motioned for her to turn off the car. Then I walked back around to the opened window.

“Would you like to come inside with me,” I asked, pointing towards home, “maybe call someone to come and help you?” She nodded, grabbed an umbrella from the seat beside her and flung open the car door. I helped her out, and we both struggled through the windy rain as quickly as possible. 

Finally, we made it inside, both of us cold and dripping raindrops from the tips of our noses. After shedding our soaking wet outer clothes, shoes and socks, I asked her if she would like a cup of hot tea. “That would be wonderful, thank you” she managed through calming sobs.

After putting the water on to boil, I went and grabbed a couple pairs of clean fluffy socks. Tossing her a pair, I said, “I guess we really hadn’t the chance to properly introduce ourselves, my name’s Barbara.” “I’m Cindy. Thanks so much for helping me. I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t come! Once the horn started to blow, I couldn’t even think straight!” I told her she was quite welcome, as I cleaned up the spilt sugar from the table, “I’m sorry about the mess, when I heard the crash it startled me so much, I knocked over the sugar bowl!”  “Oh, I’m so sorry,” she said, starting to cry again. “It’s not your fault, please don’t cry. I was just explaining why I have sugar all over the table is all. I’m just glad you’re okay and that I was home to help. Honest.”

Cindy sniffled and dabbed at her tears. “You are okay, aren’t you?” I asked concerned. “Yes, I mean I wasn’t hurt. Just scared, I guess. It was so difficult to see through the heavy rain, so I was going to pull over until it eased up. The loud crash surprised me too, I didn’t even see the row of garbage cans there, I swear!” she said, starting to cry again.
 “Hey, that’s life,” I said in a carefree way, trying to ease her tension, “it happens to the best of us!” She did manage a little smile. “Look on the bright side, no one was hurt, thank God! It doesn’t appear there was any damage to your car and best of all, it opened an opportunity for us to meet each other!”

“Is there someone you would like to call?” I offered. “No ma’am. But, if you need me to leave, I’ll get my things together.” “Not at all, actually, I’m enjoying the company,” I assured her, “you’re welcome to stay for as long as you like. The rain will be heavy all day and there’s a strong possibility of more severe storms later this afternoon.” Cindy told me she appreciated the offer because she really wasn’t good at driving in the rain. And, as long as it was okay with me, she would like to stay awhile longer.

“Hungry?” I asked Cindy, as I heard my own stomach growl. “Yes ma’am.” “Me too!” I exclaimed, “let’s eat!” “May I help with anything?” Cindy offered. “I appreciate the offer, but the kitchen is so small. How about I make breakfast while you tell me a little about yourself?” 

Cindy told me that she just turned eighteen and had graduated high school in the spring. She had grown up in and out of foster homes, and the home that she was last in expected her to leave upon legal age. “They had so many children there and couldn’t afford to keep me once state funding stopped, I guess. I’ve been working part time at the Thrift Store in town for the past several months and managed to save enough money to buy my car before it was time for me to leave.”

“So, what are your plans now?” I asked setting a plate of pancakes and sausage in front of her. “Don’t really know,” she said. “Thanks! These look delicious! I can’t remember the last time I had a pancake!” I told her that I hoped they tasted as good as they looked and for her to go ahead and start without me before they got cold.

Cindy poured syrup over her pancakes, mouthed a silent blessing, and began to eat as if she hadn’t eaten in days. I poured her a tall glass of milk and made a quick batch of scrambled eggs. Before I sat down, I prayed, “Okay Father, I’m experienced enough to know that you sent me Cindy this morning. Please, now give me the wisdom, as you always do, to know how to help her.”

I laid a large bowl of scrambled eggs on the table and sat down to join Cindy, who was already half finished with her pancakes. “Delightful!” she complimented. “Mmmm huh,” I agreed as I took my first bite.

After breakfast, Cindy was quick to jump up and wash the dishes before I had a chance to protest. As she did that, I grabbed two quilts from the closet and turned up the heat a little.

When we were both comfortable and warm, I again asked Cindy what her plans were for the future, as if I hadn’t already asked earlier. “Right now I’m just doing my best to hold down my job at the Thrift Store to earn enough money for car insurance, gas and food.” She hesitated for a moment before continuing, “I haven’t been able to save any money for a place of my own yet, I’ve just been sleeping in my car.” I think she anticipated my concern, because she instantly assured me she was okay. “The car is really very comfortable, I have pillows and plenty of warm blankets. My trunk is large enough to hold my belongings. I wash my clothes at the Laundromat and take my showers at the truck stop across town.”

Feeling a little anxious and quite worried about such a young girl being out on her own alone like that, I asked, “don’t you have any friends you can stay with?”  “No ma’am. I’ve never stayed in any one place long enough to make any.  I mean I’ve had friends over the years, just not any long enough to become that close too. Even now, I’m friendly with the people at work, but I would never tell them about my situation.” 

 “Well, I’m glad you’re telling me. Sometimes it helps to have someone to talk to,” I said, trying to comfort her. Cindy became very quiet. She just sat staring at the window. After what seemed like several endless moments, her unsteady, yet soft voice broke through the silence. “I’m sorry,” she said, “I didn’t mean to tell you all that. I’m really not one to share very much about myself. Not because I’m ashamed of my life or anything, but I don’t like people feeling sorry for me.”

“You’re a beautiful, well spoken and very polite young lady. You have your own car, a steady job, a great personality and an uplifting sense of humor. Why would anyone feel sorry for you?” Cindy lowered her head, “You know, because of my situation.”

“Cindy, I couldn’t imagine anyone feeling sorry for you, but I could understand them being concerned, which is a very different thing.” She seemed to study my eyes for a moment before she said, “Maybe you’re right, but I’ve never had anyone be too concerned about me and I guess that has made me feel a little sorry for myself at times.”

 “I know someone who has always been concerned about you,” I was quick to inform Cindy. “You do?” she asked surprised. “Yep! And from something you did a little earlier, I believe you know him too.” Cindy looked quite bewildered. “How could that be?” she asked, “We just met, how could we possibly know the same person? I don’t know of anyone who has ever been concerned about me and yet you say you do? I don’t understand.” I told Cindy she would understand once I told her who it was. But, she didn’t look convinced. 

I quickly thanked God for providing me His wisdom before continuing. “There was a time I felt a lot like you do,” I began to tell Cindy, “that no one really cared about me. I lived day-to-day feeling lost and quite alone. Until the day someone introduced me to our friend. Once I realized how much he actually did care about me, it changed my life.”

Cindy sat on the edge of her seat, bursting with curiosity. “In fact, it changed my life so much, that I now live my life for him.” “You married him?” Cindy asked a bit uncertain. “In a way,” I said smiling at her. “And you’re sure I know him?” Cindy stuttered looking even more puzzled than before. “I’m quite certain,” I told her. “His name is Jesus.”
Cindy laughed. “What a relief, Ms. Barbara, I wasn’t quite sure where all this was going! Of course I know Jesus!” I smiled at her, “That’s good Cindy.” I told her, “Because I believe He sent you here today. He wants you to know that he loves you and that he’s always with you.”  “How do you know that?” she asked.

“I have been walking with God for many years now and have learned to listen to Him. He guides me to people who need His help and uses my hands as His own here in earth. He gives me insight and blesses me with His wisdom. When I remain submissive unto Him, He speaks to my heart and leads me to obey His will. Today, I thought the only reason I stayed home was due to the bad weather, but the day quickly proved otherwise. I don’t believe it was an accident more so than God’s plan that you didn’t see those garbage cans this morning!” “You really think so?” she exclaimed. I nodded. “I’m certain of it!”

“So now what?” Cindy asked. “I’m not sure yet, but I’m an adamant believer in prayer. Let’s ask the big guy!” Cindy bowed her head as I began to pray. “Heavenly Father, we praise you and give you thanks for bringing Cindy here today. We believe that you have the answers that she’s looking for to guide her life. We know that you love us and will never leave us. Please put our paths straight before us and show us the way. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”

 “That’s it?” Cindy asked surprised. “Would you like to add more?” I offered. “No, I think that very simply said it all. But, how will we know when he answers?” “When we know what to do,” I said with a big smile. “How long?” “In due time. How about some lunch?”

Cindy and I talked about many things over lunch. She shared her sorrow for never having known her mom or dad, missing out on the chance to ever have a sister or brother or any family of her own. She expressed her love for children and her hopes of one-day becoming a schoolteacher. As I listened to her stories about the many children she helped care for throughout her foster home years, it came to me!

“Cindy, how would you feel about working at an Orphanage? I’m not sure how much it pays, but I do know that the position provides room and board.”  “Awesome!” Cindy exclaimed. “That would be like a dream come true!”

I called my good friend Ruth Walters and told her I had the perfect candidate for her Teacher’s Aide position. She sounded grateful and asked me to bring Cindy by in the morning. I told her that we’d be there and to tell Russy I was looking forward to seeing him. “Thank you Father,” I prayed silently as I hung up the phone.

Cindy and I enjoyed the rest of that rainy Friday afternoon together, and before sleep overtook me that night, I heard Cindy thanking God for loving her.

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