This post has been lolling around in my head for quite some time. It’s kind of an oddball post, but I think it serves an important purpose.
When Patrick and I met, we were both friends with Matt and Susannah Allen; in fact, we attended their wedding together when we were dating. Matt was my campus pastor in college and was instrumental in helping me heal from the past. His wife Susannah eventually became a terrific friend when I was a newlywed. She awed me. Such a woman of faith and beauty. And boy-howdy did she love to cook!
The picture here is of our old church staff, taken from a Christmas photo. Just looking at the hairstyles and clothes makes me feel old!
We actually attempted to plant a church with the Allens when we were first married. Although the plant didn’t take, we learned a lot, and some of those seeds eventually flourished as we moved overseas to France to plant a church there.
We moved away from the Pacific Northwest in 1998. The Allens and the DeMuths had kids, raised them, went into ministry, walked through trials, and navigated life. Right after we returned from France, Susannah had some time in Dallas, so we met for dinner. She was gracious, listening to my France story. I listened to her stories as well and we commiserated.
I haven’t had the privilege of hugging Susannah since then, about five years ago now. Nor have we talked on the phone. I have no doubt if I lived nearby, she and I would be dear, dear friends. I just adore her. I love her honesty, her reality, her heart. I love how much she loves her family. And I love that she loves to cook.
So, I’m not sure exactly when this started, but for years I’ve been praying for Susannah when I make dinner. I feel a kinship with her miles and miles away. I think about her love of cooking and I pray blessings on her and her family. Though we are not in touch often, she is near my heart as I pray for her.
Praying for her makes me remember heaven. She’s one of those folks I can’t wait to hang out with for eternity. As one who can’t seem to let go of friendships, even after moves, the thought of heaven brings a great comfort for me. I can imagine she and I whipping up culinary treasures in heaven, laughing, catching up.
So I pray for Susannah Allen while I cook for my family. And I remember her fondly.
Who do you pray for who lives far away? What relationship are you looking forward to exploring in heaven?