BIRDIE IN HER MOST PRIZED POSSESSION - HER ORANGE CHEVY NOVA I was riding with her the day 80-year-old Nellie P. Denny rammed her beaten-up jalopy into the side of Birdie's orange soulmate. Birdie got out of the car, looked at the damage, laid her head down on the hood of her beloved car and cried!BIRDIE –
Rebecca and I were now roommates, but I still ran with my 3rd floor buddies. In her new role as Mrs. Kefoffer’s "chosen" Resident Assistant, Rebecca assured me that if my rowdy friends or I broke any rules, she would still turn me in. Have you seen the movie MAJOR PAYNE? There are similarities. She obviously wasn’t going for “Most Popular” in the dorm.
It’s a miracle I wasn’t murdered! Back to the roommate deal ... On the bathroom door, facing the bunk beds, was a full-length mirror. Birdie slept on the top bunk. Every night when we turned off the lights, I got in my bottom bunk and flipped on a small lamp attached to my bed. Then I took out my Bible and read.
Now picture this. Every night … the room goes dark. Then ... “Click!” A light comes on below me. So, I turn to face the mirror.
My mom read the Bible in the light of the hallway outside my bedroom while I fell asleep as a little girl. And, even though I didn’t always understand or obey, I did know I should read it.
THIS PHOTO WAS TAKEN SOMETIME LATER, after one of our hall-mates thought it would be a fun idea to cut everyone's long hair -- note Birdie's over-joyed expression -- but in it you can see the full length mirror on the bathroom door in the background.BIRDIE –
God forgive me, but on any given night I may have been at a party or a bar. But come bedtime, there, in that simple mirror that hung on the bathroom door was the reflection of Light - Rebecca, quietly reading her Bible.
I never tried to witness to Birdie. I had a strong sense that she would harden her heart if I said anything. I wasn’t perfect. In fact, I was fighting my own battles with how to walk the narrow way in such a broad new world. I had never even had to share my faith before because everyone growing up around me in our small rural family community was Christian - or at least they acted like Christians.
Well … except for one man. He was an alcoholic and periodically he stood by the side of the road, across from my Grandma’s house, shouting obscenities at the cars passing by. That’s how I first learned to cuss. He was a professional, so I was professionally trained! Every revival he was the first name on the “Lost List”. I didn’t know anyone else on the list – I thought they must be foreigners!
Anyway, I don’t want to give the impression that I was one of those “holier-than-thou” people.
No – that wasn’t Rebecca.
I made a lot of mistakes – mistakes that could have turned out so differently were it not for the mercy of God. I don’t deserve His mercy.
I don’t either, friend.
Rebecca wasn't at all smug or self-righteous. She was a rule-keeper, but she was also a likeable, fun person and she was popular. In fact, just after she became active in her sorority, she was voted Panhellenic president-elect – that was the upcoming president over ALL the sororities on campus. She was personality-plus.
What did stand out to me that was different about Rebecca was that she was “good.” I can't exactly put my finger on how to say it. Even though I knew and saw that she wasn’t perfect, she was ... honorable. Something about her quietly commanded my respect.
I felt like she wasn’t “alone.”
When the devil starts accusing me real good, I think back on it, and about the only thing I can remember that I did right was read my Bible.
One evening, I had just gotten back from marching band rehearsal. Rebecca was hurrying to get ready for a sorority meeting. I didn’t want to climb up on my bed so I sat down on hers. I have no idea what prompted me to ask right then, but, I took a deep breath and said:
“Why do you read your Bible every night?”
Silence fell …. It was sort of surreal. When Birdie said those words, it was like I could hear them echoing through the corridors of eternity.
She didn’t say anything for a few seconds …
It felt like forever! I hadn’t taken any Bible study courses teaching me how to win someone to Jesus. I hadn't ever attended a soul-winning training conference or gone to a church camp. I didn’t have the right scriptures highlighted and underlined in my Bible. In fact, I had doodled through a lot of sermons I heard growing up. But now, I was going to have to answer.
It was almost as if I could hear God saying: "Okay, girl! The ball is in your court!"