Thursday, June 11, 2009

I Love Cindy Brown

Yesterday I received an e-mail from an old friend and it set the tone for a really decent day. I’ve known Cindy Brown (I know she’s Cindy Theel now but she’ll always be Cindy Brown to me) since college where we were housemates for the last two years and flipped burgers together at the SUB. I can’t think of Walla Walla without thinking of Cindy.

I’ve been blessed with many friends over the years but there have been very few who reflect the light of Christ like Cindy. I’ve never met anyone who loves like she loves and her influence for good shows the effect we can have on others when we let Him change us.

Cindy joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints early on in college. It was something she was given a hard time about by more than one person. Her faith was strong but being a person of faith, any faith, can be a challenge at a liberal arts college.

I wasn’t bothered by her religious choice; my best friend in high school was LDS. I knew she was doing what was right for her. It wasn’t anything I was interested in but I got it.

Cindy was a great roommate during our Whitman years and always up for some fun. With Cindy there was never a dull moment, never a time when you weren’t laughing or crying together. And you just never knew when you’d wake up in the morning to find Cindy crawling into your bed telling you to squish over.

A special memory I have of her is from our senior year. She introduced me to a single mom in her ward who was struggling a bit. At her home I noticed there was no dining room table. With my thesis defended and graduation around the corner, I knew I was done with the one my dad built for me. He told me to pass it on and Fawn seemed like just the person to give it to.

We graduated in May of 1992 and little did I know, the most precious gift I would receive was a battered copy of “A Marvelous Work and a Wonder” from The Book Worm. Inside the front cover Fawn bore her testimony and respectfully asked if I would read this book.

I was in no way interested but in the following weeks I found myself reading it anyway. And it touched my heart. Believe me, I didn’t want it to. I had no interest in changing. Still, by the time I’d finished the book I knew I needed to read The Book of Mormon. I needed to know for myself.

I moved back east not long after graduation. I’d read The Book of Mormon and prayed sincerely to receive an answer to my questions. And answers I received. Not the answers I was hoping for (I haven’t shared that little tidbit with many before) but it came loud and clear. I had a collosal decision to make.

Knowing I’d received a witness I couldn’t deny, I called the missionaries and was baptized soon after. Although I’ve lost a few friends and angered my family considerably (they’ve since made peace with it) it’s a decision I’ve never regretted. I’ve never looked back and I have Cindy’s example to thank for this.

Something about Cindy that set her apart from most everyone I knew back then was how she saw the good in everyone. She saw things in me that I took years to recognize. I’ll always love her for that.
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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your story of faith and revelation. There are so many ways to say yes to God that it can really feel risky putting our stories out there. Who knows from where criticism will come. Sometimes fellow believers are as harsh as anyone. It is easier for the skeptics and cynics; there really is only one way to say no. I am glad you took the risk to share such a beautiful and moving story.

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