I still have some copies of my book available for purchase at the Red Deer College bookstore and the Red Leaf Bookstore at Word of Life Church. I thought I would share Chapter 2 with you, to give you an idea of where the title “Bright Red Trousers” comes from………..
He was young and so was she – both entering the first few years of university when one is free to study where you wish, ride your bike in whatever direction the wind blows, and eat your fish and chips at whatever sea-side café you fancy that particular day.
Verity was a pastor’s daughter, Philip a vicar’s son.
They could’ve met at the tender and impressionable age of 11, but didn’t. His father nearly took up a post at the Anglican church just up the hill from her father’s Pentecostal church. Life could’ve brought them together then, but no. Too soon.
They could have met at Nottingham University, but didn’t. Nottingham was top of the list for both – at one time.
Philip almost tossed aside an acceptance letter from Southampton. He walked right up to the red royal mailbox, rejection letter in hand, then turned back for some reason, letter still in hand.
Verity used correction fluid to change her first choice from Nottingham to Southampton – all at the eleventh hour.
Isn’t it funny how you think changing your mind is sometimes indecision, but when it doesn’t sit right in your heart, it’s actually God?!
They could’ve met during their first year at Southampton University through clubs or Christian Union meetings, or perhaps on the path between English Literature 101 and Physics. They certainly heard the name of the other mentioned frequently enough by a mutual friend… but still hadn’t met.
Verity was dating a boy. Yes, a boy. He was not yet a man for he did not treat her as a man should. He did not see the treasure that was in his life. Verity was feisty, liked to speak her opinion and demanded respect and a laugh out of everyone she met. Did he honour that? No.
As the second year approached, Philip and Verity’s friendship circle grew closer and it was no longer avoidable. A meeting was inevitable. But she, despite her many male friends at university, was still dating the boy from ‘back home’ and Philip, ever a ladies’ man, had just finished a relationship with the thoughts ‘there is someone else, I just haven’t met her yet.’
Philip was an honourable man. He respected women. And it just so happened that one of his female friends moved into a flat with Verity following the summer break.
At a loose end one morning before term started, Verity sat cross legged on her bed in the room she shared with her best friend, eating her toast and marmite.
“What are you doing today, Rach?’ she asked.
“Meeting Phil to sort out the Christian Union meal for the new students,” came the reply. “He is coming here.”
Cycling over, humming his favourite tune from music class that day, unbeknownst to him, Philip was about to have a collision with his destiny.
The door bell rang. “I’ll get that!” Verity yelled as she bounded down the stairs two at a time.
The floorboards of the old house creaked. She flung open the door with the enthusiasm of a child on their birthday and stepped out into the light of the doorstep.
“Hi, I’m Verity, you must be Phil. I’ve heard a lot about you.”
“So you are ‘my friend Verity’,” Philip replied. Smile. Eye contact.
They were both wearing bright red trousers.
Fast forward seven months after the doorstep moment and it’s now end of spring break.
As Verity’s delayed train rolled into Swaythling Station on the outskirts of Southampton, she saw Philip sitting cross legged on the platform, bike propped against the railings, waiting patiently to help her transport her belongings back to her house. She’d expected him to be long gone. Cell phones were a thing of the future. She wouldn’t have had any means to communicate her delay.
Her eyes opened wide. Realisation hit – he treated her better than her boyfriend did! What could she do but end that relationship? It caused a stir back home but she knew she had no choice. The friendship that had begun those few months prior built on laughter, practical jokes and a love of cycling, without the pressure of romantic expectations, had grown into something else.
They were a pair. And still are today.
And it all started, unexpectedly, on her front step in some bright red trousers. Who would have thought?
Philip said to me one time when he first shared this story, “Are some things just meant to be?”
Proper decision making, the realization of what one deserves and the closeness of good friends brought them together in a moment when neither would’ve expected or were looking for it.
I have countless friends who have told me that that is how you often meet “the one” you are to spend your life with – when you’re not looking. When you LEAST expect it. My first response is to scan the room for what I can stuff in their mouth and force silence on what I don’t want to hear anymore. How does one ever NOT look or expect?
Second response? To give in to the fact that truth could be in what they are saying. But I think I am learning what they mean. And this doesn’t just go for relationships.
Imagine the excitement of our Heavenly Father when He can surprise us with a blessing, a relationship or a dream, when we are totally oblivious and just doing life with Him, the best we know how. We’re not forcing control or trying to do it on our own, and God looks down and says “I can bless that! I can bring them a bright red trousers moment that will knock their socks off!”
Because life will be filled with many such moments. God moments. Moments when you’re walking along on a dirt road (or a in a concrete jungle, Starbucks in hand) and you realize what it is that’s missing. What it is that you really want in life. Because it may SEEM like it happens overnight, but it doesn’t. It takes nights of prayer, learning who you are, making right decisions and being open to truth. It’s a process that brings us to that doorstep moment, and we have to be ready to embrace it when it knocks.
As you read through my personal accounts in this book, I hope you see my vulnerability, the fact that I am very much on this journey myself and just hope that somehow these random thoughts will help you realize – YOU CAN DO IT!
Just not by yourself.