|Posted by Lori on January 28, 2014 at 10:15 AM|
Cindy took a quick look in the mirror before leaving the house, good enough she thought. She saw the promises of God tucked away inside the body of the woman looking back at her. She barely noticed if her hair was brushed or if her eye makeup was smudged. The passion to get on with life overpowered any desire to look the part of a widow.
Wearing her usual faded v-neck t-shirt, worn stretch jeans, and slip-on shoes, Cindy headed to the funeral home in her beat up Honda Civic. Just another day taking care of family business so it seemed, until it hit her that her husband of 20 years was dead.
Her foot eased off the accelerator when she realized there was no rush, no one demanding anything from her, no one criticizing her, no one expecting her home to make dinner. Paralyzed at this thought she pulled over and rested her foot on the brake.
Lord, is it true? Am I finally free from this nightmare? Tears streamed onto her shirt as she took a deep breath and slowly exhaled the bottled up toxins of bitterness. This isn't how she imagined it would be. Looking down at her tear stained shirt, she wondered what she was thinking when she put on those clothes. Was she supposed to wear something nice to go to the funeral home? Should she have asked the kids to come with her? Should she show him more respect in death than in life? Jesus, please guide me.
Silence blanketed the house from every corner. No more fish tank motor humming, no more battery operated clocks ticking, not even the sound of cooling fans from a computer were heard. Actually, the entire house was transformed into a fresh canvas, a clean slate, a new beginning. Several contractor size dumpsters had hauled it all away, she kept nothing. New white walls, restored hardwood floors, and freshly painted ceilings surrounded her as she sat in the silence listening only for the voice of her one true love.
Softly singing "I ...love..... you..... Lord, ...and ...I.... lift...... my..... voice, ....to ....wor.....ship ..... You, ....oh my soul....rejoice" This sweet melody echoed as it poured out from Cindy's heart to God. He was her one true love. She lived every day for Him, she endured the hard times for His promises. Now she praised Him for the cleansing power of Jesus' blood that washed away all of her sins making her white as snow. This would mark the beginning of her new life.
Nearly half the size she was a year ago, Cindy was a new woman with all the affects of having spent months visiting a spa. Her skin was taught, tanned, and vibrant. Her hair shaped to the latest style, and her eyebrows detailed to highlight her captivating blue eyes. Cindy now the epitome of delicate feminine fashion, she was a beautiful sight to behold. Looking in the mirror these days, she gave thanks to God for all that He did in her. Thank You Lord for making my outside match the person I am on the inside. I feel complete in You. She had waited so long for the freedom to be herself, the self she knew she had inside, just never allowed to surface.
With her brand new Acura Integra packed with extra copies of her latest book, Cindy headed out to the bookstore on Main St. for the opening of the Cafe inside the store and for her book signing. God had blessed her above and beyond what she ever could have imagined while she was writing those love stories years ago.
Jack, the owner of the Cafe, had the look of a model with his defined jaw line, dimpled square chin, and deep set blue eyes. His hair was dark, thick and curly and his physique athletic. His demeanor was like no other she had ever met. Jack's smile was for everyone, he had the highest regard for women, and he treated his employees like equal partners in his company. Along with his exceptional physical features, Jack's faith was solid and on fire for the Lord.
Cindy met Jack at a Wednesday night bible study in a new church downtown. Witnessing each other's passion for Jesus, they knew their souls were on the same road to eternity. It was Jack's idea to have the opening of the Cafe the same day of her book signing. It would mark the beginning of their future together.
Arriving well in advance of the store opening, Cindy parked at the back entrance next to Jack's SUV. Hooking her purse on her arm and lifting the box of books out of the car, she kicked the door shut with her foot. To her delight, the door opened to the store and she felt warm hands releasing the box from her grip. It sent a heated current through her arms and all across her body causing her to close her eyes and take a deep breath. Upon exhaling and opening her eyes, she saw the heat rise in the color of Jack's face telling her he felt the same thing.
Before Cindy could start unpacking books, Jack took her hand and headed to the Cafe. "I have something for you" he said with the warmest smile. In that moment, with his fingers laced in hers, she was powerless to rational thought. It didn't matter that she needed to set up her table only that Jack was holding her hand.
A bistro table was decorated unlike the others, it had lavender roses cut short in a vase and the table set for two. A small gift box was on one of the plates. Jack pulled out a seat for her and then sat across, reclaiming her hand with both of his.
"Cindy, I believe God brought us together for such a time as this, for His purpose. We both love Jesus more than anything else, we both have dedicated our lives to living for Him and furthering His kingdom. I want to continue this journey with you, spend more time with you, and build a relationship with you. I am wondering if you would like that too?"
Without hesitation, and with a smile as wide as the horizon, Cindy replied "Yes, Jack, I would love to spend time getting to know you."
He lifted her hand and pressed his lips to her fingers without taking his eyes off hers. Jack forced himself to release her hand so he could let her open the gift. She didn't even say the expected "you shouldn't have" because in her romantic mind, it was perfect. A golden circle with two floating diamonds adorned a delicate gold chain. With a tilt to her head and an approving smile she said "it's beautiful."
Jack rose from his chair to help her put the necklace on. After clasping it, he leaned over and placed a kiss on her cheek and gave her shoulders a slight squeeze. Both of them blushed from the contact. Jack sat back down and explained the meaning of the charm.
"The circle represents God and the diamonds are us, no matter where in the circle they are, they are always connected through Him." He paused long enough for her to absorb the depth of this meaning.
Holding the charm in one hand she reached across the table with the other. He met her fingers and entwined them. "Thank you Jack, I love it."
Thank you Lord for this man you've sent me. Let him never take the place of You in my life. You alone are my One True Love.
Categories: Short Stories