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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Pastor (11/30/06)

TITLE: Ode To Opa
By CeCe Lane


As we all know October is Pastor Appreciation month in America. October is the one month set aside to let our shepherds know how much we love and appreciate them. If you ask me that is 11 times a year too few. I think we need to do it all through the year.

However, since I have a photographic memory, with no recall, I completely let the month slip by without doing something. This year I wanted to do something extra special. What could I give? What could I do?

Nothing came to mind that seemed appropriate and more importantly that would adequately express my deep heart love for him and his wife. Since I tend to see myself as someone lacking in talent, yet others tell me how much they love what I write, I thought I could maybe write something.

I have a few mental photographs of Jake that I just love.

The first one takes place on Sunday, January 1, 1995. I picture it all so very clearly. I remember where we were standing between church and Sunday school. Jake is standing in the foyer, Russ and I approach him with great joy! Jake knows our history and there is not a doubt in my mind he was longing for the time we would approach him in this way.

We stop just in front of him and say, "Jake, we're engaged"

Pure sunlight broke through his face, it was shining out of every pore. His face is radiant! He does a little hop-skip and one short step back, claps his hands in glee. He is one happy man.

It was pure joy to work with him through premartial counseling, and then the wedding ceremony itself.

Fast-forward 7 years, it is now December 2002. My youngest is a newborn. Elizabeth has always been a Mommy's girl. She was 6 months old before I could leave her with Daddy and not have her scream the entire time I was gone. There is one other person who can hold her and not have her start crying immediately. You're right, it's Jake, or as she calls him Opa.

The mental photograph was snapped in December, right around Christmas, and Elizabeth is about 4 weeks old. I am sitting in church, and I see Jake'e eyes start searching the room, in my mind I know he's looking for me, I can't tell you how I know, I just know. Sure enough his eyes stop when they see me, and he says, "Can I borrow your baby?"

She's asleep. I know she's going to scream and everyone will know she is a screamer. I find myself saying, "Yes" He comes down, and I slip out and meet him and we do the hand-off. I sit back down and watch an amazing sight unfold.

Jake is holding her, one hand at her head, the other on her bottom and he is holding her out away from his body. He starts to speak, and my Mommy's girl completely and visibly relaxes. You see her arms relax and then her legs. She falls asleep again in Opa's arms.

She is safe, she is secure, she knows Opa will do nothing to harm her, he will not drop her, he loves her. And she sleeps.

In fact the more I think about the more I realize that is me. I am safe and secure with Jake. He is not my safety and my security, but in his prescence I feel safe and secure, I know he will do whatever it takes to keep me safe, to keep any member of his flock safe.
What can I give
to show the way
my heart feels?

What can I do to
adequately show my
heart's gratitude
to you and for you?

What could I possibly
give or do to
show you how much
you mean to me?

The choice abound
I've looked at them all

I've pondered them
I've examined them
from all angles.

All have been
put back...

What can I give or
do for you?

A single-minded
devotion to my God
and His call--
That is all
I have to offer.

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This article has been read 544 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Cheri Hardaway 12/12/06
This is tender and beautiful. Does Opa mean something special? Is Opa related to the narrator? And is this a personal memory? It is told like it really happened. Blessings,
Joanne Sher 12/13/06
Lovely! This definitely read very smoothly - and was very pleasantly conversational! I'm glad you threw a brick!
Betty Castleberry12/13/06
This is very sweet. I hope it's true. A few minor punctuation errors, but all in all, this is a well-written piece. Nicely done.
Catrina Bradley 12/13/06
I love this! The way the baby relaxed and fell asleep when held in the Pastors arms was a beautiful picture. Well done!