It glistened in the fluorescent lighting like a sparkler in the hand of a child. The deep head stood proud and beckoning, confidant in its ability to seduce. And the object of its desire, claiming no wish other than to succumb, reached out lovingly towards this welcoming temptress and brought her closer to his heart. With full knowledge of the effects of his folly, he slowly raised the glass to his lips and sipped slowly and sensuously, savouring every last delicious drop.
Have you ever been jealous of a pint of lager?
‘Tis the season to be merry, I know. But merry I’m never. Not a killjoy, nor a prude I might add. Simply a ‘bereaved’ wife, who once met a boy so full of love and life and enthusiasm, that in her youthful naivety accepted unquestionably that this was the man with whom she wanted to share her life.
The insidious poison lay low for a while, waiting in the wings for an opportune moment of weakness, to pounce like a safari cat upon its unsuspecting prey.
The moment came quickly. The babies were born and what should have been a bonding, a seal on our completeness, slowly turned sour as the lure of the whore called him away, to spend time with her.
He loved us of course. He wasn’t abusive or violent. He provided for us when he could. But with his time he was fiercely possessive, preferring to spend it with his beloved friend, the temptress in a glass.
She made him feel grounded and solid; the way a man needs to feel. An hour in her company and he was ready to take on the world.
Craving admiration he bought ‘rounds’ for friends with money he didn’t have, and I stayed home to bring up the children on borrowed money which I struggled to repay.
It didn’t matter much. I had nowhere to go, and wouldn’t have gone if I had. My babies were going to have a loving, stable home life no matter how desperately unhappy I became.
What a martyr I was! My dear friends told me so.
“Never mind,” said one. “You’ll get him back one day, when he’s in his wheelchair!”
I longed for someone to be close to, someone dependable to lean on, and I turned to God. I wasn’t convinced that He was out there, but the options were limited. Over the years I struggled to connect as His invitation to, ‘Seek and you shall find,’ played itself over and over in my mind.
Then the tables turned a little. I became the betrayer. He was the betrayed.
“Why do you fill your head with religious clap-trap?” he asked. “You’re obsessed. Get yourself a proper life!”
I was overflowing with ‘proper life,’ but it wasn’t time to tell. It would only serve to drive him headlong to his mistress, the seducer for comfort. He had shared no life with us, and lonely, I had sought comfort elsewhere and found life, real and eternal.
How could he understand until the One who called me called him?
My friend was right you know. I got him eventually. I’ve waited a lifetime for him to want me in the way that I once wanted him.
He had his stroke twelve months ago now, and it was doubtful that he would pull through but he made it. God hasn’t finished with him yet.
He sits in his bath robe in the wheelchair by the open kitchen door and dribbles a lopsided smile when I sing Jingle Bells in my silly voice.
When I’ve spoon fed him breakfast and got him dressed, we’re going to try hanging baubles on the tree I put up yesterday. The right arm rests uselessly, palm upturned on his knee, but the left is improving with practice. He paid a heavy price for his folly!
Jesus paid a heavy price too, not for His own folly but ours. We are forgiven if we accept His gift.
And now it’s my turn to forgive, as He forgave me. I must. I’ve no option. He told me so.
God works in mysterious ways doesn’t He!
Tinsel and turkey aside,
God sent his son from his side.
In the glittery charade of Yuletide,
Let’s remember, God loves, but hates pride.
He asked us to trust and obey,
And to draw on his grace every day,
Through the bad times and good,
Our Lord understood,
Follow Him, and He’ll show you the way.
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