To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under Heaven… Ecclesiastes 3:1
The sun glinted with a diamond-like brilliance, bouncing off each new snow flake which had fallen during the night. The sounds of the woods were quiet and muted, absorbed by the thick snowfall. Kimberly could hear a few branches snapping under the weight of the snow and ice. Walking down the lane, which was lined with maples and oaks, she surveyed the beautiful scene before her, which clashed with her thoughts. She sighed as her mind drifted from this to that, only to land on one thing – Clay.
Oh, how infuriating he could be! Just that morning he had called, cancelling their date for this evening. Her gait changed as she continued to trudge down the long drive. “That’s the end of that.” she said aloud. “I know when I’m not wanted.” Her words fell on the snow, shattering into a zillion pieces. A tear slid down her cheek, leaving her face even colder than it had been. The sun slid away as more bad weather rolled in.
She shivered, realizing she should have worn a few more layers under her coat. Shaking her head, she admonished herself for not taking into account the dropping temperature, which had been ushered in with this newest front. Kim decided to pick up her pace, which would get her to the cabin in just a few minutes. It would be freezing in the log structure, but she could quickly get a fire going in the fireplace. She resettled her backpack, which enclosed a few staples. She knew that some of her grand-mother’s canned goods were lining the shelves in the minute kitchen. With the exertion of her walk she sure was getting hungry!
“Oh God” she prayed. “I thought that Clay would be right for me. I guess you are showing me that I don’t belong in a serious relationship with one who has not set his heart with You. I guess I was unequally yoked, which I know is not of Your will”.
Just as she rounded the corner of the lane, she looked up and saw smoke coming from the chimney. “What? How can that be? I haven’t seen any car or foot tracks…” Just then she lost her footing as she hit a rock and fell into a large puddle of slushy, icy water, which had not yet frozen over.
Kim stopped on the small porch. Dried leaves swirled in the corner, under a surge of wind. The crooked screen door clattered against the jam. Darkening clouds lowered around her and the snow started falling again in earnest. Looking down the drive, she could not see more than a few yards.
She turned the door knob and gave the door a little kick with her hip, but it barely moved. She gave it another try, and it flew inward so fast that she lost her balance and fell across the threshold. A warm flush came over her, even though she was shivering like a wet puppy. She realized she was laying on top of a large male, staring into deep, aquamarine eyes. His eyes were warm and laughing; his hair a deep golden brown; and he had a dimple in his cheek, which quirked along with his smile.
“Well, what a surprise! Here I was, expecting to spend a few days by myself, and I now find a beautiful woman falling for me!” He chuckled. “My name is Bryan Reed.”
With a chagrined look on her face, Kim scrambled off of him as fast as she could. “I’m Kimberly. Kimberly White. This was my grand-parent’s cabin. What are you doing here?”
“My friend Max let me use this place for the weekend. I needed to get away for a few days. Here, let me help you take off your coat. You’re drenched and your face feels numb with cold. You must be freezing. I have some stew simmering on the stove.”
Kimberly felt his gentle tug on her heavy down jacket, which fell on the floor with a thud. She let him draw her through the small room, over to the hearth. He tugged a thick woolen blanket around her shoulders as she fell into a chair, arms akimbo.
Bryan turned to the stove and ladled up two steaming mugs of thick stew. He brought one over to Kim and sat down across from her and said “Let us bow our heads…”
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