Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Checkout (06/09/11)
TITLE: Not Present
By De Shelle Jordan
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Today marked Reese and Conrad’s’ 11th year wedding anniversary. Eleven difficult years plagued by consistent abandonment, neglect and infidelity. There was about as much to celebrate as when you’re getting a root canal. You dread the beginning and look forward to the anesthetic ending. She just wanted to be numb. Her love tank had been demolished. However, Conrad continued with his shallow attempts at declaring his love for Reese; putting new wine into old wineskins coming up empty.
Anyway, as they drove the kids to school a storm began to brew. The winds were in a steaming uproar. The rain would not cease its relentless downpour upon the ground. It was hard to see, but you could hear clearly the howls and feel the intensity of the rain as it beat a distinctive rhythm on cars, raincoats, umbrellas and buildings. Conrad, with his zealous intellect, took this opportunity as a teachable moment. “You know why we have weather like this?” he asked. “No Daddy. Why!” the children exclaimed with great expectation in their voices. He explained, “When you have weather like this, it’s because you have two fronts fighting each other; a cold front and a hot front. That’s why the winds and the rain come.”
Reese begins to think, “Gracious! What’s going on in heaven if this is what’s happening on earth? Hhhmmm, that sure sounds like an exact description of our marriage. I’m hot for the things of God, and Conrad couldn’t be colder than a freezer overdue for defrosting…feels like a storm to me. But, God is in the storm as the wind and the rain. I knew then that He was with me; that my dreaded anniversary celebration would not go unsupervised. He kept his promise never to leave nor forsake me.”
As the day progressed and night came more quickly than gradually, Reese knew what was on Conrad’s mind. Any healthy married man would anticipate the same, a culminating evening with his wife. Completely oblivious to her turmoil, innuendoes and advances were not lacking his arrogant selfishness. So Reese just decided to throw herself to the wolves. Her heart and soul disengaged as she surrendered. She could hear the sound of her mind wielding out questions her heart and soul desperately needed to be answered. “Do husbands really love their wives like that? Do they really come for them…to their rescue? Love them past their pain?” God, there’s got to be something better. I feel EMPTY.” That feeling was all too familiar as she was reminded of the years she had spent looking for love from all the usual suspects. She never thought she would feel this way in her marriage.
Just then, Reese checked out of time and into eternity. Her soul cried out to God. Deep cried out to deep and He answered. Suddenly, the wind began to howl and the rain fell beating with calculated effort; getting Reese’s attention like a suitor throwing rocks at the window of his beloved. Conrad spoke exactly what had crossed Reese’s mind, “That wasn’t in the forecast for tonight.”
In that moment, she knew the lover of her soul and the lifter of her head had come for her…All of Her! Just before the tears of despair filled her eyes, the raging winds and rain reminded her that there was a fight going on. She felt herself breathe as she whispered, “He is fighting for me; His beloved.” Reese knew He was with her. His love for her had made itself known in that very moment. As the tears streamed down her face, she caught them in her hands like a child catching raindrops not wanting to share the splendor, but take it all in.
Do husbands really love their wives like that? “Do they really come for them…to their rescue? I don’t know, but my Beloved did. He sent Himself. I pray I never stop loving Him.
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