He curled dimpled fingers around the edge of the coffee table. His eyes, just high enough to be visible above the top of the table, were focused on the table itself. His legs were straight out in front of him, perpendicular to the table's edge. He pulled down and wriggled his legs, a childish grunt of determination emanating from rosebud lips. He bent his knees, trying to pull them toward himself.
For just a moment, it seemed as if he would make it to a standing position. But his legs buckled under him and he fell face first into the carpet. He started to cry, a long thin wail of frustration and anger.
Throwing back his head, he happened to spy his original goal, the red and yellow squeaky toy out of reach on the tabletop. Now with his legs under him, he gripped the side of the table yet again and pulled with all his strength. His feet had tangled and his bottom momentarily lowered toward the floor as he uncrossed them. Then with a mighty and quavering push downward, he gained his feet. He lay his little body across the top of the table, reaching pudgy fingers toward the prize. Just out of reach!
His breath came faster, a sob hovering just beneath the surface. Then his eyes lighted up and he began to walk around the end of the table, hands flat against the top balancing him. He made it around the corner, the point poking into his soft belly just a little. Then down the side and the soft rubbery toy was within his grasp. His tiny hand grasped the trophy, and he let himself fall rump first to the carpet as he stuffed the flexible toy between drool covered lips. -----
----- He opened his Bible, not knowing where to start. Then he remembered that Jake had said the book of John was always a good place to begin. He looked in the table of contents and found the book.
“Dear Jesus, thanks for saving me. I'm not sure how to do this. But I want to know You so I can be like You. Um, sorry for getting in that argument with Toni. I was trying to do the right thing, but I don't think my attitude was right. Um, help me find You in Your Word today. Amen.”
He began reading and started writing questions for Jake in his notebook. This was really going to be work. -----
----- She hadn't eaten in days, not really. Eight diet sodas and two bags of pretzels spread across four days did not constitute adequate nourishment. Finals had been brutal, hours upon hours of cramming and testing. No time for food. Then last night she had fallen exhausted into bed before it was even dark. And slept for fourteen hours straight.
She sat up and everything went black as a fierce pain stabbed her forehead between the eyes. Gradually, specks of light crowded out the darkness and the room came back into focus. She rose slowly and began to walk toward the bathroom. Suddenly her legs went wobbly, then gave out completely. She tried to get up again, but found she couldn't. She laughed giddily, just sitting there for a few minutes. Then she crawled toward her purse and retrieved her cell phone.
After dialing the number she spoke. “Dana, I've done something really stupid. Could you come over here? And could you stop at Frank's deli and pick me up an egg sandwich? ... No, it's nothing serious.... Okay, see you in twenty minutes.” She smiled and waited on the floor, shaking her head. -----
----- She sat with the Bible in her lap, brushing off its light coating of dust. She didn't know how to pray. The connection just didn't seem to be there. So much guilt from not praying or reading, not seeking Him at all. She felt so spiritually weak.
Part of her wanted to run to Jesus, to fall into his arms and get to know Him once more. To truly serve Him today. But another part of her couldn't even walk to Him. Didn't know how. She closed her eyes and sighed. Karen's words came back to her. “I'll be praying for you. Just feed on the Word and ask God to take it from there.”
She opened her eyes and the Book. Beginning again. Again.
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