…through the dark and dreary valley of the past.
I know she’s trying to sleep through all the noise, but I don’t care. No…I don’t care at all. My friends are here, I have my bottle in my hand, and that’s all that matters.
Yes – she’s got to work tomorrow. True – I don’t have a job. Still – I have dozens of friends and the fun never ends.
“Oh man, I love that song,” someone yells. “Can we turn it up?”
I take a long swig and grin. “Sure, crank it!”
She slumbers in, trying to ignore the smothering cloud of smoke…and all of the drunks in her living room.
“Are you coming to bed soon? It’s so late.”
“Party’s just beginning. I’ll be in later.”
She shrugs. “Well, I’ve got to get up early.” Hanging her head, she turns and walks back to our bedroom. I watch her, and for a moment I feel the shame – for a moment – and then it’s back to the party…
…through the lush and peaceful valley of the present.
She’s in her recliner snoring, and as usual, I’m to blame. I watch her for just a moment and smile, and love pours from my heart. I stop what I’m doing long enough to pick up the remote that’s on the end table. I click off the television, then lean over and whisper into her ear, gently shaking her shoulder at the same time. “Honey, wake up.”
She opens her eyes and looks at me, and a tired and sleepy smile appears on her face. “What time is it?”
I look at the clock on the wall. “Almost midnight.”
“You’re going to do it again, aren’t you?”
I grin as I take a sip of coffee. “Hey,” I laugh, “when the creative juices are flowing...” I lean over and kiss her cheek. “You go on to bed. I’ll be there shortly.”
Rising, she walks behind her chair to where I am, and bending down, she kisses the top of my head. “Not too long though, alright?”
“Alright,” I promise. I hold up my coffee cup. “Hey, at least it's not how it used to be, huh?”
She smiles. “No, it’s not.” She looks over my shoulder at the computer screen. “And I sure like this new hobby of yours compared to the old one.”
I close my eyes and nod; thankful for the sobriety of the last ten years, thankful for the passion the Lord has put in my heart to write. And thankful, that she is still here.
She stays behind my back and stares at the computer screen. I stay silent, knowing what she’s up to. And after a few minutes, she gives her opinion. “I like it.”
I smile, for truthfully, that is all the critiquing I need.
We tell each other good night and she leaves. I listen to her footsteps as she walks out of the living room, then I turn back to the computer, and the wonderful, fabulous world of mind pictures, thoughts, and words…
…through the outstretched and boundless valley of the future.
“We still have a few minutes. I’m going to look around for a bit. That okay?”
I fidget. “You bet.”
She gives me a look. “You’re nervous.”
“I suppose I am.”
“Do you want me to stay?”
I have a chair set up for her. “Nah. Don’t be long though, okay?”
She begins to pull up her chair. “Maybe I’ll just stick around.”
Whew. “I’d like that.”
The store opens and some people walk in. They look around for a few minutes. At last, a woman comes over to the table.
She picks up one of the books, which are all arranged in neat little stacks, some even fanned out. She turns it over and reads the back. “Hmmm.” Finally, she looks at me. “You’re the author?”
I find myself at a loss for words.
My wife helps. “You’ll have to excuse my husband, he’s a little…excited.”
“Well, this really sounds interesting.” Her eyes stay on me, and I feel a blush coming on. “Would you sign it for me?”
I smile as I feel my wife squeeze my left hand under the table. With my right hand I pick up one of the pens lying next to me. “Sure,” I reply, “I’d be happy to.”
…I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. - Psalms 23:4 (NLT)
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