Steam rose from the pot of grits she stirred, fogging the frost-covered window of the drafty, cold room. Today is Jesse's day. Sophie spooned the meager fare into two bowls and placed them onto the rough-planked table in front of the dark-haired hungry boys.
The three bowed heads and held hands as Sophie prayed, “Father, we thank you for all your many blessings and for Jesus who died to save us. Amen.”
“Ma, Jack could go today if you want,” offered Jesse. “It's going to get real cold tonight and I need to cut more wood for the fire.”
Sophie smiled at her older son as she patted his hand. “Jack and I will get the wood; you will go to school today. Hurry up now, the bus will be coming down the road soon.”
Jesse took the shoes down from the mantle and put them on his feet. At thirteen, Jesse was a head taller than his eleven-year-old brother and his feet barely squeezed into the well-worn, scuffed brown loafers. He would never tell his mother how much they hurt his feet nor how he and Jack were teased by the other kids for sharing them.
“Jesse, you're a child of the King. Never forget, He was born in a stable,” Sophie said as she hugged her son and pushed him out the door to the waiting school bus.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Thunderous applause and a standing ovation greeted the tall, handsome man as he walked to the podium. Grinning broadly and waving off the applause, Jesse cleared his throat and began to speak. The crowd quieted abruptly.
“What do you want to do with your life? What secret dreams have you pushed far into the recesses of your heart and mind? I have called you together to share mine. Your hard work opened a door for me.”
Jesse spoke to the group from his heart, motivating them to excel, encouraging them to never give up. These were his people, loyal employees of J&J Enterprises.
“Today, I want to announce that I am passing the baton to Jack. He will be taking charge as CEO effective immediately. This is a good move for J&J Enterprises and for you. His team will be leading the company to new heights. Thank you all. I love each of you.”
Jesse waved to the crowd and shook a few hands as he stepped down from the platform. Jack joined him as he exited the building and walked toward his car.
Throwing his keys to Jack, he said, “You drive.”
“Only that you're not going with me. Maybe, in a year or two?”
“Jesse, if anyone can make a difference it will be you. I'm going to miss you, brother.”
“I'm going to miss you, too. But, we'll stay in touch. Just don't call me every time a shipment is late or something breaks. You're the man.”
Jesse had Jack circle by the cemetery on his way to the airport. Together they stood by their mother's grave each lost in his own thoughts.
“Jesse, you know she's not here. She's with Jesus.”
“I know. I never heard her complain. She taught us everyday that we are special, that we are royalty. How many times did she tell me I am a child of the King? I never doubted it a minute, did you?”
“Never. Mother lived her sermon. I always felt sorry for others.”
“Me too. It's time I give back. That's why I'm so excited about this ministry. People need to know about The Kingdom of God. Just think what a difference it made in our lives.”
“Go tell them, Jesse. Tell them how to be a child of the King and how He was born in a stable and gave His life. Tell them about the Kingdom of God.”
“I will, Jack. Get me to the airport, brother.”
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