Kate hugged the mug close to her chin, hiding behind it as much as she could. She felt foolish. And somewhat exposed. Perched on the hard kitchen chair, she pulled her feet up, wrapping her free arm around her legs until she was in a tight ball.
Doris, her old Sunday school teacher looked over at her and smiled the softest smile Kate had seen in a long time. Taking a coral coloured quilt off an old wingback chair, she dropped it around her shoulders and placed a sweet motherly kiss on the top of her head.
“It doesn’t matter how old we get, Kate,” she said pulling up a chair to be as close to her as she could, “No matter how far we run – or how fast – the hurts from the past always manage to catch up to us.”
Tick . . . tick . . . tick . . . the crackling sound in her ears was starting again. A tear fell. Then another. There was no darkness this time though; there were no voices or shadows; she felt safe. She let them flow.
“Oh my Sweet girl, I have prayed for you ever since you were a child. I’ve never forgotten those haunting eyes of yours. You were so wounded. I am here for you; I’ve always been here for you.”
Kate didn’t mean to drop the mug, but neither of them seemed to notice it hit the floor. She flung her arms around the old woman’s neck and hung on for dear life. She didn’t know how long they held each other as healing tears flowed.
“Oh, you sweet thing, you’ve kept that pent up for a long time, pet.” Doris softly pulled Kate’s hair off her face, tucking it behind her wet ear.
“I made such a mess,” Kate said giggling in embarrassment at the wet spot on Doris’s shoulder.
She cupped Kate’s chin in her hands, lifting her face, “Look at me pet.”
Kate feared if she met the woman’s gaze that she would see straight into her soul and discover all the crud buried deep within. She would see all the filthy things she ever did. She choked on yet more tears.
“Sweet girl, there is a verse I’ve prayed over you all these years:
4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”
Revelation 21:4-5a (NIV)
Kate felt a rush of peace. Her breathing slowed.
“Why don’t you stay with me tonight? Go make your way to the guest room; I’ll throw together a breakfast casserole.”
Shuffling across the room, Doris’s head was spinning. It was almost midnight and she was usually in bed hours before. It was lovely to have Kate here, but she had to admit, the thought of her staying was unsettling.
She dug in the back of the freezer and pulled out a bag of frozen hash browns, squishing the contents to break up the frozen lump, she left it near the front for morning. Closing the door, she pressed her forehead against the fridge. "Lord, I’ve carried that beautiful, broken girl in my heart all these years. So much pain. So many secrets. How will any of us reach her? Can you soften her heart God and get anything to grow there?"
Grabbing a wad of paper towel, Doris knelt down next to the mug that was still lying on the floor. She wiped up the pool of hot chocolate, thankful that the mug only had a hairline crack and a tiny chip to show its fall. The mess could have been so much worse. She flipped open the trash can with her foot to toss the paper and the broken mug.
Kate is just a bit chipped and cracked . . . . . I can still use her. Trust me.
Examining the cup, Doris took it to the sink, rinsed it out and filled it with water. Carefully, she placed it on the windowsill.
Reaching to the spider plant hanging above, she sniped off a piece and dropped it into the damaged cup. “Lord, spring forth new life from these broken vessels.”
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