Maggie felt a tear slide down her cheek as she looked at an old photo. She saw the picture of a smiling girl, so happy she seemed to sparkle with joy. How different from the sad expression that she felt on her own face. The girl in the photo had something that Maggie had lost, yet the face in the photo was hers.
Maggie was home alone once again. She was waiting for her husband Kyle. He was working late and she knew it would be hours before he returned. “More married to his job than to me” she often thought and had accused in endless rants.
“My marriage is one long argument” Maggie realized. “I need to get out of this house” she thought, deciding to go for a drive.
It was now eight o’clock. She knew that Kyle would not be home until ten, which was the norm these days. She knew he was working to provide a better life, but all Maggie wanted was more time together. She so disliked the time apart. She decided to drive across town to the neighborhood where she grew up. She listened to music on the Christian radio station.
“Why do I feel, discouraged, why do the shadows fall”, that was just how Maggie felt, discouraged. She wished she could turn back the pages of her life to a happier time, to feel like the girl in the photo.
Maggie drove to the diner and upon entering was greeted by the aroma of fresh coffee, baked goods and french fried potatoes. A slight smile appeared on her face but quickly faded as she looked at a group of giggling teens. “Those were the days my friend”, she muttered. Maggie sat down at the counter, felt the soft padding of the red vinyl cushion and swiveled in the seat.
“What can I get ya?” the waitress asked.
“Not sure.” Maggie answered with a sigh and as she looked up was surprised to see the face of an old friend.
“Fran is that you?” Maggie asked.
“Well I should say it’s me the question is, is it you? Maggie, I haven’t seen you in ages.”
“Oh, it’s me, but I don’t feel very much like myself these days.”
“Now that you mention it Maggie you do look a little down, I’d know that pretty face anywhere but you look like you've lost your best friend.”
Maggie did feel like she was losing her best friend, she felt so lonesome.
“I’m just not myself these days Frannie.”
“Well then how about a nice cup of coffee and some girl talk” Fran offered.
Maggie was grateful to have found someone to confide in.
Over several cups of coffee, in between Fran helping other customers, Maggie shared her story.
“You know Maggie, I’m sorry for your trouble, you look as low as anyone I've ever seen. If you don’t mind my saying so, it seems to me that you've put your hopes in the wrong person. It sounds like Kyle is working hard to provide for you both, maybe he’s gone overboard a bit, but maybe you've gone a bit overboard yourself.”
“What do you mean Frannie?”
“You’re so busy being mad and resentful. Instead, how about you try to encourage Kyle. Have you thanked him, and most importantly have you prayed for him?”
Maggie realized that the answer was no.
“When we put our trust in anyone but God for happiness we’re bound to be disappointed.”
Maggie knew this was true.
“Mags, you need a dose of divine effervescence, you’re flat my friend, like yesterday’s soda pop. You need to reconnect to the source of all joy, you won’t find that anywhere but in God alone. He will provide what you need and what you need is to change your perspective and to look at your situation through the eyes of the Lord.”
After spending about an hour with Fran and promising to come back “real soon”, Maggie drove home. While she drove she prayed and sang along to the radio “heaven came down and glory filled my soul.”
Divine effervescence, she had tapped into the source once again, she felt changed and she was ready to give her marriage a fresh start. When Kyle arrived home Maggie gave a hug, a kiss, a thank you and an apology for not being a friend, to him. Maggie felt once again like the girl in the photo.
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