Tim picked his fingers and stared at the chips and dints in the plaster. It didn’t much matter to him that Jan thought a coat of paint might freshen the place up.
Changing his view to the window, he looked out onto the suburban jungle of rampant brambles and strangled dandelions that once was a garden.
Progressively, his twitchy fingers clenched into tight fists as his breathing came in short, sharp rasps. He cried out in anger,
“WHERE ARE YOU GOD?”
The sound of the freshly made tea tray crashing up against the wall sent Jan hurtling upstairs. “Nice one Tim!” She glowered. “I suppose that’s God’s fault too?” Tim turned to face his young wife.
“Jan, what’s happening to me?”
“Nothing much; you’ve turned into a juvenile brat, that’s all!” She grabbed a coat, slammed the door hard behind her, and stomped off down the road.
Di’s door, always open to Jan, invited her to march right in, fling her coat on the dog and yell,
“HELP! MEGA MELTDOWN!”
“On call crisis team, open for business,” Di called from the kitchen. “Coffee’s on; sit!” The dog sat; confused.com. Jan lingered in rampage mode, bursting to spill her woes to her friend and confidante.
“He blames God because he’s been made redundant. We’ve sold the car and cancelled our vacation. We’re struggling to meet the bills; but hey, we’ve got food on the table, a bed to sleep in and I’m still doing a couple of days on the market stall.” She paused for air.
“Times are difficult for everyone Jan, but …”
“There’s babies starving to death in Africa; lives devastated through conflicts and earthquakes, and he bellyaches because the firm went bust.”
“Jan, it’s hard for a man to lose his …”
“And he has these ridiculous anxiety attacks. I mean, where’s his faith Di? He won’t accept that God’s looking after us.”
“Jan, will you please listen to…”
“He won’t even go out to straighten up the garden. It’s a disgrace; he’s a disgrace, crumbling at the first hurdle. Where’s his pride?”
“Are you done?”
“Sorry.” Di passed the Kleenex and opened the window to let out the steam.
“Jan, it seems to me that you’re being the strong one here, and you’re the only person Tim can vent his frustration on. You’re two halves of a whole, and right now Tim needs to be able to lean on you.”
Jan did not like the idea. Tim was the strong one. Being dependable was Tim’s role. It had always been that way, ever since they met. Di should know that, but she rattled on regardless.
“You’re both suffering, but you blame Tim and Tim blames God. Who does God blame?” Di saw the cogwheels turning deep inside Jan’s puffy, red eyes.
“Remember, he promised to keep you in perfect peace. Isaiah 26:3 (NIRV) Do you trust Him to do that? And didn’t Jesus mention the futility of worrying in Matthew 6:27 (NIRV)
“Are either of you talking to God? Or are you hollering at Him; demanding your rights?” Jan looked sullen.
“Tim demands. I rest in God’s love.” Di peeped over her spectacles, with her very best incredulous look.
“You don’t look restful to me Jan. And there you go, laying blame again.” Jan stared at the floor and sighed deeply, from the tip of her toes.
“We’ve lost touch, haven’t we? Lost touch with God; lost touch with each other.” Di smiled,
“It happens. Life gets busy and God gets His nose pushed out. Good job He’s quick to forgive.” They hugged closely, as soul mates do.
Jan returned home re-energised and with a fresh determination to see this thing through. She marvelled at how her friend always seemed to have the most fitting words of comfort and encouragement to hand, just when she needed them most.
Di looked heavenwards and silently thanked her Heavenly Father for showing up again, spot on cue, with His very words of Truth that she needed to say.
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