“I need to go to church today and I will enjoy it.”
My pep talk and decision to have a positive attitude would help me find a friend. The congregation meandered into the cathedral and I tried to see the people as individuals like snow flakes forming together to create blanket of unity.
But underneath laid death and bareness like the winter outside. An empty expression filled their eyes.
I felt the pierce of every curious stare but no smile greeted me. The faces familiar to me knew where I lived and turned away. The vacancy of the wooden pew was my only welcome.
And the winter winds blew…
I settled my things hoping to find someone to warm me. Music greeted my ears lifting my spirits. I opened my mouth and sang but a man’s scowl hushed my words.
The pastor’s sermon gave me no hope as he breathed condemnation from the pulpit. Old ladies whispered about others behind me to pass the time and when the doors opened to leave, light filled the church.
I began the journey home listening to the snow crunch under my feet. The coldness of the service still haunted my memory. Why do people have to be so mean? That’s the last time I will step foot in church if that’s the way people act? I looked up to see my friend waving me into her house. I considered passing on by…
But the winter winds blew…
The fire in her fireplace comforted the chill inside me. Several had gathered there to have a Bible study.
“Here honey, have some tea and a piece of cake. That should warm you right up.”
I watched as one man strummed his guitar and others begin to sing along with him. They encouraged me to join…and I did. My friend’s husband opened God’s Word and read the story of the “Good Samaritan”. We discussed how we could help others and decided to spend one Saturday a month at Crestview Cottage, the local women’s shelter, helping serve meals and teaching Bible studies.
My friend gave me a ride home and answered my questions from the discussion. She showed patience, wisdom and love. Not once did she judge or condemn my ignorance. She gave me her phone number and told me to call if I needed anything.
And the winter winds blew…
I couldn’t wait till the time arrived for my friends to come so I could tell them face to face the decision I had made. I waited by the door looking out at the fresh fallen snow so clean and white covering all the ugliness of the world. That’s what Jesus had done for me.
My heart beat quickened as they pulled up to the walk. Everyone from the Bible study piled out of the van as I shouted their arrival to my roomates in the house. My hands held a bouquet of live flowers to share as I welcomed everyone into Crestview Cottage.
And the spring winds blew…
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