Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Missionary (10/19/06)
- TITLE: Meeting the Parents
By Marilee Alvey
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The lunch dishes clacked together alarmingly as Sarah’s mom, fighting back tears, began stacking them into the dishwasher. “Oh, Sarah, I was so proud of you today up there at the altar. I couldn’t help crying. My baby……!”
Sarah shifted uncomfortably in her chair, then changed the focus. “It was really cool for dad to give me his ministerial robes today.”
“Oh, you know he’s thrilled that you’ve chosen his field.”
Well, I don’t want to hurt his feelings.” She wanted to say, “Why can’t I choose my own form of service without the guilt of leaving?” No. She was done. Must not talk about “the thing.” Battleground, engage, fire, retreat in confusion, only to begin anew when refreshed. She was battle weary. “We all know I won’t be wearing it where I’m going, so could I store it in the basement?”
“Just stick it in the spare bedroom closet.” Sarah watched her mom bite her lower lip, momentarily. “Dad’s busy in the garage right now. He’ll never know where you hang it.”
Sarah walked downstairs carrying her father’s braded robe on a hangar. She felt charged with excitement, in spite of her parents. She used to think about her upcoming years with dread. No husband, no children. Who’d check to see if she was eating correctly? Who’d drive her to the store when she was no longer able? Those fears had vaporized and, in their place was a spirit-filled confidence that it never was about her and that God would provide. It felt good to place her confidence in the right place.
Reaching the bottom of the stairs, Sarah turned the corner to the spare bedroom. How could she ever express to her parents her desire to go, not down the street like her father, but into the world and preach so all would know? Switching on the light, she walked over and slid open the closet door. There hung her sister’s wedding dress. As she hung up her father’s ministerial robe, she looked thoughtfully at the beautiful dress that for so many years taunted her singleness. “This is your wedding dress,” God told her, and, as she looked at the ivory crepe with its gold braid, proud and dutiful, hanging in harmony with the cream colored organza creation, a new idea swelled within her.
Eagerly racing up the stairs, she called loudly, “Mom, dad, Family meeting.” How many years since they’d heard that?
Her father came in from the garage and sat next to her mother at the table. Sitting in silence with a steady gaze, they seemed to sense a strange energy and excitement.
“Mom, dad, you know how much I love you. I know that you’ve always wanted the best for me and, maybe forty-four years is a long wait. You wouldn’t be loving parents if you hadn’t hoped and prayed for a man to come and sweep me up into his arms so my “real life” could begin. I did, too. Well, He did, and, frankly, now I won’t settle for any less.”
Sarah suppressed a giggle as they sat there waiting for the mystery man to step out from behind the pantry door. She fought back the urge to say, “Ta-da!”
With a gentle smile, she began. “You guys already know the love of my life. In fact, you introduced us. His name is Jesus Christ and He loves me with a love like no other suitor ever could! He has always been faithful to me, even though, at times, I ran from Him. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills so He’ll be a good provider.” Grasping both their hands across the table, she continued. “My life with Him will be filled with joys and discoveries. Mom, dad, Jesus is going to show me the world!”
With a mischievous grin, she added, “I hope that you’ll accept Him.”
“Sarah, I did that a long time ago!” her father said, smiling broadly as he stood up to hug her. “I guess congratulations are in order!”
“So, how about a little cash to help with our honeymoon?”
Her mother rose quickly and went over to the drawer to retrieve a note pad and pen. “We’ve got to hold a shower. Let’s make out the guest list!”
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