Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Write in the ROMANCE genre (04/19/07)
TITLE: To Love Again.
By Helen Murray
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Nineteen years it had been since he left her for his male lover, with three children to rear, destitute, in bankruptcy, with the car, and even the washing machine, taken away. Who can imagine what it was like when, at three in the morning the dog whimpered, and revealed the box of groceries at the back door – everything that was needed for a week! Had her Heavenly Father heard her cry? There was no doubt about it!
Nineteen years passed, children grown up, one daughter serving the Lord and two boys doing their own thing. Alone now, except for the wonderful Heavenly Father who had never failed her through all the years of washing floors, school involvement, church growth, criticism for having a failed marriage from those who knew no better, study and achieving a position as a teacher, Never had Janine sought relationship again after that first traumatic experience, the dreadful shredding of her emotions when it dawned on her what had happened. First, realization descended, then breakdown threatened, the children demanded their needs met, and in the strength of the Lord in whom she trusted, they had been brought up and released into adulthood.
Nineteen years of the search for wisdom had developed into a magnificent ministry to the elders who lay waiting for the doors of death to close upon them forever. Many many found the love of their life at that very time, as they met Jesus, and rejoiced in His presence at their new birth!
Nineteen years of refreshment at the hand of God and suddenly – suddenly she was ready for romance! Suddenly the longing for relationship burst upon a healed and lively heart, and Janine confessed to her Father that she would love to be married again. How could this be? It was a mystery.
Then Joe appeared, drunk and desperate for help. Jesus change all that in an instant, and Joe, leaving entirely behind him an old carnal life, was passionate for knowledge and understanding. It seemed he could not get enough of the great :Lord and Master who had saved him from total defeat and the gutter. “Do you like him?” the Lord asked Janine, one day. “I do like him.” They had been enjoying long and serious talks on scripture and life in Christ. He had a tender, soft heart mirrored in the poetry he loved to write, and studied to become a carer of the aged.
During long beach walks and coffee shop trips a tender romance blossomed, and was resolved one day under an archway of flowers at the church, where a multitude of food-and-gift-bearing friends rejoiced with them at their blessing. Their faith was quite strong enough to resist a few of satan’s arrows from old associates of Joe’s.
Their walk together has been astounding. I was invited to play the hymns for their ministries at the aged care homes. I watched Janine undergird her beloved husband so that he became a preacher in the hostels where he worked and she ministered. His preaching was a simple sharing of his thoughts and experiences with Jesus after she had led in songs of worship. From time to time he would tell again his testimony of being saved by Jesus from the power of drink Very many of the aged would come to share the service, and many a time they were able to share the excitement that one who passed away was now with Jesus, for they had received Him just days before their death. The tenderness of their love for the aged, and for each other, was an exquisite experience for me, for I had known little of such great gentleness.
Today they have supported each other through loss of a grandchild and other joys and disasters about four years, and their vision continues unabated, to rescue people from the very brink of the lake of fire.
They are two people in love – with Jesus!
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