Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: ALL TALK, NO ACTION (01/10/19)
TITLE: Matrimony Prayers
By Lynne Eliason
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When he actually walked in the door, she was ready to talk. He expected that. She expected he would reek of liquor and look a mess. Instead, he was ready too, shirt tucked in, hair combed and lack of sleep not obvious. Talk was about all they had left and he knew that his own night of praying must be their guide to wisdom today with a good dose of mercy thrown in. Their marriage appeared to be in its final days and it certainly didn’t feel right for either of them. They had declared there wasn’t actual love holding them together. Most of all, it was noted they just simply didn’t like each other. And – that constantly brought the worst out in ways that they could no longer live with. Divorce seemed to be an action they had been avoiding, but now was becoming more and more apparent. Last night’s battle had made that an option. Words, lots of hurtful words . . . He had left the house in anger, leaving her just as angry and asking herself what had they just done to each other?
Her face blotchy from hours of tears, she didn’t know where to start, but tried to immediately throw the ball in his court. “Where have you been? I waited up and worried sick all night. You know we need to get through this with some respect and consideration for each other!”
Yup, here it comes. He was ready for her. “I knew that we wouldn’t get anywhere having another monumental argument. Accusing each other doesn’t get us anywhere any more. We need to have a civil conversation where we can make some choices that are in the best interest of both of us. And – I knew you’d think the worst of me, so why not give you some food for thought?” Cheap shot he knew, but saying that seemed pleasing.
He followed her to the kitchen, where she was making coffee. Good. That was a common ground they both needed. He’d really rather have a shower and a nap, but his night of prayer had brought him to a place of inner strength and resolve. She poured two cups of steaming dark coffee, adding a spoonful of sugar to his. She did still know what he liked.
They talked for hours. There were 24 years of married times to be sorted out. He talked finances and life without her. She dwelled on logistics and securities. How could splitting up seem so easy and rational? They were thankful there weren’t any children to experience the pain of separating and making final moves.
Lunchtime came and passed. About mid-afternoon they agreed they were hungry. She made them ham sandwiches, his with mayo, hers with mustard. When she set the food in front of them, his heart encouraged him to give thanks in prayer. “Lord, bless this food.” He stopped. He didn’t know what else to say. She reached her hand out to him. Together they prayed. Words poured from them, asking forgiveness, reconciliation, and they counted their blessings. Both of them were tearful when the “Amen” was whispered. There was silence.
He sighed and looked at her intently. For the first time in many years, she clearly saw the blue eyes she had fallen in love with. They were still deep and beautiful. He saw her kind slight smile that had captured him when they were young. It melted him. He spoke first and she listened. She agreed and he acknowledged.
Their talk was now of putting God first and letting Him direct their conversations. They promised to take time for joy and simple pleasures. There would be no more drinking all night from him and no more bickering and knit picking from her. It wouldn’t be easy. This was going to take visiting with God on a constant basis. Prayer was to be their new solution, separately and together. There would be no divorce action taken today. A new path would be taken where words truly did matter.
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