Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: SEA CHANGE or TREE CHANGE (07/13/17)
- TITLE: The Understanding
By Amy Gaudette
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I sat with my back against the cold, hard hearth. Given a few moments alone, while the kids were out berry picking with Jake, I sneaked in a break from unpacking and indulged in a little pool of self pity.
What the heck am I doing here? Last week I was sipping a frappuccino on my best friend's deck while the kids played in the pool. My main concern was the upcoming party at Jake's boss's house and what I would wear.
I felt panic rising up like bile, threatening to spill over. I took a few deep breaths and tried to pray. God, I don't know you like my husband does. But if you are here, help. I want to run as fast as I can back to what I know. I can't let my kids see me like this. They've been shaken up enough. Lord?
I sat still and listened, for what I did not know. It seemed as though it was the right thing to do.
I could hear laughter far off and knew the berry adventure was at least fun for them. A zephyr breeze blew in the open windows, prodding me. I stepped outside onto the leaning porch and looked to a pair of phoebes nesting under the eaves. I could hear the baby language of the chicks. Their mother and father regarded me with mistrust while waiting at the edge of the eaves for me to retreat.
Below the railing, a seeming kaleidoscope of insects and bees hovered over the forgotten flower bed, darting this way and that. I watched, sitting on the step now, mesmerized by nature. Everything I could see had a purpose. Each bit of creation went about daily tasks assigned for it, fulfilling a call.
Again, the summer air stirred around me and almost seemed to beckon me farther out, beyond my comfort zone. I followed an almost invisible path, obviously forgotten by a few generations of humans, as it meandered its way along the wood's edge. Fragrances sweeter than any spa filled my senses and I inhaled deeply.
My southerly ambling path turned sharply east. There in front of me, a masterpiece woven together by the Master himself. A hillside, decked with purples, yellows, pinks, and oranges danced before my eyes. My breath caught. Then a little farther on in a seamless tapestry, a brook sparkled its way on to some unknown destination, and beyond that the hills seem to bow before rising up to a great distance far away but close enough to still impact me by its majesty. Mountains. Peaks raised up in silent prayer. I was awestruck. I stared, spellbound.
Everything out here knew its place, and its place was to worship the Creator.
I thought back to the suddenness of Jake telling us to pack up, how we needed to move as soon as possible. I remember his words of fear as though a storm gathered on the horizon that only a few could see. He spoke as though he had heard from God himself, and that we needed to prepare for what was coming and return to what really mattered. I didn't come willingly. I panicked. I fought. I despaired.
But here I was, standing beneath a canopy of blue dotted by puffs of cotton, still not understanding the voice my husband heard, but understanding one thing. I took my place in creation and did what I was created to do – I bowed before, and worshiped my Creator.
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