***If you've read this far, thank you. Like I have said before, this is fiction but inspired by very real emotion. The parts where God has shown up, have also occurred in similar ways in my own life. And, I stand by my overall intention for writing this: Healing truly does begin when love pours down.***
WHEN LOVE POURS DOWN, Scene 6
Before this storm, I knelt beside my new husband in the wedding chapel, after the guests departed. He led us in prayer and summoned the canopy of God's blessing upon our union. And the days, weeks, months, and years enjoyed the shadow of God's hand. And I didn't feel the garish sun of hardship. Not really, anyway. My husband was my provider, my protector, my strong tower. It was he who rose early with the rising sun, releasing prayers upon the morning breeze. It was his faithful flurry that stirred my spirit and left me seeking more. And come Spring, I grew to his stature, a budding vine of fruit for my Maker. Perhaps, it was my provider, my protector, my strong tower who might have shadowed my God. And who might have been first in my heart of hearts.
And maybe, this storm is good in a way. Because my husband no longer eclipses my God. No, he is nothing but a man who's stripped away the canopy and burned my soul with exposure to a faith-consuming fire.
But the sun of my God kisses Little Jack who runs ahead on the concrete path to our home. I taste the freshness of a new day upon my tongue as I breathe in deep, and long for joy again. The dianthus are bursting color and the lilies stand proud and tall, tempting me to smile. Oh, how long has it been since I smiled broad?
But the smile is yet to birth when I know Steve is inside, waiting and knowing I tried to leave him. I tried to leave and take Jack with me.
A roaring grind growls into the floral-scented air. The side-gate is ajar and I follow the stepping stones round back. Each toe upon the rock jolts my insides with a nervous wobble. I pray for the huddle of my spirit within.
No more resentment, no more fear. Only love. I must start first with love.
The grind grows louder and I catch a glimpse of the beast. A chain saw slices the fallen willow. At the hands of my Steve. Oh, it slices in pieces the root of Love. A wide hollow in my soul opens its jaw and I can see the belly of a monster. A monster feeding on such an image of the godless man destroying the precious place in my heart. What other task could embitter the tongue of the heartbroken?
“Give him grace. Give him a chance.” The huddle's whisper slams shut the open hollow. I am here for love. The tree is gone by the hand of a different storm, after all. And part of it is still standing. The strongest part is still erect.
He whips around, pushing his goggles onto his head. A glimmer of delight flashes in his deep blue eyes, and then his lips fall into a frown. “I wish you didn't leave.”
“I am sorry.” Slender willow leaves somersault around my feet. I try to look into his face once more. He inches closer, and reaches a hand out to me. I take it.
“You're all I've got, Lisa.” He pulls me close. “Life in this new perspective really makes you treasure every precious thing.”
“Really?” And doesn't life with my God calls me to treasure every precious thing? Old resentment begins to pry open the hollow with it's twisted design. How can he claim that his way has any good in it? Any similarity to life with God in it?
“He is mine, and I am His.” The Spirit gathers in a warming rush, melting the gap within, closing it shut to my scrutiny. Steve might not acknowledge God in this, but it doesn't mean that God's not in this.
And it's not my place to pull apart the skies and reveal the God who is there.
“I love you.” My words float out like the dainty pieces of a dandelion blown. Soft and fragile.
Steve bites his lip and steps so close that I must tilt my head to see him. Sun shines around his dark curls, and the silhouette of a butterfly flaps it's wings above him.
“You don't know how long I have waited to hear that.” He lowers his head and I close my eyes to receive his kiss.
I may have doubted God through this storm. I may have given the Enemy a chance to stir the winds into a violent tornado of destruction. But no matter the banshee cry of the wind, or the droning of the rain, my God's whisper carries to my heart and he protects me in the rage of it.
I once knelt beside my husband the moments after our vows, and we enjoyed the shadow of God's hand over our hearts. And now, in the broken aftermath of a storm, my husband no longer accepts the canopy, but he stays by my side through the storm.
No elements are tossed about the sky today. But the downpour is ever strong. And it is this torrential flood of love in which He calls me past the brewing brawl.
And maybe one day in the stillness of this healing aftermath, Steve will remember that love is God, again.
But for now, there is flying to do. With wings spread wide, I'll choose to love.