WHEN LOVE POURS DOWN, Scene 5
Before this storm, the trails were paths of gnomes and fairies, talking toads and chatty squirrels. Each hollowed tree was a home, and every blade of grass was a musical string. What joy whipped within the heart of my child-self at the hidden world in the wood.
Now, I am grown, and the woods are for biking and hiking. The only critters—pea-brained squirrels and hopping robins—show themselves regularly. The grass only plays a tune between the thumbs of my child as he blows cheeks big. What foolish things we cast aside as our spines grow toward the sky and our eyes dull to fantasy.
And the sky this day promises another bout of thunder and rain. But I retreat to my outdoor sanctuary while Mel takes my boy to the ice cream shop.
I'll not face Steve just yet.
My hair whips against my cheeks as I sit by a lake of fury. Daggers of wind chop up the surface like a baker's knife mottles the frosting on a cake. The tall elms chatter of the brewing storm above, their rustling gossip coaxed in the chilled air.
“Forgive me. For leaving. For casting off my heart in fear.” I must wait, like I once did for the gnomes and the little fairies to kiss my nose. Now, I wait for Him, who might be invisible but is more real than even the knoll upon which I sit.
He moves. In that secret huddle in my heart, He speaks. And while the whirling air about me swells in some sort of whispering orchestra, I hear His words,
“Love covers a multitude of sins.”
The very thing that torments me most. The reason I run to His creation and settle beneath the outstretched canopy of branches. Such a different trail ahead of me now, than what I walked as a child. A different path than what I walked just months ago, when Steve still led us on his knees, bowed to his Creator. Now, this trail is not a fancy daydream stroll, but a desperate lost dream search.
“Thank you, Jesus. I must remember love the most.” It is what Mel spoke of. It's what my devotional preaches from my lap, and it's the whisper in that huddle in my heart. No coincidence with God. My soul is quenched, and the elms clap in a vigorous roar above me.
I gather up my journal and devotional, praising and pondering. Preparing myself to live love now. Willing my wings to spread wide and give me confidence in flight. The hollow in my core widens, and I long for Steve.
Clouds grow dark above, tainting the waters an inky gray. The trail ahead promises rain. I no longer run for shelter like I did as that fanciful girl. No, the rain won't hurt me now. Not when I know He's not through with me, yet. Besides, I've spilled many more droplets than the sky threatens to unleash.
“Mama, I felt rain.” A golden curl-topped princess pops up from a nearby picnic blanket, gathering her tea set.
“Hurry, sweetie. We don't want to get caught. Let's finish our tea at home with Daddy.” Her mama begins to load a wicker basket with half-eaten sandwiches, Oreos, and a Thermos.
“Yay! I love tea parties with Daddy.” She squeals. I pass her along the leaf-strewn path.
Fairytales and tea parties are surely a thing of my past. My middle-aged self remorses that my prince has abandoned the King, and my table is bare of all good things.
The storm within me breaks before the sky above me, and I forget His whisper. How can I surrender and love Steve when he's hurt me so? Resentment whips through my core.
“Lord, it wasn't meant to turn out like this. Whatever happened to dreams come true?”
I kneel upon the shore of pebbles before the water's edge. My pen is quick on the pages of my rain-spotted journal. My eyes are thirsty for Him as I skim the book in my weakening hands.
And He is there in each drop upon my soul, in each word on the page. His downpour splashes my spirit and rights my faith again.
His glorious song fills my heart, “You are Mine, and I am yours, my Love.”
He will never hurt me. My true Soulmate. And I praise Him. Again, the elms applaud in a roar.
“Thank you, Jesus, I must remember You love me most.”
And the trail washes with sheets of rain and I do not melt, but rejoice in His washing of my heart, and the calming of the gale.
While the lake settles at the last pin pricks of rain, the sky brightens. And I remember that sunshine is not dependent on my will, but on His will. It is He who lavishes upon me.
Why did I expect so much from Steve? It was an expectation as notional as my hope in meeting a gnome on the path—unable to withstand the pressure of reality, the fact that only One can make my dreams come true.
Even if the prince declares there is no such thing as Him who delivers dreams, I can live the love greater than any Steve's ever witnessed.
The lake returns to glass as the storm dies. A ray of sun steals through the clouds and illuminates the surface, bouncing fractals across the waters.
“Yes, Lord. I'll love him as You love me.” And the shine becomes bright and I bow my head and the elms chatter above me.
It is good to meet him on this side of the storm—when the stillness sets in. When the creatures make way as I walk the path with my Lord.