Writing 101 – Storm Clouds

Todays’ challenge: Write a post inspired by a real conversation. The Twist: Include foreshadowing.

“Good Morning, Garden Gifts, how can we help you today? Oh, hello Lainie, how are you? What? You’re at the hospital? What was it this time? Don’t tell me, let me guess, he took his bike down that trail again!” said Meg.  Meg was in her usual spot on a Monday morning. Meg’s tiny, cluttered office was her home away from home. Post-It notes were everywhere, lots of photos, a calendar covered with more notes and a several “to-do” lists covered every inch of one wall. Meg tried to come in early on Monday’s hoping to take advantage of the solitude before her shop opened and the “real” workday began. Her Monday goal was to get ahead on things but she was happy if she could just catch up a little; running your own business was more than a full time job. And now, this phone call…

“Huh? Say that again, I am really having a hard time hearing you. You must be in a bad spot, the reception is terrible, all static-y. I’ll wait till you get to a better spot.“ She started to dig through a pile of folders, the perpetual Leaning Tower of Paper on the corner of her desk. “He did what?” With an abrupt motion, she stood, gripping the phone.   “I thought he was finished with all that! Well, what does the doctor say? Ok, ok, calm down, I can barely understand you. You’re right it IS serious. Yes I know you are upset, I’m upset too. It must have been terrifying.”

Meg began to pace back and forth, head down, receiver pressed to her ear. She nodded occasionally, even though she was all alone and no one could see her. At intervals, she would interject a short, “H-m-m” into the soliloquy pouring from the phone.

“Look, you have to try to calm yourself. Breathe slowly. Count with me. Breathe in one, two, three four, five, now hold it, hold it. Now let it out, real slow…one, two, three, four, five. Ok, again.” Meg was also breathing, inhaling and exhaling, the same slow deep breaths to calm herself.

“That’s better now. I know you are upset but try not to worry. We’ll get through this. He’s exactly where he needs to be right now.  You know God’s got this right?” Meg plunked down in her chair again and began searching her desk. Finally, her hand grasped a worn, leather-clad volume. She began flipping its pages. Like her wall, there were Post-It notes stuck to some pages, handwriting filled the margins on others, a few small sheets of notepaper fluttered onto the floor as she went back and forth, searching for the page she needed.

“Remember that verse, Lamentations 3:37, ‘Can anything happen without the Lord’s permission?’ Yes, I know this is difficult to hear right now, Lainie, but God is allowing this to happen. He has a purpose in all things!” Meg’s head was bent over her worn Bible, concentrating; at the same time, her lips were moving in silent prayer.

“You’re right, yes, God forgives our sins, ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, He will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.’   But sometimes sin has consequences and those consequences can be painful. God’s not taking revenge on you or him. I know you don’t want to go through this again, none of us do, including him. Oh, ok, I can hold on, you go ahead.” Meg held the phone away from her ear and waited, covering her eyes with her hand. She could hear the faint sound of a conversation through the phone.

“Oh, sure I understand. Let me share just one more verse with you, this has been my favorite for years, ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.’ Notice how it does not say the path will be level or easy, just straight! It means He will show you the way if you just trust Him. That’s Proverbs 3:5, 6 by the way,” Meg paused, listening.

“Ok, I have to get going too. I am going to pray right now. Maybe this will be the last time he has to go to rehab. Some people have to go through the program a few times before it sticks with them and they quit for good. My brother has always been pretty hard-headed, you know that better than anyone, Sis, you’ve been down this road before. Thank God he’s alive.  It sounds like you found him just in time. God has given him another chance; our job is to pray he takes it!  Call me if anything changes and I will call you tomorrow. You take care of yourself, I’ll be praying for both of you!”

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