Knowing God better, figuring out marriage, investing in my kids, exploring the Scripture, discovering truth, savoring life's joys and writing about the journey . . . visit a while with me.

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Friday, January 26, 2018

a yellow umbrella

It's a bit fanciful, a bit fairytale-ish, but still fun. This little story was inspired by my own mother's fondness for this Norman Rockwell
original as well as my personal sentiment for the romance of rainy days. Enjoy. 

Rae powered off the computer and glanced out the window.  Rain. She had hardly noticed earlier. It had been so busy today. Of course, that wasn’t unusual for a Thursday in her office.  People wanted to get the license before the weekend. She scooped a peppermint wrapper from the floor and swiveled around to drop it into the waste can. She remembered the girl who must have dropped it - petite, brunette and hanging onto a giant guy. She had to stand on tip-toe to reach the counter. It reminded her of the classic Rockwell print that had been her mom’s favorite.

She picked up the remaining papers and laid them in the tray for later filing.  The rain was pelting the window now.  And she didn’t have an umbrella.  Well, she’d throw her jacket over her head and dash to the car.She didn’t know why, but as she passed the counter, she turned to look at the book – the one containing the names of thousands of couples – infatuated kids, college sweethearts, and older couples finding happiness after grief.  All of them floated through that office, stars in their eyes and smiles on their lips.   
Rockfield County Courthouse was a landmark. The vintage red-bricked building with the cupolas and grand architecture was a drawing card for couples in love. But the chance to sign the book that possibly contained their grandparents’ name was the piece de resistance. And though Rae could trace her lineage back in it for 3 generations, she herself hadn’t yet signed her name on its pages.  
She locked the door of the County Clerk’s office and stepped into the hall. Her heels clicked on the marble, just like when she used to come visit her grandfather who had presided over the court here for over 30 years. Outside, she pulled her jacket over her head and headed in the direction of her car.  And almost bumped into someone.  She saw his shiny shoes first. 
“Hi, Rae.  You’re getting soaked.” 
She raised her head with the jacket above it and almost had a coronary. "Pastor Daron?” 
He grinned, nice and easy.  “Hi. Here, get under this.” 
Rae looked up then. He was holding a yellow umbrella.  “Hey, that’s . . . “ 
“Yours. Uh-huh. I was coming to return it to you.” 
She knew she looked confused. “Where did you find it?” 
“Where you left it last night. In the back of the church.” 
Rae was suddenly aware she was standing so close to him under the umbrella that she could smell the faint fragrance of fabric softener from his dress shirt. She tried to focus. She would not be one of those girls at church who lost their heads around the single pastor. “Thank you. That was nice of you. But you didn’t have to interrupt your day to bring this to me.” 
He just smiled again. “Actually, I was already planning to come to the courthouse.” 
“Oh, did you need to look up something? I can still unlock the door for you.” 
He shifted the umbrella and held out his other hand to her. “Rae, for weeks, I’ve been wanting to ask you out for dinner with me. And when you left your umbrella last night, I knew this was the time. So, how about tomorrow night? I heard you liked Italian and I know a great place.” 
Rae finally took a breath. And put her hand in his. “I’d love to. I’ve been wanting to get better acquainted with my pastor.” 
And just like that, under an umbrella in front of the courthouse, Rae began to wonder if it wouldn’t be long before she was standing on tiptoe to sign her name in the book. And it made her smile as she walked in the rain with a man who held her arm ever so gently.                                                                - VQ 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

it's brilliant

There is something shining about love, more specifically, about romance.  Even little children recognize it. You've seen them giggle delightedly when the bride and groom kiss, turning their little eyes away from the brightness of the moment. The sheer glory of it transcends our senses.

Human love is a wonderful mystery, old as the couple in the Garden; new as a schoolgirl's crush. It ought to be. After all, it symbolizes the heart of Christ for His church. The story of redemption is a holy romance, the delight of the Hero in his bride, the thrill of her heart in being pursued and rescued - that's the story of God wooing humankind, put into a setting we can understand. He had an eternal perspective in mind all the time. Hallmark and Hollywood believe they invented romance. But there was always a bigger scope to something so glorious, a holy symbolism that only those who get to know the Creator can see. 

Why should a wink, a smile, a brushing of the hand bring such chills of delight? To be sure, there are physiological explanations, yet the simplest answer of all is that God created it to be that way. The romance between a man and a woman has a powerful intensity that always thrill us, and sweetly shocks us with its bold majesty. Beyond the mystery of its eternal symbolism, it is His gift to be treasured now, sought wisely, protected arduously. 

He puts these brilliant moments into our lives to remind us of Him. It's as common as a wedding kiss. And yet, what is common about observing that? I may need to lower my eyes at the shining glory of it.

To explore this subject deeper, read Redeeming Romance, published by Wesleyan Publishing House. 
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