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Archive for the ‘obedience’ Category

The Unlived Life of Russell Stone, Part 7

In choices, death, divorce, fear, fiction, help, judging, love, marriage, obedience, relationships on October 3, 2011 at 9:41 pm

A Novelette

 by Cheryl Courtney Semick

Mrs. Stone’s story of the late Russell Stone hit a nerve in Rachel. It is 8:30 AM.

The anger rising in me was shocking. I wanted to run like villagers do when the volcano they live by day-in-and-day out starts rumbling. Mrs. Stone could see the eruption forming on my face. Still, she calmly continued.

“People judge these unlived lives as actors, manipulators or lazy bums, having no idea that they are starving for an ounce of acceptance and love in any form. They remain children in their mind with no definition for what drives them or what was stolen from them; they just know they are different from everyone else.”

I felt punched in the stomach and filled with shame. I held her gaze so she couldn’t see that I am one of those judges; that I am only an hour away from dumping such a soul.

“But why did you marry him, knowing he could never be a real husband to you?” I asked. She took in a deep breath; a strange peace engulfed me as she exhaled, something I still can’t explain, though I’ve rolled it over and over in my mind ever since.

“I didn’t know all this when I married him. He seemed as normal as any man,” said Mrs. Stone through tears. “At first I felt deceived, but to honor my vows, I had to love him unconditionally as I am loved by my Creator; that is only fair, don’t you think?”

I shrugged, non-committed. I wasn’t a religious person, but I had to agree that if the Creator loves me unconditionally, I should give my fellow man the same courtesy. I mean, that made sense, I guess. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a moral, good, considerate person. I obey the law and all, but her take on it seemed unrealistic.

“But how could you play along with it all? It doesn’t seem fair to you,” I said, my voice now pleading, my mind oblivious to the clock.

“Over time I learned that his feigned normalcy was more than just an act—it was a desperate cry for help,” she said. “I knew that my love for Russell had to be bigger than me. It had to reach beyond my romantic dreams, beyond my rights as a woman, as a wife. I had to love him more than he could ever love me.”

I choked. Shaking my head I pushed all these super woman ideals as far away from me as I could. She had no idea that Steve and Mr. Stone were one and the same and I wasn’t about to tell her. I needed to extricate myself from the Stone’s upside-down world and focus on my court date. I glanced up at the clock. It’s 8:40 AM.

“I’m sorry Mrs. Stone. With all due respect, I have a 9AM meeting I can’t miss. Please forgive me for rushing off like this. The staff will help you with the paperwork we need you to complete before Mr. Stone’s burial. I will call you later today.”

Mrs. Stone smiled serenely and looked down at the journal in her hands. My hand was on the door handle when she called my name. I turned around.

“Please take this and read it before you go to court.”

I gave her a sideways look as I took the journal from her trembling hand. How did she know my ‘meeting’ was in court?

To be continued….

________________

Read from the beginning…

Barren

In garden, God, growth, Jesus, obedience on September 24, 2009 at 12:36 pm

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That’s how he found it. He had planted the tree on his land hoping for an annual crop of tasty fruit. He nurtured it from a sapling, watered its ground, even talked to it.

His land was vast and he was pulled in different directions to tend all his gardens, vineyards, groves and crops, but this tree he loved most. When it’s season arrived, there was no fruit.

The farmer swallowed his disappointment, dug around its roots and fertilized it, saying, “This will help you bear fruit.” And another year passed. No fruit.

After the third year of no fruit, the farmer’s concern turned to frustration. After all he gave to this tree – more than any other tree, crop, vine or garden, it gave nothing in return.

In Christ we are called to bear fruit:

  • love
  • joy
  • peace
  • patience
  • kindness
  • goodness
  • faithfulness
  • gentleness
  • self-control

(Galatians 5:22,23)

When God comes to you and looks at your life, will he find it barren, fruitless?  Jesus told this parable in Luke 13:6-9.  The gardener came to the tree and found it barren.  He said, “Cut it down, why does it use up ground?”  If you feel your life is barren and there is no sign of the ‘fruit’ listed above growing in your life, you are at risk!

But thanks be to God, our Advocate, Jesus Christ, says to His Heavenly Father on our behalf, “Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit, well. But if it does not, after that you can cut it down.”

Thank You God for second chances!  Please help me allow you to grow this spiritual fruit in my life so that when You come to examine me, I will please You.