Under The Mat

Under the Mat
by Pam Ford Davis

“Son, let yourself in; I’ll put an extra key on the top step, under the mat.”

Day or night, I could get inside without bothering my folks. Dad first made the key available when I lived in the college dorm.

“Dad, I’ll call you or Mom first. I’m not going to just barge in.”

“Nonsense! Come and go as you please. Just remember to put the key back on that first step.”

From college-to-career man, to Dad’s caregiver, I’ve balanced life upon the top step. Stooping, I’ve retrieved the key countless times. Today, in great concern, I hurry home.

Mom passed peacefully three years ago. After 65 years of marriage, she suffered a massive stroke, slipped into a comma and never regained consciousness. A day never passes that Dad doesn’t grieve his great loss.

I’m hitting every red light.

Gripping the wheel, I mentally replay the early morning call from Dad’s home health nurse.

“Mr. Cunningham, sorry to bother you so early, but thought you should know about my visit with your Dad yesterday afternoon.”

“Has he fallen again?”

“No, nothing like that. I hate to cause a fuss, but he acted rather peculiar. As I was preparing to leave, he asked me to sit down beside him.”

“Was that unusual?

“Yes, he knew I had a busy schedule and needed to leave for my next appointment.”

“Did he complain about something?”

“No. He said he would not be seeing me again, that he wanted me to know how much he appreciated my visits. I asked if the home health agency was replacing me. I was confused. Why would they tell him before notifying me?”

“Had they?”

She hesitated, took a deep breath, and told me point blank, “He said he was going home. He would not be there when I came back.”

“Going home? I’m afraid he is getting senile!”

“No, he is not feeble minded. Your dad said an angel came to the foot of his bed the night before. The angel said it was time for him to be going on home. He pointed above with a look of serenity and excitement. He said he was going to his eternal home.”

I should have tried to call Dad, made an excuse that I just wanted to stop by to have a quick cup of coffee on my way to work. He’ll suspect something is wrong if I knock on his door so early.

Swerving off to hug the curb, I park and decide to grab the spare key. If Dad is still in bed, I don’t want to roust him out of sleep.

I lumber up the creaking stairs. Stopping on the top step, lifting the dew soaked mat, I begin fidgeting for the hidden key. To my surprise, I see two glistening keys.

That’s strange. Dad has a key; the nurse has her key and there’s the spare key. The nurse keeps hers on a key-chain Why would Dad leave his key here too?

I palm both keys, use one to unlock the door, and pocket the other. Once inside, I see light flooding the living room; between faded drapes, a blinding beam of light targets Dad. I see him in flannel pajamas, stretched out on the sagging sofa. Next to him, on the end table, a reading light burns brightly.

Dad is the picture of contentment with his right hand resting upon his tattered large print Bible.

Maybe he just dozed off.

I tip toe over torn linoleum, noticing he had circled a scripture on the opened page.

Why won’t he wear that new robe I bought for him?

I reach to the back of the couch to pull down Mom’s handmade afghan.

That’s all he needs, to get chilled and catch pneumonia

As I work to cover Dad, my hand brushes his bristly cheek. I draw back aghast. Devoid of all body temperature, I immediately know that Dad is dead. I go limp and fall down on my knees beside his lifeless body. Tears stream down my face, spilling onto his opened Bible. The circled passage from John 14 beckons. Beginning at verse 1, I thumb down the page

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you”

The Carpenter has finished Dad’s mansion. Jesus holds the only key to the heavenly door.

With God all things are possible! Published articles in Mature Living Magazine, Secret Place, Daily Devotionals for the Deaf, Light from the Word Daily Devotional. Available now in book store: FORGET-ME-NOT DAILY DEVOTIONAL http:/ebooks.faithwriters.com/ebook-details.php?id=520

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The Reason

Chapter 5
The Reason

As she walked towards the front door, Kate wondered why she kept on doing this. Yesterday was a nightmare. She cried herself to sleep last night. At first, this was just for the money, but now it was so much more. No longer was the money a reason. She had enough saved to pay off her bills so she did not need to continue. Still she did. Why?

Walking in, she went into the room where he sat. He did not acknowledge her presence. It felt like she was not in the room with him. Her heart broke again. Each day began the same way and ended the same way. She decided to sit opposite him and let him continue with what he was doing. Oh, how she loved him. It broke her heart every time she left him and went home. But she knew she couldn’t stay. She had her own life to live.

Lost in her thoughts she didn’t notice that he had turned his attention to her. He called at her the only way he knew how, but she did not respond. He called again. Still she did not respond. So he did the one thing he felt would get her attention.

He spat at her.

Shocked Kate turned and looked at him. Then she remembered the instructions she had been following with him for the past year. She got up, avoided eye contact and took up a wipe. Gently she wiped herself and then walked up to him and wiped his mouth. She looked at what he was doing and saw the painting he was making. She wanted to tell him she was sorry. She had not intentionally ignored him, that the finger painting was beautiful. However, if she did that, it would mean she was condoning his behavior.

It was so hard. Deciding which to follow; the instructions of the doctor or the tugging’s of her heart. She knew what she had to do. She ignored him and went about looking for another alternative to redirect his attention. She had to stay neutral, less he feeds off her reaction.
Immediately she turned from him, he started pinching her. He wanted her attention now and she wasn’t giving him. She knew he was acting out in frustration. Therefore, she did what the doctor had told her. In a calm, monotonous voice devoid of any emotion, she said;

“Tony hands down. No pinching.”

He stopped immediately and looked directly into her eyes.

Kate wanted to hug him and tell him she understood why he was agitated. However, she could not; for to do so will go against all that they were trying to teach him. Consistency was the key otherwise; he would start getting mixed message. Picking up a lollipop from the table, she opened it and gave to him. He gulped it in delight forgetting completely the reason he had thrown a fit a few seconds earlier.

And so the day began for both of them; the nanny and her ward. As the hours progressed, each one filled with trials and triumphs, Kate reveled in the beauty of the child’s innocence and gained strength from the joy she saw in his eyes every time he got something right and communicated his requests without throwing tantrums.

*****˜˜*****

Finally, his mother came back from work and it was time for her to leave. She bent down to buckle her sandals. He ran up to her and placed a wet, sloppy kiss on her cheeks, then ran back to his mother to seek her attention.

Kate smiled as his mother whispered the words ‘thank you’ to her. His mother then held Tony’s hands; the hands of her non-verbal, five years old autistic son and walked into the kitchen.

This was it. The ritual he did each day when she was about to leave was the reason she had not stopped. His appreciation and love shown the only way he knew how to. His kiss.

At day’s end, when her body ached and she relaxed for a night rest, Kate remembered why she went back each day, a child’s love.

Excerpt from Timeless Love: 15 Flash Fiction Stories by Edith Edremoda

HAPPY VALENTINE EVERYONE!!!!

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Pencil Story…

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PARABLE OF THE PENCIL

The Pencil Maker took the pencil aside, just before putting him into the
box. “There are 5 things you need to know,” he told the pencil, “Before I
send you out into the world. Always remember them and never forget, and
you will become the best pencil you can be.”

One: You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow
yourself to be held in Someone’s hand.”

Two: You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, but
you’ll need it to become a better pencil.”

Three: You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make.”

Four: The most important part of you will always be what’s inside.”

And Five: On every surface you are used on, you must leave your mark. No
matter what the condition, you must continue to write.”

The pencil understood and promised to remember, and went into the box with
purpose in its heart.

Now replacing the place of the pencil with you. Always remember them and
never forget, and you will become the best person you can be.

One: You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow
yourself to be held in God’s hand. And allow other human beings to access
you for the many gifts you possess.

Two: You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, by going
through various problems, but you’ll need it to become a stronger person.

Three: You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make.

Four: The most important part of you will always be what’s on the inside.

And Five: On every surface you walk through, you must leave your mark. No
matter what the situation, you must continue to do your duties.

By understanding and remembering, let us proceed with our life on this
earth having a meaningful purpose in our heart.

Author Unknown

Continuous Creation…

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Continuous Creation
by Abby Kelly

I started off to wonder,
How the trees and skies were made.
How shadows follow fingers
And butterflies parade,
Round roses, daisies, buttercups
And only for a season,
Then disappear, to come next year
With hardly any reason.

How the breeze can be so winsome
And terrify me too.
One night’s sky an angry yellow,
The next one, navy blue.

How can my face be worn and lined?
The skin once baby-smooth and fine.
How can my one same spirit
Live inside an aged frame?
My one same spirit
Growing through the change?

Perhaps it’s not that creation was
It wasn’t yesterday.
Maybe God still speaks life,
And and breathes souls
Today and everyday.

I chased these thoughts throughout the day,
And took them last to Scripture.

“Lord,” I said, “I don’t understand
“How all these things can be.
You made earth once, but I still see
Your hand in everything.”

“Daughter,” Abba slow replied,
“The world spins within my hand.
And every breath that’s taken,
Yes, those are all mine too.
Yes, I once created,
But I’m always making new.”

Revelation 21:5 “And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He *said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”

Amos 4:13 “For behold, he who forms the mountains and creates the wind, and declares to man what is his thought, who makes the morning darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth
the LORD, the God of hosts, is his name!”

Learn more about me on my website: http://predatory-lies.com/about-me/

Please find my book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Surviving-Predatory-Lies-Anorexia-Kelly-ebook/dp/B00HFGMBJA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389645006&sr=8-1&keywords=predatory+lies

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com-CHRISTIAN WRITERS

Why I Create

Why I Create
by Abby Kelly

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They called it re:Write. As I sat my bum in a chair pinched between two other wannabe writers, (or perhaps they’ve already arrived and confidently call themselves “scribes”, as such) tears welled in my eyes.

Apparently, not enough of my life is “re:Writing” to make blip on a publisher’s radar. Apparently, the spontaneous energy that itches at the tips of my fingers and prickles my mind when there’s no paper in sight, isn’t really what good books are made of. Apparently, almost nobody reads anymore. Apparently, the mysterious romance of author and pen, discovery and syntax, melody and imagination just isn’t enough. And apparently, even a message from God, a testimony of redemption, this welling glory in my chest, a conviction to share Gospel through story, to wrap my story up in His story, just may not be newsworthy.

Between masters of market analysis and prestigious publishers, an author was sandwiched. Ted Dekker took the stage in artsy array, as if he’d clothed himself from the quirky Austin shops on his way to the conference. His message entranced me and coaxed even more tears through the rivulets already marring my makeup.

It was almost as if he implored me not to be there. His call to my artist-heart was that sweet-sorrowful voice of Create, wooing me to endure. I wept, fearful that in twelve more hours of facts and figures, the voice would be drowned out. Back in my room last night, I sobbed.

I picked up the program, willing myself to will to go back, to face the cold, hard truth of the dismal potential of publishing.

re:Write. This call to make something of my words is almost the same as what propelled my earlier years of an eating disorder – an effort to prove I’m exceptional at something. I imagine if someone would just validate my words, pluck my story from the slush pile and be astonished at its merit, then, then, I will be someone. My life re:Me, re:MyWriting will define me.

I’m sure dozens of people are spurred on by such messages. I know that their SMART goals drive them to succeed; I know they know what success looks like. I know they will beat me in this race for literary recognition. But, I’m also sure I’m not the only one who feels this way, trapped, shoulder to shoulder with hundreds of others pressing to realize the same dream, haunted by the fact that only a few of us can possess it.

You see, I can’t write regarding writing. I can’t think regarding writing. When I do, I find myself tangled in the concepts I’m trying to convey, confused by my own story, caught up between the needs of a reader, the demands of a publishers and the Reason. THE reason. That’s it. I have to write for a reason, and that reason has to be beyond myself, beyond numbers and platforms and pie charts. I write re:Jesus.

I first sat down to write because I had a story. I had a powerful tale of a damsel in distress rescued by her one true Love, a Love who had pursued her before she ever knew His name. But it was more than a powerful story, it was a pervading story, oozing through my pores, from the inside out, shimmering on my skin, transforming me. And as long as I wrote from that place at my Redeemer’s side, staring up at Him in awe and gratitude, the words flowed. He is my Reason.

Sitting in the conference, I felt as if I was trying to write from a distance; squinting to see a becoming profile of my Lover, attempting to place Him in the best light, then pausing to evaluate myself and impose one story on top of the other. But I can’t see the real story from there. It’s clearest when I’m standing right next to Him, when He illumines, when I am focused so intently and intimately on Him that I can scarcely see the distinction between us.

So, I left the conference. For myself, pressing my story into palms, seeing my story in another woman’s eyes, holding her shaking shoulders and angling her just enough that she can see Jesus, sharing my story over coffee and in long letters, declaring my redemption on parchment that may never have spine or cover art or rave reviews – it is enough. It is more than enough. It is who I was meant to be and how my story was meant to be told.

My life re:Jesus.

Learn more about me on my website: http://predatory-lies.com/about-me/

Please find my book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Surviving-Predatory-Lies-Anorexia-Kelly-ebook/dp/B00HFGMBJA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389645006&sr=8-1&keywords=predatory+lies

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com-CHRISTIAN WRITERS

The Crimson Path

The Crimson Path
by Jenna Fernandez

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Eli wiped the blood from his son’s cheek with a small piece of cloth torn from his tunic. In the dim starlight, he could see the tears—and the fear, in Caleb’s eyes. Looking down, he wrapped his dagger in the cloth and stuffed it in the bottom of his sack.

“Son…please. Remember. Don’t say a word about where we’ve been, who we are…or what I’m planning to do.” As Eli expected, Caleb responded with silence. He hadn’t heard his son’s voice since that night a few years back.

Leaving the shadows and walking into the light of the town, Eli searched for an inn with a vacancy. Caleb followed close behind, carrying his wounded lamb tightly in his arms. They finally came to an inn near the end of the road. Vacancy. Eli hesitated, then knocked.

A grandfatherly inn keeper opened the door. “Yes?” He narrowed his eyes and leaned in toward Eli, looking intently from him to his son.

Eli lowered his gaze and shifted his sack in his hands. “Um…my son and I are looking for a place to stay. Just for the night.”

“Well, then. You’re the last one in for the day.” The man hobbled over to the sign that hung just in front of his inn and turned it around. No Vacancy.

“And sir, one more thing. My son’s lamb. It was wounded. On the journey. Is there a place we can care for him?”

The man said nothing, then turned and led them toward the back of the inn. Though the man walked with a cane, Eli and Caleb struggled to keep up with him. Finally, they came to a stable that housed several animals.

“You can leave the lamb here for the night. Aaron will care for him.” The innkeeper gestured toward one of his servants.

Watching as Caleb gripped the lamb more tightly, Eli placed a reassuring hand on his shoulder. The servant turned from tending one of the other animals and reached for the lamb. From the look on the servant’s face, Eli could tell the lamb’s wounds would be difficult—if not impossible, to heal.

“What brings you to Bethlehem, Eli?” The innkeeper looked deep into Eli’s eyes.

“What? How do you…know…my name?”

“I know your Uncle Levi. And I knew your parents. You came here to Bethlehem once when you were little. Looked a lot like your son, here.”

“I’m sorry. I don’t remember.”

“I was a lot younger, then.” The innkeeper laughed gently, then narrowed his eyes and spoke with compassionate intensity. “You’re walking a crimson path Eli. But it can end here. In Bethlehem.” Tears glistened in the man’s eyes.

“I don’t understand…” Eli watched as the servant cared for the lamb.

“You can avenge your parents. You can avenge your wife. But where will that lead you? When will the crimson path end? Will your son walk this road with you?”

“You don’t even know me.”

“Your Uncle Levi came here not long ago. Looking for you. He’s worried. You have family, Eli. You’re not alone. And they’ve suffered your loss as well. You need to stop running.”

Putting his arm around his son, Eli turned from the stable toward the inn.

Looking to the sky, the inn keeper smiled. “It’s starting to snow. This path might be covered by morning. Come, let’s get inside before it gets too cold.”

When they reached the door to the inn, a young couple was just arriving. The woman on the donkey was pregnant, and the husband seemed desperate.

“Please, sir. My name is Joseph. My wife’s in labor, but all the inns are full. We need a room. If only for tonight.”

“I’m sorry, sir. There are no rooms in the inn.” The innkeeper paused, then sighed. “But we can make room for you in the stable.” He quickly led the couple away.

Later that night, as Eli and Caleb prepared to sleep, they heard singing in the distance. Caleb tilted his head.

“It’s probably the shepherds.” Eli smiled at his son. “In winter, they stay closer to town.”

Caleb shook his head and smiled.

“You’re right,” Eli laughed. “Shepherds don’t sing that good.”

When Caleb was finally asleep, Eli drifted into a dream. In his dream, he was burdened to walk through all the years of history. He saw the wars, the destruction and the violence—the broken families, households and relationships that lined the way. All colored in crimson red. In the end, he heard the innkeeper whispering, “When will the crimson path end?”

Startled awake, Eli saw that Caleb was not next to him. He ran out to the street, and was nearly blinded by the light of one of the stars. A fresh blanket of snow had fallen on the pathway that led to the stable.

Surprised to hear voices in the middle of the night, Eli rushed ahead. There, under the light of the star, he saw Caleb. Talking. To some shepherds.

“Hey, Dad!” Caleb smiled and held out his lamb, healed from its wounds. “Look, Dad, look! Not even a scar! And guess what? We were right. Shepherds don’t sing so good. At least not these ones. But angels do!”

Tears flooded Eli’s eyes at the sound of his son’s voice.

“And Dad? This is Mary and Joseph. The ones with the donkey, remember? They had a baby and everyone’s saying he’s a king or something. His name’s Jesus. But his nickname’s Immanuel. It means ‘God is with us.’ Look, Dad, look!”

Eli felt a hand around his shoulder, and turned to see the innkeeper.

“This is the promised Savior we’ve been waiting for. The Prince of Peace. And this peace comes not as the world gives, Eli.” The innkeeper’s eyes sparkled as he looked toward the baby in the stable. “Kings are worthy of the greatest of gifts, you know.” He turned toward Eli. “The crimson path can end here. For you. Tonight.”

Stepping forward then falling to his knees where the baby lay, Eli began to weep. “My King. You know that all we have was taken from us. Our family. Our home. Our belongings. But there’s one thing I can give you.”

Early in the morning, before the sun began to rise, Eli buried his dagger deep in the ground beneath the snow. When his son awoke, they prepared for their journey. As the sun met the sky, Eli and Caleb walked down a new path—their footprints paving the way in the freshly fallen snow.

Copyright Jenna Fernandez
www.eternalencounter.com

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com-CHRISTIAN WRITERS

Angels In The Trees

ANGELS IN THE TREES
by linzy bruno

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Once I dreamed I lived near a stream
that played a melody, like a song;
the air was clean, the animals my friends
and my brother and I got along.

First in my dream, I could see a bright star
shining in the light of day;
I stared and I stared and I rubbed my eyes,
but still it did not go away.

After I saw the star, I thought I must be dreaming, so I got out of my bed;
I went outside and it was still daylight,
in the night time?
Was I out of my head?

But this dream was not frightening,
not a single tear did I shed;
I went to the stream that was singing
and there were two birds about to wed.

The birds said they were delighted to see me
and they placed wild flowers in my hair;
they told me to be their flower girl;
I said I would, although I wasn’t really there!

I said: “this is all very magical”
and just then my brother appeared there too;
then the birds startled us by saying:
“there are angels in the trees”
and away they flew.

My brother and I spent the rest of my dream
looking for angels in the trees;
we asked around the yard, inquiring the grasshoppers, butterflies and bees.

Then the birds that were just wed
came swooping down at us two
and they said: “the angels told us God loves all living things” and away they flew.

My brother and I looked into the tree
and said: “angels are you inside?”
and then a voice came from the tree
that whispered:
“we are here to be your guide.”

I know it wasn’t real:
birds having a wedding
and a stream singing a song
and in real life it’s true;
my brother and I don’t always get along

But even though birds can’t really wed
and there was no message from any tree;
I know now God loves us all
and angels, no matter where they are,
are watching me.

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com-CHRISTIAN WRITERS