Friday, November 30, 2012

A Good Life (Part 3)

Note: In this third and final installment of my short story, we find the main character Katherine, faced with the fears and doubts many of us have faced, are facing or will face in our lives. We may feel a sense of powerlessness and desperation. We may feel all alone and without hope. What Katherine discovers is that even in the midst of our despair, God is totally aware and concerned about our life. I do not believe it is a question of "Will God?", but the reality of "God will!" This affirmation is borne of faith and experiences which have taught me that God has more than enough grace to sufficiently enable me to face any circumstance in my life. I hope you like Part 3.

Dr. Matthews walked hurriedly down the corridor towards Inpatient Admissions. As he turned the corner, he could hear a woman’s voice yelling.

I’m not sitting down until I find out about my husband! If you don’t allow me to see my husband, I’ll sue this hospital and fire every one of you on staff!

He now understood why the nurse in admissions requested he come as soon as possible.

He spoke as he approached Katherine.

Mrs. Schaeffer?

Yes, I’m Katherine Schaeffer! Who are you?

Dr. Matthews didn’t want to alarm Katherine, but he needed to get her to focus on the urgency of her husband's condition instead of the nurse who she was shouting at.

I’m the doctor who initially treated your husband in ER before he was admitted into surgery. May I speak with you about your husband's condition?

Katherine looked into the eyes of the doctor, sensing the need to be quiet and listen for a moment. Everything inside made her feel like an erupting volcano, but she realized that would not help Andrew or the medical staff working to save his life.

What is my husband’s condition doctor? Will he live?"

Please come with me Mrs. Schaeffer. After I brief you on your husband’s condition, I will take you to the waiting area outside of surgery.

Dr. Matthews led Katherine into a small room next to the chapel and began to explain the extent of the injuries Andrew sustained. As she stood silently listening, it was as if Dr. Matthews was speaking a foreign language. She heard certain words but most of what was said, sounded like gibberish.

Your husband has suffered a serious head trauma and it was necessary to relieve the cranial pressure to his brain. In addition he has a punctured right lung, several broken ribs, a cracked vertebrae to his spine, both legs were badly broken and his left leg may require amputation due to the loss of blood flow. An emergency splenectomy was necessary due to the laceration and damage to his spleen. We are doing everything possible at this time to save your husband’s life. I realize hearing all this is unsettling and I’m not trying to cause you any unnecessary stress but until he is out of surgery, I cannot give you a prognosis on his condition. What I will tell you is that if he survives surgery, his recovery will be a long and difficult one. He will need your love, support, encouragement and strength. Do you have any questions for me Mrs. Schaeffer?

There was finally a pause that somehow gave Katherine some momentary relief, but then everything the doctor said began stirring the anxiety within her again.

Is my husband going to live Dr. Matthews?

As I have indicated Mrs. Schaeffer, until he comes out of surgery, I just cannot say at this time. If you would like, I could have someone here at the hospital offer you some counseling. We also have clergy staff along with volunteers who are willing to pray for patients and family members.

Katherine almost broke into a hysterical laughter at the thought of someone praying for Andrew. Andrew’s father was a retired pastor. He always thought Andrew would join him in ministry, but something disillusioned Andrew years ago, and he would never discuss the reasons with anyone; not his father, mother or sister knew what changed in his life. There were instances when Katherine thought he would share the reasons with her, but Andrew would never speak about his life as a Christian. No matter who invited Andrew to church service, he would dismiss the thought with distain.

She decided to call his parents, she needed them now. They had always been supportive of her since her parents died so many years ago.

Doctor, I need to call Andrew’s parents.

One of the officers got their contact information and they are on the way to the hospital now.

As he spoke, an incoming text arrived on his cell. He read the message and then looked at Katherine.

Your husband's parents have arrived here. Would you like me to bring them here?

Katherine, felt what seemed like millions of emotions pouring out of her. She bolted from the room, running to the man and woman standing in the corridor. When Andrew’s mother turned and saw Katherine, her arms instinctively spread open to embrace her. Katherine seemed to fling herself into the arms of her mother-in-law.

Katherine, the policemen gave us the news, have you learned anything about Andrew’s condition?

All I know is that he is in surgery and his injuries were extensive.

Dr. Schaeffer placed his arms around Katherine and his wife. His voice was soft and reassuring as he spoke to them.

Let’s find a quiet place to sit, talk and pray. We’ll stay here and wait until we get some information on his condition.

He led them through the doors of the chapel. Katherine felt uneasiness as she entered realizing how long it had been since she even thought about church.

"I'm so afraid Dr. Schaeffer. What will I do if Andrew..."

She looked into his brown eyes, knowing she could not allow herself to even say the word. Somehow, his eyes revealed that he understood her doubts and fears.

"My child, we have nothing to fear. I trust God with my son's life. I believe he will live and not die!"

His words were filled with the confident years of a life characterized by faith. Katherine found a measure of hope and peace in his eyes. As they sat down, Andrew's mother held Katherine's hand while Dr. Schaeffer began to pray.

"Almighty God and Father, we your servants call upon You in the name of Jesus Christ our Eternal Redeemer..."

Short story by MTJ



Note: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte).Spiritual SundaysNote: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte).

Friday, November 23, 2012

A Good Life (Part 2)

Note: As a Christian, I have often found that life does not always follow a sequence which my mind has mapped out for me. Unexpected things occur which can potentially change my flow and direction. How I respond to these events and circumstances will determine and demonstrate my resolve to genuinely trust the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind and spirit. This fictional short story about a couple, Katherine and Andrew attempts to convey the message that even under the most difficult of circumstances, God loves and cares about me. I hope you like Part 2.

Katherine rushed down the stairs to open the front door. She looked in the mirror at her hair and makeup, silently approving her view. Upon opening the door, her cheerful smile changed into momentary confusion; then she realized why the men in uniform were there.

I’m very sorry. I probably set off the security alarm again by mistake. Everything here is fine, I’m sure you men have more important things to do than check on a false alarm.

The older policemen smiled uncomfortably and spoke.

We’re with the police department. Are you Katherine Schaeffer?

Yes I am but…

The officer interrupted Katherine…

Your husband is Andrew Schaeffer?

Yes, he is but…

I’m sorry to inform you Mrs. Schaeffer, but your husband was involved in an accident…

What did you say, an accident? When? Where? How did it happen? Is Andrew alright?

With each word, Katherine became more and more anxious. Panic began to take hold of her thoughts and words.

Where is my husband? I need to leave, he needs me!

The younger policeman attempted to calm Katherine.

We can drive you to the hospital Mrs. Schaeffer…

Yes, take me to my husband now!

Katherine sat in the back of the police car, so many thoughts streamed through her mind. What would she do without Andrew? Should she call his parents? What about his sister Maggie? She was unable to decide. She looked out the window, but was unable to recognize anything familiar. She noticed the gray color of the car seat and thought about the kind of people who typically rode in the back of a police car. The kind of people she had no similarities with.

The police car parked in front of St. Anne’s Emergency Room entrance. Katherine attempted to open the car door but was unable. She screamed…

Why won’t this door open?

The younger officer exited the squad car and opened the rear door. He was about to explain the reason the door wouldn’t open, but Katherine walked past him as though he didn’t even exist.

The older officer smiled and said…

Don’t take it personally son; we’re invisible to most people except the ones who break the law!

Katherine walked through the hospital doors, heading to the admittance desk. The nurse behind the desk smiled and asked.

How may I help you?

I’m here to see my husband. He was in an accident.

The nurse could hear the concern in Katherine’s shaky voice and spoke calmly.

What is your husband’s name?

Schaeffer, Andrew Schaeffer.

The nurse began scanning names of those admitted. Samuel, Sanders, Saxon, Schaeffer. She looked for a status on Andrew Schaeffer and looked up to Katherine.

Your husband is in surgery. Would you like to speak with the admitting physician?

Where is surgery? I want to go there and wait for my husband!

You’re not allowed into surgery Mrs. Schaeffer. Perhaps you should speak with one of the doctors.

The nurse picked up the telephone and spoke softly into it. She then hung up the phone and turned to Katherine.

Dr. Matthews will be here shortly to speak with you. You may have a seat if you like.

Frantic, Katherine cold not hold back the tears and emotions erupting inside.

I don’t need to have a seat! I want to be with my husband!

Short story by MTJ


Spiritual SundaysNote: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte).

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Good Life

Note: I wanted to write a short story and had an idea, but instead, my writing took a completely different storyline. Perhaps instead of what I wanted to write, this is what my heart needed to write. This short story is evolving, even as I write this note to you. It will be written in parts simply because I anticipate that it has some length. It is unedited and that's pretty much how I write. Thoughts and words seem to flow from my right brain, enabling me to recognize that I have something to say. I hope you like Part 1.

Andrew and Katherine lived a good life. Their home was on a wooded lot near a beautiful creek. Katherine loved walking by the creek with Andrew holding her hand. She loved the summer nights best. Andrew had a good job which paid well, allowing them to enjoy the fruits of his labor. Often Andrew would barbeque on the deck and Katherine would be the good hostess to old friends from college.

One night as they sat on the deck under a moonlit sky, Andrew leaned back and said, “We have a good life honey!

Katherine smiled, nodding in agreement. She thought to herself, It is a good life!

The next day, having overslept, Andrew rushed to shower, shave, dress and drive to work. There was an important meeting he was invited to attend.

More like required to attend, he thought.

Day after day, he drove this same uneventful route to work. There was seldom any traffic until he turned on Bloomingdale Boulevard. On this particular morning, he forgot to look before turning. He didn’t consider this memory lapse important because he was in a hurry and he’d driven this same route many times before.

As he turned the car to the right, he heard a horn blaring. It was the sound of a huge eighteen wheeler proceeding through the intersection. As he looked over his left shoulder, he could see the grill of the truck, and then the loud sound of metal hitting metal. He thought to himself,

What a strange sound…

The impact of the truck was beyond resistance as its wheels rolled over the top of the car’s roof. Still conscious, Andrew could now hear the sound of breaking bones. Although the driver of the truck attempted to break, it was to no avail. As the truck roll over the car and stopped, bystanders began capturing the wreckage on their cell phones.

Someone called 911.

Within minutes, the police, paramedics and fire department arrived. They would need to pry the car open to remove Andrew from the crumpled mess of metal and flesh. Firemen began cutting through the cars' frame while paramedics attempted to look for vital signs from Andrew.

I’ve got a pulse, but it’s very faint!” exclaimed one paramedic.

“We’ve got to remove him from this car!” shouted another paramedic to the firemen.

Finally, the firemen cut enough of the metal away to pull Andrew from the wreckage. He was a collection of blood and broken bones, but he was still alive.

A policeman asked one of the paramedics to check for a wallet. Reaching inside Andrew's bloodied coat pocket, he retrieved a wallet and cell. The policeman wrote down his name and address:

Andrew Schaeffer, 1502 Mulberry Lane

He next checked the address book in his cell for any surnames matching Schaeffer. Finally, he found the name, Katherine Schaeffer, 806-297-4651

Just as the officer was about to call, his partner tapped him on the shoulder and suggested,

Sir, don’t you think it best if we drive over to talk with Ms. Schaeffer?

You’re probably right son.

It was a short drive to Mulberry Lane and yet there was nothing but silence between these two policemen. As they walked to the front door of 1502, the older policeman checked the name and address one last time before ringing the bell.

From the other side of the door, he could hear a woman’s voice politely reply,

Coming….

Short story by MTJ


Note: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte).Spiritual Sundays

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Old Tree

High on a hill stood an old oak tree with branches stretching out to the length of its height. Winter was rapidly approaching and all the leaves had fallen, leaving the tree bare. This tree had see many winters and although the cold wind revealed this would be another harsh winter, the old oak tree stood ready and prepared.

Not far from the tree stood a young oak sapling. It easily moved with the wind, but unlike the old oak, it retained most of its leaves. The young tree looked toward the old oak and asked.

[Young Tree] Aren’t you cold with no leaves to cover you?

The old oak smiled and said,
[Old Tree] Soon, I will sleep, and when I awake, spring will be here.

[Young Tree] I’m afraid to fall asleep. What if I don’t wake up?

[Old Tree] You mustn’t be afraid. This is what all trees must do. You too will go to sleep and when the spring arrives, you will awaken.

The young oak loved this old oak tree. He was one of many from the same line of oak trees that covered the hillside. The young tree knew the old tree was wise and could see that time had aged the old oak for many, many years. His thick trunk and deep roots had served him well with a long life. He wondered what the hillside would look like if this huge tree fell during a brutal winter storm. With each gust of cold air, his tiny branches shivered. Try as he could to hold them, his leaves began to slowly fall off.

[Young Tree] Daddy, I’m cold!

[Old Tree] Go to sleep my son.

[Young Tree] What if I don’t wake up?

[Old Tree] You’ll awaken to a beautiful, wonderful spring.

Somehow, those simple words from the old tree gave the young tree comfort and assurance. He began to let go of each remaining leaf, as one by one, they fell to the earth around him. He began to feel sleepy and just as his eyes were about to close, he heard the old tree whisper:

[Old Tree] I love you my child.

[Young Tree] I love you too daddy.

Short story written by MTJ


Spiritual SundaysNote: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte).

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Why Pray?


Just Pray!

I’ve often heard others say...
Don’t just pray when you need God…pray always!
But what’s wrong with praying when you need God’s help?
Certainly, it’s good to establish a consistent prayer life…
    but many don’t have this in their everyday life.
Prayer is simply talking with God and to me,
    that means...
    Anytime is a good time to talk with God.
Some hesitate to pray because they may feel
    “it’s been too long”, or
    “God won’t hear them
But God listens all the time…
    he delights in hearing your prayers.
The bible says that, “God gives grace
To me, that means that He gives grace in such a sufficient amount, that I am not lacking.
So my answer to the question, “Why pray?” is:
    God hears.
Nike says, “Just do it!
I’ll say, “Just pray!

MTJ


Note: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte).Spiritual Sundays