A story inspired by the book of Hosea

Jan 19, 2015


   Restlessness overwhelmed Henry as he lay in bed. He counted sheep, an activity that proved futile, so he decided to get up so he wouldn’t disturb his wife. They’d been married nearly fifty years, and Henry cherished every one of them. He was a blessed man to share his life with Ida, his first and only love. He watched her from the foot of the bed for what seemed to be an eternity but was just mere moments. His thoughts drifted back to their wedding day. She was the most beautiful woman he had ever laid his eyes on. Her once auburn hair was as long as it had been on the day they wed. She kept it normally in a tight bun, but at night it framed the soft features of her face. Her blue eyes had the ability to see right through him often to his amusement. Ida dedicated her whole life to their children, kept a comfortable home, and supported him in everything he did. She loved him in spite of his idiosyncrasies; for this he was indebted. Henry was astounded by all the thoughts that flooded his mind with just a passing glimpse of the woman who encompassed his world.

   When he looked around the small cabin, it seemed dark except for the night-lights strategically placed around the room. Outside, the wind sounded like someone was singing a sad love song. The sounds of nature usually comforted him, whether it was rain or wind, but not tonight.

   Henry headed for the bedroom door when suddenly he sensed a presence behind the door. He opened it slowly but didn’t see any- thing. His heartbeat accelerated for he knew that Samuel was in the room. He took a deep breath and turned around. In the middle of the room stood Samuel with his piercing green eyes that Henry couldn’t look directly into. The light that surrounded Samuel seemed brighter tonight than usual, as if the sun had risen in his room. 
   “Trouble sleeping, Henry?” Samuel spoke as if they were having a conversation over tea.

   Henry hesitated before uttering, “Yes... a little bit.”

   “There’s another assignment for you. Are you willing?”

    Samuel always asked him if he was willing. It was odd to Henry who never thought of his assignments as choices per se. No was never a consideration in his mind. There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for God. “Yes, I’m willing. Who would the Lord have me pray for?”

   “There’s a man named Sal. He’s faithful to the Lord, but he doesn’t have an intimate knowledge of Him yet. His wife is a trou- bled soul who repeatedly breaks his heart. There’s a small child that will be caught in the middle.”

   “Oh my, that’s dreadful. What would my Lord have me do?”

   “He would have you go to New York where Sal lives and observe him from a distance. I will come to you when it’s time to intervene. Prepare to be there a while.”

   “Can Ida come with me since it’s a longer trip?”

   “Yes. Leave as soon as possible; there is no time to lose. You know who you can stay with.”

   With that, Samuel disappeared and the room resumed its origi- nal state. Henry rarely ventured out of the comfort of his home to meet his assignments. It was three o’clock in the morning when he returned to bed, and he needed to rest. No need to wake Ida now; he’d explain everything to her in the morning. 
© Nadine Zawacki 2015

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