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Recent stories by
Judith A. Mays


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Winter Dance/Summer Song!
By Judith A. Mays   


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The comforting story of friendship and the survival of lost love

"I'm going to serve an eviction notice on you yet." Emerald Carter shouted.
"You say something honey," her neighbor, Trudy Pointer shouted back.
Emerald Carter and Trudy Pointer had been neighbors for close to fifteen years. In that time family and holiday gatherings, as well as their work in church and community, had made them devoted friends. More recently, the cold winds of death and divorce had blown into their lives like a winter storm at full blast. Emerald and Trudy were closer that ever.

Not a day went by that one didn't check on the other; whether it was by phone, e-mail,or a well spent house visit.. The two women shopped together. laughed and cried together and often ate their meals together.

"What was that you said Emerald?' Trudy asked again as she made her way up the steps of her neighbor's back porch. Though Trudy was the elder of the two, she had great respect for Emerald's insight and zeal for life. When J.T.. Trudy's husband of thirty-two years, died of a massive heart attack, Emerald had been a comforting support.

Emerald turned to face her neighbor and said, "Miss Trudy, I was just sitting here enjoying this glorious sunset and had a taste for some raspberry tea- got ready to get up and 'Arthur shows up... you know I'm claiming divine healing and I told old Arthur Itis he is going to be evicted!"

Without missing a a beat Emerald and Trudy broke into hysterical laughter. the kind of laughter that the Bible says is like medicine and good for the heart.

"Emerald, you really are too much." Trudy said while wiping the tears from her eyes.
"Yeah, and I may just write a praise song called, "Arthur Doesn't Live Here Anymore" Praise the Lord!
"Still got a taste for that tea though. Come on in the house and join me. I've got some freshly baked cookies too," Emerald said to Trudy.
"I'm right behind you," Trudy responded.

As they entered the kitchen, Trudy resumed fanning herself with the cotton handkerchief she had taken from her dress pocket. The warm breeze that intermittently had blown through Emerald's screened porch was now replaced by a gentle wind that felt like a cool whisper. Emerald's air conditioner was on the blink and the sudden gust of wind blowing through the screen brought instant relief from the heat of the day. The kind of relief that is often repressed on a hot summer's night.

"Mmm," Trudy sighed as she felt the breeze on the back of her neck. "Maybe we're going to get a break from this hot dry spell after all."

A break... a break from this hot dry spell. Emerald turned these words over and over in her mind long after Trudy had gone home. Emerald, too, had known grief. Trudy had been for her the voice of comfort and strength.

At times it was still hard for Emerald to believe that her twenty year marriage had ended in divorce. She likened it to an untimely death; a broken covenant that could not be fixed. 'What was that Proverbs 25:19 says?" she thought. "Oh, Yeah, Emerald reminded herself,"An unfaithful man is like a broken tooth and a foot out of joint," she said aloud. And after two years she could still feel that excruciating pain.

Slowing sitting on the side of her bed, Emerald felt the trickle of a lonely tear escape her left eye. Then, as if cahoots, a cry escaped from her lips. "Jesus", she cried and buried her face in the soft pillow of her king size bed.

The phone ringing woke Emerald up. "Hello," she said in a barely audible voice. "Hello yourself" said the voice on the other end. Emerald recognized the voice as that of Trudy.
" I just want you to know that I am fixing breakfast for us this glorious Saturday morning. It's such a nice day and I think that we should do some shopping. So get up, get dressed and come on over.

Before she could say a word Trudy had hung up. Emerald replaced the phone to its cradle, slowly stretched to work out the morning kinks and headed as fast as she could move to take a shower.

The cascade of water brought a refreshing awakening in the dawn of a new day. And then it hit her. Emerald realized that her own dry spell was over. Just as God had sent a refreshing breeze the night before, Emerald felt refreshed in her minnd and spirit.

Allowing her body, mind and spirit to be comforted in the cleansing of her morning shower, Emerald thought: "God brings refreshing and restoration to His people."

Humming to herself and then singing as loudly as she dared, Emerald rinsed herself of the fragrant lather of soap, stepped out of the shower and towel dried her thankful body. At 52 life was yet to be lived. "Praise God," she shouted and hurried to get
dressed. "This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!"

In spite of the aches and pains that she referred to as her winter dance, God had stirred within her spirit and soul a summer song!

Written by Minister Judy Mays


     


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