Published: 07 Sept 2019
A dedicated accounting clerk, aspiring singer, church choir leader, the attractive Bethany has everything going on, except one. To find her Mr. Right, get married, start a home, and serve God.
But the hurdles to her dream life are numerous. It appears she may never arrive at the Land of the Married.
Trailed by gossip and rumor, she is accosted by unusual romance, and surrounded by real-life friends and virtual acquaintances, whose opinions directly and indirectly influence how the story unfolds.
Bethany beamed when she saw no one else at the door to the office. That was a double blessing: George waited for her in front of the church, while in this office, another opportunity for a romantic relationship might present itself. What a relief after two years of lonely singleness.
After knocking, she half-opened the door, a broader smile on her face.
A woman, seated behind a large table, motioned for her to come right inside.
Bethany's enthusiasm diminished, for Mama had a straight face. That was unusual.
Standing a meter away from the table,Bethany said,"You called, Mama,"
"Bethany, I have made some adjustments in the choir. Faith will replace you as the lead singer and master of the choir while you're re-assigned to the children's church."
Bethany's eyes enlarged and pierced the face of the woman. Was that shocking announcement the purpose of the summons? What about the divorced man with three kids in need of a wife? Or was it the next item on the agenda?
Instead, an explanation for the decision followed. A new pastor for the children was not forthcoming, and Mama saw Bethany as the most appropriate interim helper to the other teachers and caretakers.
Bethany came closer and supported her hands on the table. "But Mama–"
Mama shook her index finger. Bethany's mouth gaped.
The young woman pulled out the visitor's chair from the side of the table and sat down.Her eyes still stayed on the spiritual leader's face.
"That's your new assignment," Mama said, her voice so firm that Bethany drew in a deep breath. "I want you there. Meet the leader of the children's department for materials and specific assignments. Good day."
"Mama, I don't fit in the children's church."
"This is not a rushed decision. Get to like it. You were assigned the role of the choir leader – you can also be reassigned to another area."
"I understand, Mama.All I'm saying is, I can't teach children. I've never done that before."
"Every skill can be learned over time."
Mama stood up, picked her bag and Bible from the table, before adding that Bethany didn’t come out of her mother's womb leading a choir.
Bethany got up too, stood still for several seconds, and then turned to leave.
The young woman turned and approached the table once again.Was it now time for the sweet news?
Not that she cared much for a new lover; George was the man of her dreams. But it would be heartwarming to discover that another man also yearned for her.
Mama's face didn't foretell such good news. "I don't feel comfortable anymore being addressed, Mama. I'm still young. Call me Felicity or Mrs. Thompson,whichever is preferable with you.
"And my husband is Pastor Carl, not Papa anymore."
Bethany's chest rose and fell, several times, while her eyes blinked in quick successions. What had happened to occasion such attitude from Mama?
Almost a quarter of a minute passed before she said, "Okay, Mama…sorry, Feli…Mrs. Thompson," and went out.
Mrs. Thompson sat back on her chair and glued her eyes to the back of the closed door. After a while, she shrugged her shoulders and then sighed.
A handful of church members queued in front of the other office. Bethany took the last position in the line.
Every other five seconds, she threw a glance at the direction she'd just come from. Mrs. Thompson definitely would not approve of an appeal against her decision.
After a dozen glances,Bethany let out a shallow moan and walked away from the line.
Scores of people stood in little groups on the paved area in front of the church building. Her eyes ran all over the place. Many heads resembled George's, but none of the faces belonged to him.
She went and stood at the entrance into the building and let her eyes skimmed through the room. Some choir members packed away the instruments at the left of the platform. At the end of the far right column, a group of young people conversed. Laughter came from the direction of the visitors' corner. But where was George?
Bethany took her phone out from the handbag and dialed a number. In vain, she waited for the answer.
Swimming in confusion, she dragged her feet outside and across the pavement to the roadside, where she boarded a taxi.
Beaumont's main streets busied, as usual, on that sunny third Sunday in April of 2014, but the bustle meant nothing to Bethany. As the church's unofficial music minister, that reassignment decision was as uncalled-for as it was sudden.
And how painful to be replaced by someone whose voice had been as hoarse as a toad's when the now-deposed music minister first came to the church.
Whatever, that was not the most pressing issue to deal with presently. A part of her heart feared for George's unusual departure from the church without waiting to see her. Trouble, they said, came in pairs.
Christian fiction is a great way to present a message.
a lesson I came to accept later on. When I started writing, I always
felt like my efforts were useless. Why tell stories? Why not rather do
In fact, right from the beginning, it took a
prophecy, a word of Knowledge, and a word of Wisdom to convince me to
begin writing. Like other writers, I belittled the importance of the art
and the talent.
Then I realized that the Master used Parables! Christian stories. And I've come
to enjoy writing and praying that my words will touch the heart of
someone out there.
I put commentaries on some of the stories to highlight or enlighten on the message.
Read them with an open heart, not just for the entertainment, but let God speak to you.
Janet is a Christian with a knack for writing. She's passionate about encouraging the pursuit of God and a life of purpose.