Friday, April 9, 2010

In the Father's Embrace part 3

This week has been busy and a little mixed up, so I think today is Friday. If it isn't, sorry.:) I taught writing class on Tuesday instead of Wednesday as my students had something else come up for the usual time. Only one more week of class left. At least until May when I might be starting two classes.:) That should be fun. Speaking of writing class, I'm going to try to get the story we made a KWO for in class written and posted next week.:) It should be rather fun.

No more pictures have been done for my book, and no one else has finished reading it. One of these days it will get done. I think. But here is the final part of the story I've been posting. Enjoy! I'd love to hear what you think of it all.

In the Father's Embrace

Last week --
For Shawn the music was exactly what he needed. The day had been so busy and the last several hours full of more responsibility than he had ever known in all his life. Here he was in an old barn with his two young sisters and his cousin. He had no idea where they were, and Katrina was hurt. They had nothing to eat and no way to light a fire to keep warm. All his self reliance was rapidly disappearing, leaving in its place a void of emptiness.

“Lord of life, beneath the dome
Of the universe, Thy home,
Gather us who seek Thy face
To the arms of Thy embrace,
For Thou art nigh.”

There was something in the way Paige sang the old hymn that told each of her hearers that she was gathered in those arms and felt Him nigh.
A muffled sniff came from Erica, and Shawn softened, reached out his gray clad arm and drew her closer to him.

“When forever from our sight
Pass the stars, the day, the night,
Lord of angels, on our eyes
Let eternal morning rise,
And shadows dim.”

Shawn knew he wasn’t ready for the stars, day and night to pass from him. A shiver ran through his frame as he thought of dying. Was Paige ready to die? She must be or she could never sing that song in the dark loft of the old barn. Were his sisters ready? Shawn’s lip curled slightly at the thought of Erica being ready to die. She was afraid of everything she couldn’t see. How about Katrina? Lately she had seemed different. She hadn’t complained about her foot, and only a month ago she would have.
The sweet voiced singer sang the chorus over again in tones that would have thrilled a larger audience.

“Holy, holy, holy Lord God of Hosts!
Heaven and earth are full of Thee!
Heaven and earth are praising Thee,
Oh, Lord Most High!”

Silence. The tender voice died away, and Paige, having wrapped the injured foot in her own brown scarf, sank into the hay beside her cousin in red. Prayer filled her heart.

“Paige, sing it again. Please.” It was Erica’s tremulous voice which made the request.
Paige obeyed. Softly the tender voice which many would have paid much money to hear, filled the old loft and floated out over the fields covered with their winter blanket of snow. “Gather us who seek Thy face, To the arms of Thy embrace for Thou art nigh.”

Not a sound was to be heard until long after the last refrain was lost on the night air. Katrina’s even breathing told her cousin and brother that she was fast asleep. There was no movement from Erica as Shawn shifted to a more comfortable place and tucked his folded scarf under her head leaving his arm about her shoulders. At last in a voice that would have been scarcely audible had it not been for the stillness of the night, Shawn spoke.
“Paige, you and Katrina are in that Embrace. I’m not.”
“You can be. He said whosoever will come, He will in no wise cast out.”
“I know, but,” Shawn paused. “He always seems so far away.”
“He is right here, Shawn. Right in this loft with us. Just ask Him to take you. You know what He did for you. You have heard the story all your life. Now just come.” Paige fell silent, praying. Oh that this cousin too would come to know her best and dearest Friend before she must leave. It seemed like hours passed before Shawn’s voice once again sounded.
“He took me.”
“I knew He would.” Though her answer was quiet, her heart was rejoicing. Now if only Erica-- But here her thoughts were interrupted.
“Are you really in, Shawn? Do you really feel His embrace?”
Shawn looked down in surprise. Erica hadn’t been asleep.
“Are you really in?” she persisted.
Gently Shawn replied, “Yes, Erica, I am in. I’ve wanted to be in for a long time now, but I never let myself think about it. Tonight I had to think. I came, and He took me.”
There was no answer for several minutes. Then Erica whispered. “Please, sing once more.”
And Paige sang.

“Day is dying in the west;
Heaven’s touching earth with rest:
Wait and worship while the night
Sets her evening lamps alight
Through all the sky.

And then the beautiful refrain.
“Holy, holy, holy Lord God of Hosts!
Heaven and earth are full of Thee!
Heaven and earth are praising Thee!
Oh Lord Most High!”

As verse followed verse, Shawn listened with a new touch of wonder and awe. No longer was he on the outside, he was one of those for whom eternal morning would rise and shadows would end.

A deep sigh came from the form in blue as the song ended. “I’m in too, and I can sleep now. Thank you, Paige. Good night,” she yawned. The next minute she was sleeping as deeply as her sister.
“Shall we sleep too?” queried Shawn who suddenly felt very tired.
For answer the small morsel in brown snuggled down in the hay next to Katrina and whispered, “Good-night.”

Outside the stars twinkled brightly down on the snow which covered the quiet barn as with a blanket. Not a sound was to be heard anywhere. The sliver of the moon, looking pale yellow in the dark sky, peeked in the open window at the four companions in brown, red, gray and blue coats who lay sleeping peacefully, knowing that they were safe in the folds of their Father’s embrace.
The End
So, what did you think?


Anonymous said...

I liked it!! :)

Anonymous said...

me too!!!! And I FINISHED your book on Thursday evening!!!!!!!!! just have to fill out the back page today:) - hank