Chapter Twenty-Two, A Love From Above, of A Love From Above, Free Christian E-Novel


Click Here For Printer-Friendly Version

A Love From Above

Chapter 22

The youth service had been fun! Several of the kids Denise knew from high school were there, mostly girls, but a few boys. Of course, Roger was in charge. He wasn't actually called a Youth Director, but in effect, he was one, since he taught young people's Sunday School class and was also the leader of the youth services. He was really perfect for it since he was young too, Denise thought, and knew how to have fun with the rest of them. But, he also knew how to command respect and obedience, which was essential to a good leader of any kind, she decided.

They had opened the meeting with prayer, then sang several contemporary worship songs, had a brief teaching, very informally, with everyone sitting in a circle, and had open discussion on 'peer pressure vs Godly conscience'. The refreshments, provided by alternating parents in the church, were then served.

There was a short time left for a game, Roger said, afterwards, in which the majority voted for a 'sword drill'. Roger explained to Denise that it was a game where scripture verses were called out and everyone tried to be first in finding the actual verses, and had to read it aloud, as proof. The one who found the most scriptures first, during the time allowed, was the winner. Of course, Roger was keeping score!

Denise was so embarrassed! She hardly knew the books of the Bible, much less which one was where! She made a promise to herself, and to God, that she would study hard to become familiar with His Word, and where to find it!

But no one dared mention that Denise had not succeeded even once, she supposed since she was new in the group. Thankful for that, she went with the others to the Bible study in the main auditorium, surprised that she found Roger walking along beside her. She was even more suprised when he sat down beside her as she found Nana and Papa's pew.

The 'in-depth' Bible study, led by the Pastor, was interesting, but left a lot of questions in Denise's mind. Man, did she ever have a lot to learn. Well, she probably would be learning the rest of her life, she told herself, refusing to get bogged down in the details of the things she didn't yet understand.

In the process of exchanging greetings and good-byes after church, Denise overheard Papa inviting Roger to go to Todd's ballgame with them. Oh, that's tomorrow night, Denise realized. hoping Roger would go. He was fun to be with, and such a sincere guy, so different from Jon!

She heard Roger comment that it sounded like fun, and that he would enjoy going. Denise caught Papa's eye and gave him an approving smile.

By the time they arrived back at the farm, it was already bedtime. And Denise was feeling sleepy and tired, so they all went right to bed. Denise was thankful for a clear conscience and the peace and joy of the Lord as she drifted off to sleep.

A loud, continuous 'beep-beep-beep* aroused Denise, as she realized it was time to get up, if she was going to get any studying done before going to the hospital. But she felt so tired! She could sleep another hour, she decided, and start the Bible study program tomorrow. One more day won't make that much difference, she reasoned to herself. But, her conscience was sharpened, and she made herself get out of bed, get into the shower in order to get awakened thoroughly. She had made a promise to herself and to God, and she was going to keep it!

Awake and alert, now, she sat at the small desk in her room. She hadn't heard anyone else up yet, and was glad, as she still felt a little awkward about reading and praying. She read, beginning with the Gospel of St. John, Chapter 1, as Papa had suggested some time back. She wasn't sure she understood it all, but she was trying, anyway.

She remembered how Roger had talked about 'putting on the armor', so she turned to Ephesians 6:13, which was marked for her. Reading through it once, she started her confession as Roger had instructed her, paraphrasing the sentences to make it personal.

Denise still didn't understand all that Roger had told her about putting on the armor of God, but she did realize it was to prepare her for spiritual battles. Having done this, she began to just talk to her new heavenly Father, thanking him for the priviledge of being His child, and asking to be taught his will.

The day well begun for Denise, she heard Nana and Papa stirring in their bedroom. Looking at the clock, she put other things aside and began to dress for the day.

When Denise finally got to the nurse's station, she noticed all the nurse's busily talking in a group. She wondered what was going on. Maybe a new patient, she thought, although it was seldom that one was admitted who could cause this much excitement!

When they saw Denise standing at the window, Denise noticed the excitement increase. "What's the deal?" she asked curiously.

"Denise, you wouldn't believe who is in Joanie Weston's room. She looks just like you! I thought you'd gotten your hair cut when I saw her! I couldn't believe my eyes when I found out it wasn't you, after all!

Confused and curious, Denise had to investigate. Surely, they were exaggerating! But, when she opened the door to Joanie's room, she looked at Pam, who, with short, curly, strawberry blonde hair, sky blue oval eyes, and long dark lashes, looked just like Denise's mirror image, except, perhaps a little older, more sophisticated.

The girl stared at Denise, evidently thinking the same thing, Then the two stared at Joanie in disbelief.

"Pam, this is Denise. Denise, I've told you about Pam. my niece. I'm glad you two could meet. As you can see, you two look an awfully lot alike. You both look very much like my mother, Pam's grandmother. She passed away several years ago." Joanie hesitated, looking down for a moment. Then, looking up again, continued, "I've got some pictures, Denise, if you'd like to see them. I suspect that she is your grandmother, too. I hope you're not disappointed if it proves out that you're my daughter!"

Glancing at Pam, then turning back to Joanie, Denise said, "No, I'm not at all disappointed, Joanie. I've been pretty sure ever since that first visit, with the birthdates being the same. It's a real relief to me, to know that I was loved, especially by someone as sweet and nice as you!"

And in a moment of impulse, Denise leaned forward, and hugged Joanie tightly. Joanie returned the embrace lovingly, as Pam watched, speechless. It was a happy time. Tearful, but brief, as Denise had to get back to work. Promising to return as soon as she could, she left the room.

Almost dazed, very happy, and still amazed at the likeness of her cousin, she made her rounds with the same smile and attentiveness that her patients loved.

Before leaving the hospital that day, Denise, Joanie and Pam had a good visit, exchanging addresses, phone numbers, and made promises to exchange photographs. Denise hugged them both, promising to visit more tomorrow, then hurried off to get ready for Todd's ballgame. It was about fifty miles away, so they would have to leave early.

"Oh, Denise, honey, you're not gonna believe what the Lord has done!" Nana exclaimed, as Denise walked through the kitchen door on arrival. I got a phone call from Belgium today! You mother called to talk to me!"

"Is Dad OK? What happened? Why did she call?" Denise questioned anxiously. She knew the feelings Mom had toward Nana, so it had to be something really important!

"Oh, Honey, the Lord is so good! You know that we've been praying for your mom and dad for years, that the Lord would open their spiritual eyes, and reveal His love to them. Well, Dorrie said something about getting 'Peter and Paul' for tour companions this last few days, and apparently, they ministered to them. Anyway, Dorrie called just to ask me and Papa to forgive her, and said that she was so sorry, and that she had been so wrong about everything! It was a different girl that I talked to today, Honey, a girl I knew a long, long time ago! Praise the Lord, our prayers have been answered!"

"Nana, I don't know what to say. Are you sure that's what she meant? You know, she was pretty set in her theories. Are they still gonna be home this weekend?" Denise asked.

"No, in fact, she asked if I would go ahead, and help you get your school shopping done. This couple that they got hooked up with asked them to tour the Holy Land with them, so they're gonna be a few days late. But, I'm just thrilled. I can't wait for my little girl to come back!"

Denise grinned shyly. She couldn't believe her grandmother was talking like that about her mother! But, who would ever have thought that a trip to Europe for her parents could bring so many changes to their lives, hers, Moms and Dads! Yes, it had to be an answer to Nana and Papa's faithful prayers!

A little while later, riding in Nana's older, but luxurious car, Papa drove by a farm not far from his own to pick up Roger. "Papa, I didn't know Roger lived out here! I just assumed he lived in town!" Denise said suprised.

"Oh, yeah. He's been living out here ever since the Alexander's moved off to Houston. I'm suprised you didn't know it." Papa responded playfully, looking at her in the rear view mirror.

It didn't take Roger long to come out. Nana offered to let him sit in front, volunteering to ride in back with Denise, but Roger insisted it would be a pleasure to share the seat with Denise, and had everybody laughing. Denise caught a pleased glance between Nana and Papa as Roger climbed into the backseat.

"Well, hello, Denise. How are you, tonight?" Roger asked playfully, as the car returned to the dirt road.

"I'm just fine, Roger. How are you," Denise responded, laughing. "You know, I thought you lived in town all this time. I didn't know you had bought this farm. That's really a nice place!"

"Bought? Did you say I bought it? I wish! Actually, I lucked out and got a chance to lease it. But it is a nice place. Hopefully, I can buy it someday."

Papa asked, interrupting the conversation, "Got any new calves yet? They're about due, aren't they, Roger?"

"Yeah, I got a new one this morning, a little Angus bull. Got four more due sometime this month." Roger answered.

"That's neat, Roger, can I see the calf sometime?" Denise asked, enthusiastically.

"Hey, you, back there! I've got some calves and you haven't even stepped out the door to see them!" Papa reminded Denise.

"That's not fair. Papa! Your calves are half grown and they're not cute like newborns!" Denise defended herself.

Nana was laughing continuously at this friendly bantering. But, the conversation eventually lulled, and Denise's mind began to wander.

This would be a strange weekend, she thought. Mom and Dad wouldn't be home this weekend, after all. And it would be her first weekend without Jon to think of, and plan for. Life would never again be 'normal'. Jon would be coming home on weekends, but not coming to see her. It would be really strange. She hadn't changed her mind about Jon, but still, it would be strange seeing him in town on weekends, and not being with him.

And what was it going to be like when Mom and Dad did come home? If Nana was right, and they had changed their minds about the Lord, then things were really gonna be strange! But, good, she concluded. Perhaps, then, they wouldn't be disappointed about her decision to follow Christ. She could hardly believe so much had happened since they left for Europe-it had only been five weeks!

She had found out about her 'real' mother, and loved her, and met her 'real' cousin, whom she immediately liked very much, and believed they would probably be great friends.

Of course, Denise hadn't shared this story with anyone. Perhaps, if she prayed about it...

Denise hadn't seen Amanda, Jon's little sister much lately, but she did miss her. Maybe, during the week, when Jon was gone, she could still spend some time with her. She wondered if breaking up with Jon would affect his parents' feelings toward her. Hopefully they would still like her, especially, since they were good friends with Mom and Dad.

Interrupting her thoughts, Nana asked Denise how things were with Joanie today.

"I still haven't gone to meet and visit with her. I have continued to pray for her, though." Nana explained.

Denise leaned forward in her seat to answer Nana. "She's probably going home tomorrow. She's out of traction and the physical therapist is teaching her to use crutches. Her niece from Colorado came down to stay with her for a while after she goes home. I met her today, and she's really nice. I got Joanie's address and phone number. We've agreed to stay in touch," Denise said, wondering what Nana would think if she knew the rest of the story.

"That's good. It sounds like everything has worked out well for her. Look! There's the ball park! It sure is crowded." Nana continued, changing the subject.

They just had time to get seated on the bleachers when the game started. Todd's team was up to bat first, and Roger, Papa, Nana and Denise joined the crowd in cheering.

The team was playing good, with two runs already in when Todd's turn came to bat. The tension was mounting! And he struck out!

Yelling, "it's OK, Todd", his family responded as if he had done great, anyway. "Better luck next time around!" Denise heard others calling to her little brother, too.

The visiting team soon had their turn outfield. Todd was playing first base, and it was soon plain to see he knew his job. And he was hustling!

Roger and Papa left for the concession stand during the second inning, returning with a lot of goodies to munch on. Then it was Todd's turn to bat again. This time, he got a good hit at the second ball thrown, but by the time he got to first base, they had it! He was out, again, but the runner on third base got home, so it was not a total loss. The score so far was 10-3, in Todd's team's favor.

The next inning went even better for the team. Todd got three players out on first base, ending that round, then, up to bat again. This time, Todd hit a good ball, getting to second base before his ball was secured. The game continued and the tension mounted during the fifth inning, when the opposing team scored four runs! The hour and half game ended with a score of 10-7, Todd's team's favor!

Everyone in the stands were going crazy, Denise noted happily. And she was one of them. She was so proud of her little brother. It was a real shame that Mom and Dad couldn't have been here for the game.

They sought out Todd immediately, pounding him on the back, telling him he played a good game. After congratulating the players, finding, and visiting briefly with Grandma and Grandpa Whitaker, they began the trip home.

The engine purred along in the darkness, as Roger leaned toward Denise. "How are things with your boyfriend," he asked quietly. "Needed any rescuing lately?" He smiled, jokingly, but in the dim light of the car, Denise could see him watching her closely.

"No. And you won't have to worry about that, anymore, Roger. I broke up with Jon, Sunday, right after church. "

"Really? How do you feel about that, now, Denise? You seemed to really care for him."

"I thought I did, Roger, but I found out that the love I had for Jon was a selfish kind of love. I enjoyed his attention, and he made me feel good. But, it doesn't compare at all to the love and security that I've found in the Lord! I've never been happier, Roger! And, though I wish it could have been different, I know that Jon and I just couldn't have made it over the long haul! But, I know now that my Heavenly Father knows what I need, and I believe that He has someone better for me.

"I'm so glad, Denise! Your grandparents and I have been praying for you a long time. He has sure answered our prayers! I'm very proud of you", Roger said, the sincerity showing in his eyes. "And isn't it wonderful that your parents have come to the Lord! That's quite a miracle, from what I understand. But, you know, our God doesn't just work with individuals, he works in families!"

"Yeah, it really is fantastic. I was really worried about how they would accept 'the new me'. But, I guess there's gonna be a lot of changes around our house, for all of us!"

Denise remembered all the times she had sat, and listened to Roger teaching Sunday School lessons. And the time he rescued her after Jon had pushed her out of the car, leaving her in the middle of nowhere. She remembered the time her patient had died, and Roger comforted her. And the times he had spent praying with her, and the recent Bible studies. The Lord had used him to help her, to try to reach her many times. He hadn't been there every time she needed help, but God had.

Her God, her Lord! He had loved her even when she wasn't walking with him, wasn't trusting Him, didn't even believe in Him, but He had been there all the time. What a love! A love that would never hurt her, or leave her. A love that would last forever!

"Roger," Denise said softly, as she gently layed her hand on his, "thank you. Because of you, I've found the love I was looking for. I've finally found what really counts! A love from above!"


A Free Gift For YOU!

Rose Petals