My Refuge and Fortress: Good News (Part Eleven)

David was up early.  If it weren’t for the traffic noise outside his third floor apartment window, he might’ve heard the birds singing a Good Morning song.   He had to pinch himself to make sure this was all really happening.  He’d met a girl at the Dog Park, of all places, and had the courage to strike up a conversation.  Turns out she was delightful, well, maybe not at first, but it didn’t take long to break the ice and uncover a wonderful person just beneath the surface.  They’d had multiple dates at the Dog Park and a few lunch dates at local cafés; now he couldn’t get Clara off his mind.  Today was special, she wanted to introduce him to a friend, someone like family.  This mattered because Clara had no family to speak of, this friend held a special place in her heart.  She’d told him the story of nearly losing her apartment and how Laura had paid the rent unbeknownst to Clara.  It had taken an uncomfortable conversation with her Landlord to find out.  He couldn’t wait for noon. 

It was Saturday and nearly Thanksgiving. Clara had so much to be thankful for this year. She was still unemployed, but she had watched God provide for her in a way she never could’ve imagined. She pulled out her journal as she sat in the “Power Hour” chair and wrote of God’s goodness. She needed all the events of late to be chronicled so she wouldn’t forget how the impossible had happened.

Today, she wrote,

I am going to introduce David to Laura.  You know, I don’t even know his last name.   She smiled to herself.  I probably should ask.  These last few weeks have been some of the hardest and best of my life.  I look forward to what you have up your sleeve next, Father.  Maybe this time I’ll trust you instead of throwing a temper tantrum.

She sat still and looked at the paper for a moment, then continued. 

Nothing about this year has been easy, but I feel more fulfilled than I have in such a long time.  Maybe I’m starting to understand the importance of trials, not that I’m asking for more of them. 

She chuckled as she wrote.

But, I see why I need them.  How will I ever grow in strength and courage if life never gets hard? And how would I know you are the Provider if I never need anything?  How would I know you are the Comforter if I’m never sad?  

She knew she could write for days about her experience, but she had a lunch date with two of her favorite people and needed to get dressed. 

Thank you for everything, Lord, she continued to write.  Now, you know I need a job, please help me be patient because I am CONFIDENT you are already working this out for me. 

Clara set her journal on the small table beside the chair, underneath her worn, favorite Bible and sprinted to the bedroom to get dressed. 

They’d agreed on a small café in a hip part of town.  David had asked Clara in advance if he could pay for her lunch, and she’d agreed.  She figured she’d pass the kindness on to someone else when she was able.  For now, she would allow those who loved her to pamper her a bit.  Clara wore her red scarf and a long coat she’d had for years.  The wind whipped in behind her as she walked into the café, only the Lord knows what my hair looks like, she thought as she scanned the room for her lunch companions.  She spotted David waving and walked his direction, weaving through the tables carefully.  He was smiling and Clara thought, quite possibly, he had the best smile she’d ever seen.  He stood when she got close and helped remove her long coat and scarf, folding them over the back of the chair.   She patted her hair down as she sat and smiled at him in return.    There was no sign of Laura yet, and she was glad since, in that moment, she realized David wouldn’t have recognized her.  “I can’t wait for you to meet Laura,” she said as she leaned over to keep an eye on the door.  She barely had the words out of her mouth when Laura was whisked in by the wind.   Clara waved until Laura noticed them and began winding through the close knit tables toward her lunch companions.  For reasons she didn’t understand, Clara felt nervous.  These two people had become so special, and, she had a feeling, this meeting was one they would remember.   

Laura had been anxious for this lunch date.  She still hadn’t fully recovered from the awe she felt in light of God’s handiwork.  Her small act of obedience had changed the trajectory of this relationship and taught her a good lesson in obedience without hesitation.  She felt butterflies in her stomach as she walked to the café, she wanted to meet David and she desperately wanted Clara to be happy.  Before she entered, Laura stopped outside the entrance and whispered a prayer for continued reconciliation and deepening of relationships.  Then she opened the door and the wind nearly pushed her inside.  She was trying to tame her hair when she spotted her beautiful friend, Clara.  Clara never felt beautiful, but she was.  Her beauty wasn’t just on the outside, but shone from the inside as well.  Laura waved back at Clara and began to weave her way through the crowded room.

The conversation was light and the meal was over before Clara realized it had been an hour. Time to share the news.  She ordered a cup of decaf coffee with cream and sweetener and waited for a lull in the conversation.  When she felt the time was just right, she cleared her throat.  “I have some good news, guys.”  She had a brilliant smile on her face.  “Do tell,” Laura spoke up first, David nodded and smiled.   “I have a job interview in the morning!!”  She was filled with such glee that David and Laura clapped quietly in response.  “It’s with Ideal Architectural Design.  It’s located a little outside of the city and I am so excited.”  “I’ve never heard of them,” Laura looked at David asking the question with her eyes.  “I haven’t either,” he said shrugging his shoulders.   “It’s a small, family owned company and it sounds like perfection.  But, what I really want is to follow God’s direction.  I need him to close this opportunity if it’s not the right one.  I was hoping, wondering, if you both would pray for me.”  Clara was a little choked up by the time she finished speaking.  She was momentarily overwhelmed with God’s goodness.  “Yes, of course, as a matter of fact, let’s pray right now.”  Laura held out a hand to Clara and the other to David.  She bowed her head and Clara and David did the same.  “Dear Father…”  As she prayed, tears flowed down Clara’s cheeks.  A week ago she would’ve told you life was a disaster and possibly hopeless, but today she was being covered in prayer by two people who genuinely cared about her well-being.  She felt nothing but hope and anticipation for a bright future.  “Thank you, Lord, Amen,” Laura finished.  ”  “Amen,” Clara and David repeated.  The three parted ways with Clara promising all the details after the interview. 

As Clara walked home, her red scarf and hair whipping in the wind, she felt as though a new season was blowing into her life.  Or maybe an old one was being blown away.  No matter which way she thought about it, something new and fresh was coming and she was thrilled.     

Today felt like just the beginning.

“For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways”
Psalm 91:11a

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