A Kiss Amid the Flowers

Jon was not really ready to move on.  Miriam had left him to “find herself,” only six weeks ago, but his sister kept insisting that he put it behind him, and take the plunge again.  He therefore reluctantly agreed to a bind date with her colleague, Eva.

It wasn’t going to be any more awkward than it needed be, just a cup of coffee and a chat.  No planned meal with reservations, or anything.  It could be short and sweet if they didn’t hit it off.

“So how long have you been a teacher?” Jon asked.

“About three years, and I really enjoy it.  I love seeing the creativity, and expression the kids can give.  That’s what’s great about teaching art.”

“So you’re an artist?” he asked, sincerely interested.

“Yes, I guess so.  It’s kind of my passion.”

“Having passion is good,” he said – before blushing and quickly adding, “about your work I mean.”

He was now even more embarrassed and Eva took pity on him.  “So Helen tells me you are an architect.  Kind of an artist too,” she said with a wink.

“Um, yeah, but mostly just straight lines, and  – and,” he trailed off.

Eva liked the shy innocence he was showing, and changed the subject to places she had been to on holiday and the beautiful buildings she had seen.  Jon took the opportunity to overcome his momentary shyness and joined in with some travels of his own.

The conversation then fell onto Barcelona, a city they both had been to and loved.  Art, Gaudí, parks, and food were recalled and enthusiastically discussed.

“I just adore paella,” Eva was concluding when Jon noticed that they had come to be holding hands across the table.  Not only that, but two hours had passed, in what seemed mere minutes.

“Eva,” he said, “this has been really wonderful, but it’s getting kind of late.  Do you think – do you think you might like to meet me again?” He asked, reddening again.

“Of course I would,” she responded.

As the left the cafe, Jon asked if he could walk her to her car.

“That would be really lovely,” she said, “I am parked across the street, next to the park.”

Hand in hand, they crossed over and then cut a little diagonal through vivid blue flowers in the park to get to her car.

“Aren’t these just so beautiful?” she said, more as a statement than a question. “I love  turquoise.”

“Second most beautiful thing I have seen today,” he said reddening yet again,

At that, he suddenly felt the moist softness of her lips upon his.  It was exquisite.  They stood embraced, enjoying the gentle sensation of their joined lips, breathing each other’s air.  They were both sure at that moment that this was for life.

 

Padre

Inspiration Call: Write about a unique first kiss.

 

 

Three A.M.

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Araki Photograph Studio

 

“Turn off the light, I’m trying to sleep,

It’s your own fault that you can’t settle.

I said don’t eat –

All those plates that you heap –

You’ll only regret eating it later.

It’s not the three pizzas, that you devoured with one breath?

There’s something else on your mind – that’s the matter?

Then give me a moment to put on the kettle,

You can tell all about what’s on your mind,

I may be tired, having had a long day,

But that’s no reason I cannot be kind.”

 

Padre

 

A salute to all of the patient and loving spouses and partners who make our lives rich.

 

Photo Challenge #299

 

 

 

 

 

“The Two Shall Be As One”

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling

There is much wrong in society with the male – female “power” dynamic.  There is a sad reality of male privilege.  There are still those who speak of female inferiority.  Some stress “the fall” as being “Eve’s fault.”  But our relationships should not be based on blame.  First of all, Genesis 1 tells us that ” . . . God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”  Both men and women are made in the image of God.  But then we are given an account on the means of creation. “So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.  The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man’ (Chapter 2: 21-23).”

Here we can reflect on the observation hared with me by a rabbi.  “Eve was made not from Adam’s heel – that he might stand over her.  Nor was she created from his head, that she might rule over him.  But she was made from his side, that they might stand side by side as partners.”

But even this falls short of the full biblical guide to male – female relationship.  Paul writes in Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

I found an interesting quote in one of Dianne’s study journals that really captures this concept. “Eve came from Adam’s side, and similarly at the crucifixion Jesus side was broken, so his bride could be released from within also, that is us, His Church (Gene Edwards).”

The only power dynamic that should be in a relationship is that of love.  Relationship is not built on “might.”  It is not built on fault or guilt.  It is not built on earning power or social standing, but on mutual support, partnership, and love.  A love so great as when Christ laid down His life for His church.

Padre

Intimacy

couple on bed using MacBook Air beside of window with white curtain

Unsplash

The couple lay side by side in bed.  Though they were met at the hip, there was no other contact, nor was a word spoken.  She silently worked her sudoku, while he scanned his messages on his lap top.

“Hey Sweetie, Don and Eva emailed and want to know if we would like some visitors.”

“Tell them not today, I’m really not up to it.”

“Okay, done,” he said.  “They said let them know when you are up to it, and hope you are feeling better soon.”

“That’s sweet of them,” she said. “I really just need to be by myself today,” she said reaching out her hand and pulling him closer.

Padre

Sunday Writing Prompt “Intimacy”

Shooting Star: A Haibun (with double haiku)

 

Dark, Darkness, Meteor, Night

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

I drove past a quiet lay-by today.  It was the same one that a couple of years ago I went to with my wife to observe a meteor storm.  The ambient light in our little town made seeing the spectacle difficult so we drove a couple of miles out of town and parked to watch the light show.  It remains a memorable experience, and even more so since she is now gone.

A flash of brilliance
Streak of light lifting the heart
So swiftly passing

You too a life-light
Giving incredible joy
But you to have passed

 

Padre

The Good Wife

Diamond, Diamonds, Gem, Gemstone, Ruby

Pixabay

More precious than rubies the Proverb does say

This is a maxim – I cannot gainsay

Each morning my life examined – now that she’s gone

Accenting little things – for which I now long

I put on the jumper – I said I didn’t need

But in her wisdom – my objection – she didn’t heed

Now that the weather has taken a chilly turn

I’m sure she would smile that to that sweater I did turn

I got a little tickle in my throat as it became sore

And the right medicine was waiting as I opened the drawer

My well-being was ever her diligent concern

These little touches,  I now – for myself must learn

More precious than rubies

More valuable than gold

A loving wife’s value

Is beyond what can be told

 

Padre

Proverbs 31

Celebration of Life

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Today we held the memorial service and celebration of life of my wife, Dianne.  Pastor Vince fulfilled all of Dianne’s wishes as how she would have liked to have been remembered, and Pastor Joe and the worship team really touched my heart with their singing.  Readings by sisters Amba and Claire were exactly how Dianne had pictured it, and Amba’s singing of Revelation Song was awesome.   Love was shown to me and Dianne by so many today, from food being prepared, to the arranging of the service, to the wonderful testimonies of so many friends.  Thank you everyone.

Those gathered were a testimony to Dianne.  Christian, non-Christians, members of singing and drama societies, Toastmasters, family members, former students, and brothers and sisters in Christ.  Dianne touched so many.

A gathering together-

To reflect on a life –

Such varied relations –

That defined my wife

 

Stories of  love and compassion

Moments shared – retold

Her mark was made

Her memories we hold

 

A lady of music,

Of humour and of wit

Yet, her faith above all

Never counterfeit

 

We’ve said our farewells

A few shed a tear

But we’ll meet again

On that I am clear

Thank you again everyone who came to share your love of Dianne.  You were all precious to her, and I hope to see each of you personally in the near future.

 

Padre

 

 

Valued Gifts

Present, Package, Gift, Celebration

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay 

How many of you receive presents that you don’t use?  Okay, many of us have received gifts that were unwanted, but even these should still be appreciated because of the love and thought that led to them being given.  But, even if you received a present that was unwanted, you at least know if it is useful or wanted.  How?  Because you have opened it.  We generally (if not always) at least check out what the gifts are.

Before I go any further, I would like to stop and consider the Christian idea of grace.  Grace in one form means “unmerited favour:” something we receive that we don’t deserve.  It also carries the idea of a “gift:” it is given freely, not “earned.”  The ultimate gift of grace is salvation.  It is offered to all.  But like any gift, the present on offer is not yours until you accept it.  It’s as simple as that.  God so loved the world that He sent his Son to die for all.  That is not the same as saying He died, now all are saved.  Rather, it is He died, and all that accept that sacrifice (the gift) are saved.

But for those that have accepted the gift of salvation, and become the people of God there is more on offer.  These too need to not be rejected.  Scripture reminds us that,

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen (1 Peter 4:7-11).”

Wow.  We have been given the ultimate gift of love.  We therefore should show that same love to others.  Love (Christ’s and ours) covers many sins (and in Jesus’ case all sins).  As fellow recipients of the gifts of God we should share our blessings – offering hospitality not out of obligation, but love.

We who have received gifts likewise should use them.  We should not leave them unwrapped, or left “on the shelf.”  Paul tells us about these presents from the Spirit in I Corinthians 12,

“The Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way. That is for the good of all.  To some people the Spirit gives a message of wisdom. To others the same Spirit gives a message of knowledge.  To others the same Spirit gives faith. To others that one Spirit gives gifts of healing. To others he gives the power to do miracles. To others he gives the ability to prophesy. To others he gives the ability to tell the spirits apart. To others he gives the ability to speak in different kinds of languages they had not known before. And to still others he gives the ability to explain what was said in those languages.  All the gifts are produced by one and the same Spirit. He gives gifts to each person, just as he decides (verses 7 to 11).”

Whether you are a teacher, a preacher, and organiser, or a just a loving ear that listens – you should use the gift.

Jesus said that a city on a hill can’t be hidden, nor do we light a lamp then hide it under a basket.  If we have gifts, let’s display (and use) them proudly.

 

Padre