Tag Archives: Learning

Who? Me? – Part 1

“It’s going to take a while but I am going to get there.” Melanie was forceful. Melanie was adamant but was she convincing?

“What are you waiting on?” Cynthia was oh too familiar with saying that phrase to her friend.

Melanie dropped her head looking for the imaginary fist that had just punched her in the gut. She pulled in a long…long, long breath through her nostrils before she projected her eyes on to her old friend.

Cynthia recognized the expression projected on to her and worked to decode it, piece by piece. “So you want ‘It’ right?

There was silence on the other end of the conversation. Only bright, round eyes fixed in her direction. “Um, Melanie. Are you in there girlfriend?”

Melanie took another slow breath before exiting her stupor. “Um…” Gulp! “Yeah…um yeah. Of course I want ‘It’.” Her eyes slipped from her friend’s face to the floor tracing the diagonal design of the tiling pattern.

Soon Melanie’s eyes was tracing the design of Cynthia’s shiny leather pumps. Her friend had snuck up on her without any warning. “Guess what Mel. ‘It’ is reachable. You see it, right?”

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Creative Writing

Learning Anew: An Excerpt IV

A belly laugh tumbled out of her stomach. For some reason Johan’s words amused Aniya to the point of causing her to fold over at her stomach-laughing. It took her all of two minutes before she could compose herself.

“I’m sorry.” Sarcasm oozed out of her veins. “Um, because you’re the head honcho you think that it’s okay that you lied to me?” If the daggers shooting out of her eyes were real Johan would already been dead. He took a tentative step toward her. Aniya stepped backward. Johan remained put.

“Aniya, I’m sorry. It wasn’t my intention to lie…” Resembling a traffic cop, Aniya raised her hand up to stop him.

“I really don’t want to…I can’t.” She pressed her lips tightly together. “I have to get back to work. If that’s alright with you?” The sarcasm was back in all its glory. Johan’s eyes were half filled with regret and half filled with fear. Fear of losing Aniya forever.

“Aniya please. Please let me explain. It’s all on me. It’s all on me if you’re late getting back to work.” Johan kept his voice low, and his tone even. Aniya however, was poised to rush past him like a NFL offense player.

“I have work to do. Unlike you I don’t have the luxury of playing games.” She began her stampede forward. Johan planted himself in her path, attempting to block her. Aniya stopped dead in her tracks. Seemingly in slow motion, she raised her head and glared into Johan’s forest green eyes then allowed herself to gaze further up at the strands of dark brown hair framing his forehead. Suddenly she shook her head, vigorously. Those images had to be expelled immediately. He had to remain the ogre she only saw him as now. “Mr. Steinberg, seriously, I really need to get back to work.”

Johan hadn’t heard a word Aniya said. Not really anyway. He was lost in her russet brown almond eyes and the strand of unruly curly hair hanging over her right ear, that had gotten loose from her high puff-ponytail. “Mr. Steinberg!” Johan snapped to attention.

“Huh?” He swallowed hard to hide his embarrassment. “You know, Johan works just fine.”

Aniya sucked in an enormous breath through her nose and let it out forcibly as though she inhaled fire instead of air. She moved quickly. She maneuvered around Johan. Who knew she was so agile. So much more I have to learn about her. Johan swiveled around and tried to reach Aniya before she crossed the office door’s threshold. “Aniya…” He called out but she was already through the door interweaving among the people-traffic on the floor.

Johan sheepishly looked at the passerbys and shrinked back into his office.  He shut the door and leaned aginast it. “Okay…okay, so she’s quick. I’ve got to find a way…a way to make her hear me.”

LearningANewII-1 (3)

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Creative Writing

Learning Anew – An Excerpt III

“I don’t know Johan, you’re playing this really…really too close to the vest. What happens when Aniya finds out who you are?” Susan pressed her palms against her castle pine wooden desk, leaned over and hoisted herself above her cousin who pretended not to listen to her. He just sat, fiddled with a pen in between his fingers, and stared out the high rise office windows.

“Why don’t you let me worry about how close I’m playing things and you worry about being a good supervisor. huh?” Johan finally turned and flashed Susan a wide grin. But his boyish grin didn’t move her one bit. Well except to stand right in front of him and block any further distraction from the stunning sunlight, and magnificent clouds forming outside the windows.

“Look Johan, this all started innocently enough. You wandered downstairs to check things out and one look and you were instantly distracted, like you always are by new and shiny things. You…”

Johan jumped to his feet. This time it was him hoisted above the woman he’s known as more like an older sister than a cousin his entire life. “She’s not a ‘shiny thing’! It’s not like that Suze. I…I…” He felt something move in his stomach. What the heck? Was the ever cerebral, barely emotional Johan experiencing butterflies? “I swear.” His arms dropped limp at his side.

She gasped. She could see the vulnerability in his eyes. Johan gently maneuvered his way around Susan and stood beside the wall covered with windows.

Susan made her own graceful move and joined him. “So tell me. Tell me what it’s like. I’m all ears.”

Johan looked away from the arresting scene happening outside the window and curled his lips into a slow smile. “How much time do you have?”

“For you?” Susan tilted her eyes toward the international clocks adorning the wall across from the array of windows “30 minutes, until my next meeting.”

Laughter filled the space between them.

To Be Continued…

image

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Creative Writing

Life Passages XVII-Knowing Her Own Heart

“No, no, no. God, No!” Madeleine sits at the edge of her bed hiding from her parents, the world, and most certainly, Devon. “God, I don’t need this right now.” She whispers, trying to keep her argument with God private. “Do I…Did I feel…What the heck was that?” Madeleine covers her mouth with both hands, startled at her own abrupt outburst.

“I mean, I didn’t see this coming. God did You…wait! What am I asking? Of course you did.” Madeleine allows herself to fall back on to her bed, and covers her face again. Like thoroughbreds racing for a prize, her heart trots at record speed. Her hands slowly slip off of her face. For what seemed like an eternity Madeleine stares at the off-white ceiling. She doesn’t see the ceiling though. Not really. The image of Devon’s face and mannerisms fill her imagination. Her lips curve into a smile. Her mind conjures up images of her and  Devon at his Grandfather’s antique book store, walking along side him from school to her home, at the pizza shop with his friends. Suddenly a picture of Samantha, Devon’s friend who Madeleine deems out-of-this world gorgeous, surfaces immediately quashing Madeleine’s other,  more pleasant thoughts.

Madeleine gags then jerks upright so not to choke on her own saliva. Shaking her head furiously she stands, and begins to pace her woven beige and grey carpet. “Exactly why this can’t be happening God! Clearly there is something between them.” She massages the back of her neck. “Yeah, Devon…Samantha. There is definitely something there.” Madeleine shakes her head vigorously, trying to reset her mind. Then again, commanding it to reboot.

Madeleine speed walks over to her Monarch White Corner Desk. She slides her novel of the week out of her red and black plaid backpack, and in two skips lands on her bed again. With her legs crossed like a pretzel, Madeleine begins to read, and it is not long till she gets lost in the mystery book.

Buzz…buzz. After thirty thought free minutes Madeleine’s concentration is broken. Creases line her forehead as she focuses on the direction of the sound. Buzz…buzz. Madeleine leaps forward and retrieves the white and silver cell phone on her desk, almost hidden underneath her backpack. A text message is waiting for her. Her chest expands in an exaggerated motion with every breath. It is a message from Devon. Hey! Hope you got home okay. Madeleine’s eyes grow large, absorbing the message when a second one rapidly follows it. Are you alright?

Argh! After all the effort Madeleine put into shoving Devon out of her thoughts this Saturday afternoon, this sure does not help. Madeleine’s hands tighten around her phone, almost suffocating it. She peaks at the message once more. Her breaths pick up speed. She walks the width of her room hoping to calm herself down. At the very least to think. After what seemed like five minutes, Madeleine settles back down on to her bed and lays across it. This time on her stomach, she mumbles another prayer. “Am I really alright, God?” A long sigh rises from her belly to her lips “I’m not so sure that even I know.” Madeleine turns over allowing her head to hang off the bed. “So much I want to say, but there is so much that I don’t.”

Madeleine raises her body into a sitting position, her legs extended straight in front of her. She pulls the phone closer to her, along the length of her knees toward her hips. She begins to type. Yup. I am home safe. Thanks. She reads the message again, three times before she hits send. Releasing the mobile gently on to her sheet, she looks upward. “Please help me figure this out…figure out if I’m really alright.”

LifePassages17B (3)

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Creative Writing

The Application Process

Often times we go to church, we hear a message, get excited, even talk about it for hours-on-end following the service – but then the hard part comes. The part where it is time to apply what you heard. 

I have found myself struggling with the “A” word often. I usually instinctively respond in the following ways.

First comes the natural application, where I try and try within my own strength to live up to the instructions I heard on Sunday morning. That is usually followed up by me beating up on myself the instant that I fall short.

Then there are the parts of the sermon that I refuse to reconcile with. Stubborn much? Welcome to my world. I simply could not see how I could surrender a particular area, deep within, or shortcoming (that I didn’t see a problem with in the first place).

What’s worst is when the message simply goes way over my head. Now this is not any fault of the messenger, but my being clueless, at times, as to where I fit into the message. 

Well, over the last number of Sundays as Pastor Jumaine, Pastor Rob and others have been delivering what seemed like gold, straight from heaven. Since the DECISION NOW series began, I was intent on listening and applying in a way that would be effective. Of course, my initial reaction was to respond as I typically do, but this series was way too valuable, and way too life-changing.

So what did I do? I prayed like I had not before. I decided that applying what I heard was going to be up to God this time. I began to be completely honest with God about every convicting message point that I believed referred to me. I also asked Him to reveal and perform surgery on the other aspects that I was blind to. 

It was not that easy to come face-to-face with areas in my heart, mind, and even flesh, that was boldly called-out on the pulpit.
 
However, I believe that when all is said and done, I will be better, stronger and more able to impact the world and advance the Kingdom of God. 

Actually, that is what Pastor James Marshall left with me on a recent Sunday. In His final prayer as He asked the Lord to help us apply the word spoken. It really rang home to me; God has to have a major part in the application process. Just – Let Him – Do It!

“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” (Philippians 2:13 NLT)

2 Comments

Filed under Creative Writing