Trouble with my hearing

She knew there was something wrong. Her heart hurt, and her head could no longer receive clear and precise signals from the Lord. She wasn’t depressed and didn’t feel burnt out, but there was something wrong; some little, niggling, bothersome something, and she needed to figure out what it was before it grew worse.

“So, what’s brought you here today?” he asked.

“I’m not sure,” she said.

“Can you tell me a little bit about what’s going on with you?”

“What do you mean?”

“If you can tell me a lil’ of your story and the challenges you’ve been facing lately, I might be able to get a sense for what’s brought you here today.”

“I’m confused…overwhelmed…but not depressed.” Her tone was pensive. “I have this sense of dread that just hits me sometimes. Not all the time, but sometimes. I’m not happy, but I’m not depressed. I’m just kinda…sorta, numb… I can’t hear God anymore.”

In Our Troubles

We never know when this day could be our last day.  This past week, a too-young woman was killed in a car accident in our home town.  We are rocked.  It was sudden.  I know her family.  It seems tragic, and far too soon.  We weren’t ready. Can you ever be ready for that?  She has small children. A husband…now required to go on alone.  At twenty-seven, we find it hard to find the words to describe our feelings about her passing.  The conflicting emotions want out, but how? How do we express the sorrow?  I write. It’s what I do.

I wrote.

This is what I found within. Please pray for the family.  God knows who they are.  ljh

In Our Troubles

“What do I see? They are terrified, they are retreating, their warriors are defeated. They flee in haste without looking back, and there is terror on every side,” declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 46:5

The message came to Camille when she was walking through the mall. On her left was a small group of geriatrics, shuffling with the assistance of canes and walkers into the Bonton; this being the first of the month, and they, hot to spend their SSI checks. She didn’t think the message could possibly be referring to them. To her right she saw a manager chewing out her tattooed and heavily pierced employee. No, that didn’t seem right, either. She kept walking.

“What do I see?”

Camille looked around. All she saw was store fronts and passersby, strolling with their children in hand or their lovers at their sides. They had purses and bags full of sundry goods. No one looked terrified, and no one was retreating in the formal sense. There were people entering and exiting stores, but no one was in a hurry to do it. No one was running.

“More than a few of them look like their defeated, but it’s the same everywhere,” Camille thought. This is a hard-knocks town, so yeah, we’re all looking defeated now and again, given the day.”

Camille kept walking.

Mommas with baby strollers passed by, no one seemed terrified. An old man left the coffee shop. Retreating, yes, but not terrified. A trainer with her companion pup sat at the center court and gave reassurances as she watched for the golden retriever’s reaction to multiple stimuli. She certainly didn’t look defeated and she wasn’t making any hasty moves.

“They are terrified, they are retreating, they are…defeated.” She heard it again.

A shriek rang out and Camille commanded her hurdler’s legs into action. Within moments, she was able to see what everyone else had flocked near the escalator could see. A teen boy, fourteen maybe, standing on the railings above the three-story drop. He was balancing on the balls of his feet. Now perching there. Now closing his eyes. Now falling…

“They flee in haste, without looking back, and there is terror on every side.”

Another soul had lost his battle with depression. Camille hung her head and sobbed as everyone, save mall security, backed away and abandoned the broken and bloody body lying on the mall floor. Sirens could be heard in the distance, as a shopper unknown to Camille dropped heavy bags and ran screaming toward the body. She took his brokenness into her arms and cradles him there until the EMT’s forced her to back away. She collapsed, a heap of spent flesh on the tile floor.  Camille lay down beside her.

“I’m going to hold you now,” Camille said. “I’m going to stay right here and hold you now.” She wrapped her arms around the woman, shielding her as well as she was able until some compassionate soul ran for a blanket from the trunk of their car and covered them both. He stayed nearby, his back turned to them, but his presence preventing anyone from drawing near.

The woman whimpered something. Camille replied, “I’m not going anywhere.”

The voice within spoke to Camille in that moment of personal sacrifice, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”

 

 

 

Copyright, Lori Hoose April 5, 2018

Trouble on the Road

The following is a piece of Friday Fiction I’d like to share with my readers.  I so enjoy writing these each week!  This story is part Frank Peretti, part Justified, and part my imagination, as I understand the Bible and heavenly beings.  It’s an original piece written by me.  Enjoy!  And hey, if you want, leave me a comment.  I love to hear your thoughts, always! 

Car-one-headlight-out

It was that stretch of road that ran deep into the woods and parallel to what was meant to be the old sky lift, that she’d decided to take. That one where the owner of the property had committed suicide before the project was done. The story of his hopelessness and the remote nature of a road no one ever drove made Barbara shiver. Goose flesh rose up on the back of her neck, and she wished she hadn’t come this way. Wished she hadn’t been in such a hurry to get home tonight. Wished she’d ordered take-out, so she didn’t need to rush. She wished she had a co-pilot with her. Someone to talk to, someone to drive away the dread she felt deep in her belly.

She’d been on the road for only a few minutes when the “winker” came creeping up behind her. Winker, that’s what they’d called one-eyed cars when she was a kid. She’d always hated the look of them; disabled, broken, neglected. The car advanced and soon she was able to see the color applied to the old Pontiac on the day it left the showroom floor. Mustard yellow. Blech! It looked nothing like the bright yellow color that comes sputtering out of a French’s Classic Mustard bottle when you squeeze it, but something akin to Grey Poupon. Another shiver ran up her back.

The Pontiac moved closer to her bumper as they drove on in single file, and as it did, the lump in her throat grew. What if someone bent on waylaying her was driving that jalopy? What if the car contained more than one someone? What if they had a gun, a tire iron, or a Rottweiler with them? Everybody carried a tire iron, right?  What if they forced her off the road?

Barbara tried to continue on at the same pace she’d previously set for herself, but found her foot pressing down harder on the gas pedal with each scarred fir tree she passed. The road was getting wider up ahead, and more serpentine in design. On her right side was the formidable mountain face that made construction of a ski resort possible. On her left was a sheer drop of 200 ft, the road having been dug out of rock, and rocks still littering it’s path. She sent up a little prayer, “Lord, please, help me stay calm.” It wasn’t much of a prayer, but it was what came to her in the moment.

The Pontiac grew closer. Barbara’s fear rose two degrees. She got her cell phone out of her pocket and was poised to dial for help. No dice, no signal. She kept the phone in her lap anyway, checking every few seconds to see if the towers could connect with her once more. She knew they couldn’t. The ravine this road ran through was deep. Too deep for cell towers to reach. She was on her own.

Intuition told Barbara that she was being followed by danger, shrouded in darkness, and not in a literal sense. It was spiritual darkness she recognized. Disobedience. Hate. A determination to harm, in exchange for harm done. She recoiled at the thought of it, then heard a distinct voice utter her name.

“Barbara, fear not! You are seen. You are known. You are loved. You will be protected.”

That’s when it happened. Up ahead, in the utter darkness, a light shone. A figure outlined by the brilliance appeared. It was immense. Glowing. Dressed like a member of the U. S. Marshal’s service, with gun drawn.

What in the world! Barbara thought? Too close to the figure now, she couldn’t stop. As she winced and waited for the collision, the “apparition” lifted the barrel of the handgun, and Barbara’s car passed beneath it. She was clear and on the other side of the gunman before she knew what’d happened.  The Pontiac did not fare so well.  It’s driver swerved hard right in order to avoid the marshal, and subsequently collided with the mountainside. Running along the shale ledge outcropping, sparks flew off the door and fenders of the car, turning the night sky Classic mustard bright.

Barbara looked in her rear view mirror. She blinked, then blinked again. Was this really happening, she wondered? She knew she’d have no cell service here, but continued on while holding her phone in her lap, ready to dial 911 at the first sign of a solid bar. She knew she was only a short distance from the place where this road intersected with the one above it, and that reception would be possible once she got there. She hurried.

Barbara recounted all the pertinent details of her travel to the operator once safely at home, and was connected to an officer who asked her to repeat it twice more. She doubted anyone would believe her, but when the story of a brown Pontiac published on the 11 o’clock news that night she was sure she had not imagined the encounter. The newscasters said the car was empty when the police got to the scene. They were asking anyone who knew anything about the crash to contact the police right away. Barbara shivered once more.

 

 

Trouble on the Road is an original story, written by Lori Hoose, copyright protected.

Maddie and The Mustard Seed

Maddie sat cross-legged on the mat she’d been assigned and looked down at her milk carton.  The prickly hair-like blades of grass growing out of her individual garden were shorter than those of her classmates.  She didn’t care.  Nothing she ever did matched what they did.  She was strange, they said.  Clumsy, and her hair was matted.  She knew all this but didn’t care a wit.  She knew she was special, and that’s all that mattered.

“Maddie, you need to put that back now, and sit down.”

She complied, not just now but every time Mrs. Clark asked something of Maddie.  She loved her teacher. Loved coming to school. Loved Mr. Draper, the janitor, and Mrs. Chambers, the school nurse.  She even loved Ms. Sweet, the principal, who she saw often enough to have struck up a friendship with her.  Maddie especially loved Lulu, the cafeteria lady.  She was the one Maddie sat with each morning, while she ate her breakfast and talked about her life as the only child of a rich venture “capulus.”.   They’d learn all about venture capitalist at the beginning of the school year. How they loaned people money, because they had a lot, and how they made dreams grow. That’s what Mrs. Clark said, that the money “adventure” people gave to other people made dreams grow.

Maddie wanted her dreams to grow. She wanted it real bad.  She wanted to live in real life with the things she pretended about her real, real life.  She talked about those things with Lulu at breakfast each day of the school week, then she talked about them a little more on Sunday, with Pastor Jeff and Mrs. Jeff.  She talked about real houses, and real kitties and puppies running down the halls, and crawling up in her lap and sleeping contentedly for hours.  She talked about real dresses and shiny black shoes, and lacy blouses, and suspenders.  One of Maddie’s favorite books was about Eloise, and the fun, fun, fun she and nanny had together. Maddie dreamed about having fun.

As she dutifully took her milk carton back to the ledge where all the other kids had placed theirs,  Maddie felt grateful.  She touched the piece of jewelry that hung from a chain mid-chest, under her sweater and close to her heart.  It was a tiny glass bubble ringed by gold, and inside the bubble was an itty bity seed.  Mrs. Jeff said it was a mustard seed, the littlest of all seeds, and that from it grew a tall, bushy plant.  She said the seed was to remind Maddie that big things can grow from a little faith. Maddie was sure it was true. Mrs. Jeff never said anything that wasn’t true.  A smile started to grow on her face, as Maddie thought about the seed.  “See,” a voice within Maddie said, “even smiles grow when you have a little faith.”

 

 

[This Friday Fiction is an original story, written by Lori Hoose, copyright protected].

 

Obstruction

The novella you are about to read is loosely based on Song of Solomon 5. Enjoy!

doorway

I slept, but my heart did not.

It was listening, listening, listening for him.

A knock!

“Open to me, my darling, my dove, my flawless one.”

I blushed.

While I imagined his hair drenched with dew, mine was dry.

My tendrilled head ready for sleep.

My robe off.

My feet, bare.

It was cold outside my blankets.

 

I glimpsed his shadow moving at odds with love’s impediment.

His shadow!

His masculine, muscled, and masterful body encased within his shadow.

I could imagine the rub of short whiskers across my cheek.

The memory of past moments stolen with him.

Desire filled me, and drove before it prudence.

 

I made the decision to get up.

How could I not?

How could I resist the thought of being held by him once more?

How could I shun him, the one who said such amazing things about me.

Me!

“…my darling, my dove, my flawless one.”

Such a charmer.

Such a silver-tongue.

Such a wonder to me.

 

I opened the door, but he was gone.

Gone.

My chance, gone.

My love, gone.

My need rising.

My doorway devoid of his presence, aching with me at the loss.

 

I looked in the hallway.

I searched in the kitchen.

Was he in the spare room? No.

To the streets I went.

 

Perhaps…

 

The watchmen came.

The watchmen from the wall.

The corrupt ones.

The takers of bribes.

Those who have been tasked with keeping me pure, alone, devastated.

They beat me and bruised me.

They handled me roughly.

They forced me to return to my cell.

They took away my cloak, but much worse, my love.

 

Daughters of truth, I charge you—

If you find him…if you see him, tell him.

Tell my beloved that I faint for him.

Tell him that I yearn for him.

Tell him that I tried to get to him.

Tell him I’m sorry.

 

I am his, and he is mine.

Tell him!