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Without A Word
By Jaye Lewis
"Are you new in town?" She asked.
"Well, yes and no." I answered. "I have to wait for an appointment, and this is the closest I could come to a donut shop."
She laughed, as she assured me that the Danish was about as close as I would ever get to a donut, in her town. I smiled back, as I grabbed a newspaper and headed to the back, away from the "smoking" section.
I barely glanced at the headlines, as I bit into the Danish, wishing it were a donut. It was a time of reflection for me. I was miserable. I had always been a spiritual person, but I had found that I could no longer pray. It had been years since I had stepped into a church, and, frankly, if there was a God, why was He not answering me? I felt as though I was going out of my mind.
About that time, I noticed a man sitting just inside the non-smoking section, reading a book, and busily scribbling notes. He was about seventy-something. Quite handsome. An African-American gentleman, with beautiful white hair. He called out greetings to anyone who spoke to him, and all the young black men treated him with quiet dignity. He seemed to be related to everyone in town.
In between greetings, he went back to his book and his notes, and he continued to scribble. I noticed that he seemed comfortable in his own skin, and he read the book, as though he were reading letters from an old friend. Every once in awhile, he would read a phrase, and he would smile. It must be a diary, I thought. Perhaps it was the writings of some beloved person in his life. Without a word, he conveyed a sense of gentleness. The expression in his face was like nothing I had ever seen. I longed for that peace. I needed that peace!
Lord, why do I not have that peace?" The longing in my heart was so tangible, it cut like a knife.
I was just captivated by this man. He was.well.beautiful, as though angels surrounded him. He continued with his reading, writing, and his greetings.
"You seem to know everybody," I said. He looked up and he smiled at me. His dark eyes, behind his round glasses, were kind.
"No," he said. "I've never been here before."
"Really? People you don't know say 'hello' to you?"
"Sometimes." He smiled, and he went back to his reading.
There was something about that book. What was that book? I tried not to stare, but peripherally, I never took my eyes off of him. He continued to pour over the words in the book, and, finally, he moved. He turned to reach for something, and the title of the book became visible. THE HOLY BIBLE! The longings in my soul cried out, so that I thought I would burst into tears. A sob caught in my throat. What was the power that grasped me through those three words? THE HOLY BIBLE.
I sat there for what seemed like forever, captured by a man that exuded holiness from every pore. I was really familiar with phonies, and this man was "for real." You could see it on the faces of everyone who walked within ten feet of him. A kind of hush stole through the little burger joint, and I was enthralled. I realized that this man was totally comfortable with his God. This man was involved in a relationship! And I wanted what he had! But I hadn't the slightest idea how to get it!
It was time to go, or I would be late for my appointment. I stood and had an incredible impulse to walk over to him. I did, and I thanked him for just sitting there, reading the Bible, as though he were reading letters from a friend. My eyes filled with tears. My voice broke, as I tried to convey the power that was released in his simple, unconscious relationship. He took my hand, and we held hands, for what seemed like an eternity. One confused white woman, and one kind, elderly black man. I felt an unearthly love for that man, but I just couldn't speak.
I listened, as I held his hand, and he told me about his aunt, who was "elderly" and very ill. He was from Ohio, and had just traveled down to check on her. She was being hospitalized, and he was only in the burger place, waiting for her to be settled into her room. I could feel his goodness steal through me, and I wanted to do all sorts of things. I wanted to weep, just break out into uncontrollable sobs and tell him all about my life. More than anything, I wanted to know who gave him his incredible peace, but I never uttered a word. He let go of my hand, and we said farewell.
Before I left, however, he gave me some pamphlets, and he said, "Whenever you are ready to have your questions answered," as though he read my thoughts, "read these. In the meantime, I'll be praying for you." I wanted to throw my arms around him, but I just said "thank you," and I left.
It was a long time before I began my journey to an understanding of God, and I lost those pamphlets somewhere along the way. In the years since that brief encounter, I've come to experience that peace "that passes all understanding," and the God who gives it. So thank you my friend, my angel. You changed my life, without a word.
Write Jaye and let her know your thoughts on her story!
Jaye Lewis is a born again Christian and award winning writer, who looks at life from a unique perspective. Jaye is writing her first book, Entertaining Angels, which celebrates the angels that she has met in her life-journey. Jaye lives with her family in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, USA, and she writes every day.
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of dreams."
"Anything is possible if you have faith."--Mark 9:23 TLB
"Don't nod on the phone."
"There is no more vital calling or vocation for men than fathering."
"You are never as bad as you think you are and you are never as good as you think you are."
"Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people." --William Butler Yeats
"Whoever started adding doorbell sounds to radio and TV ads must not have a dog."
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20
I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the beautiful video you made for me! It was so special to see both of my parents in tears as they watched their children grow up in pictures before their eyes! I loved the way you made Estania's part set aside from the rest--that was the part that really got them! The music was beautiful. My mom kept blubbering, "What song is that?" I don't know how you did such a beautiful job with the video in such a short time. I really appreciate your doing it so quickly. You have a wonderful gift, and I thank God that you are using it to create such sentimental memories. I hope that I can find my niche like that in an area that I love. Your video gave us one of our most lasting Christmas memories! I hope yours was filled with moments to be treasured forever! Love, Trisha Silverhill, AL
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