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The Gifts of Faith - Revelation - (Ch. 5)
The Lily of the Valley bouquet brought the day of Mama’s death up from Faith’s emotional recesses. She was there again – but at age 26, not 6. In this state she saw something she hadn’t seen that day so long ago.
The rainbow that had brought Hope to Faith on that fateful day hovered over Mama’s head as if protecting her. There was something else there that she was too distraught – or perhaps too naïve - to see at the time, although it was clear now.
But there is was and the butterflies started up again. The butterflies were always a warning that something life-changing was about to happen. Faith found herself glued to the scene that opened up before her and couldn’t move or speak to save her life – or Mama’s for that matter.
The room became filled with a mist, making it hard to see clearly. The rainbow receded then disappeared altogether. In its place was the form of a little boy, leaning over Mama, gently stroking her arms, face and hair. The mist became thick as she heard Mama groan in her sleep. Through the fog, Faith saw – or thought she saw – what looked liked worms, decay and a roiling bile-like substance moving from Mama to the little boy in a stream of guided frenzy.
Stop! Get away from Mama! You’re hurting her! The silent cries screamed in Faith’s mind but could find no voice.
The grotesque deluge came faster and faster and enveloped the room with a stench that evoked dry heaves as she watched. But she couldn’t move. Faith was helpless as the scene unfolded before her. The little boy seemed to become weak as the putrid gush penetrated his body and took over the light of his soul.
Soon the fog lifted and the little boy was gone. In his place was the soft rainbow Faith witnessed the day she found Mama 20 years ago. Mama’s soul was gone. The room returned to the state it was in when Faith gleefully came to tell Mama of the Lily of the Valley she’d brought home, only to be greeted by the silence of death.
“Who are they from, Faith?” She was back in her living room. Sarah had a panicked look on her face as she repeated the question.
Faith found it difficult to make sense of what had just happened. She had never before been transported to the past or had visions since the day Hope’s spirit spoke to her.
Sarah took the vase from Faith’s grip and set it on the coffee table. “Faith honey, you’re scaring me. Who sent the flowers? Sit down. Talk to me!”
Faith opens up
“Sarah, I’m not sure what just happened, but I know I can trust you with what I’m about to say. You’re my best friend. In fact, you’re the only friend I’ve ever had. In order for you to understand, I need to tell you something I’ve never told anyone – not even Daddy.”
Sarah knew that Faith was the only living child the Montgomery’s had. She knew the history and was aware of Faith’s gift of seeing souls but she wasn’t aware of the foretelling butterflies that erupted as a prelude to life changing events.
“When I was 6, Kitty and I went to my favorite meadow. You know the one on the south side of our property? Well, I got a case of the butterflies, like you do when you first see a boy you really like.”
Faith proceeded to relay the events of that day when she met her sister Hope’s soul. She recited the words Hope has imparted to her:
“As you know, my name is Hope. What you don’t know is I was the child that Mom and Dad never knew. I was stillborn; however, a part of my soul lingered in the womb. Mom and Dad grieved, but God has a special assignment for me.”
“Faith, by the time you came along, Mom and Dad were not so sure you would live, just as our sister and brother and myself didn’t make it into this earthly life, at least not for long. They prayed and prayed and prayed. You are named after their prayers. They had faith that God would finally bless them with a child that could handle the stresses of today’s world. That’s why a part of my soul was left in the womb. God and I wanted to answer Mom and Dad’s prayers. You gained strength from me and I gained purpose from you. Together we have been put on Earth to see what others don’t see. We are here to bring Hope and Faith.”
“My soul lied sleeping. I didn’t even realize it until you were conceived 15 years after my death. It was then that I came alive in spirit. My mission was to make sure you made it through the pregnancy and your entrance into this world. I came alive to answer Mom and Dad’s prayers and to help you with the special gift you have been given. You see souls. People don’t understand. They call you a freak. But you have a purpose on this earth. You see the good in people. Because I was left behind, I can see the darker souls in addition to the good ones. Together, we will accomplish your purpose. You are destined for great things.”
This was a lot to take in, even for Sarah. To give herself time to think and catch her breath, she went into the kitchen and put on a pot of tea. When she returned, they went outside for some air and found themselves walking towards the meadow that was Faith’s favorite playground as a child. Lily accompanied them to the magical land of butterflies and wildflowers.
They soon found themselves resting against the great shade tree where Hope had revealed her story a lifetime ago.
Faith frantically grabbed Sarah’s arm saying, “They’re back. The butterflies. Something’s about to happen”.
The time had come for Faith to tell Sarah about the stranger who had visited the flower shop. She held nothing back. She spoke of the revulsion she experienced by the appearance of his soul and the conflicting intrigue she felt by his good looks and pleasant demeanor.
Soon they realized a gentle rain was falling. Faith saw the rainbow she had seen in this very field when she was a little girl. It showed itself in brilliant colors then reached down to the Earth in brilliant shades of gold, just as before. Hope emerged once again.
“Faith, what’s happening? Who is that walking towards us?”
“You see her?” Faith asked excitedly.
Of course I see her. She’s beautiful and almost ethereal. She’s wearing a white dress and has flowers in her long brown hair. I’ve never seen anyone or anything so beautiful in my life!”
Do you believe in spirits?
“Faith, I’m so sorry; it’s all my fault!”
Faith interrupted to introduce her dead sister and her very much alive best friend.
“I tried to save Mama, for your sake. You were so young and Daddy was busy trying to keep up with the bills. Mama had been sick for years. That’s why none of the rest of us kids lived. Mama had cancer. She never told you because you had it so hard when you were a child as it was, because of your gifts. I should have come to you sooner. Perhaps I could have saved Mama.”
“I don’t understand, Hope. How could you have saved Mama?”
“She was dying and I was standing watch, waiting for Nathaniel to come take the cancer from her.”
Faith’s eyes became as large as dual full moons. “Nathaniel? Nathaniel Baxter?!”
“Yes. Please let me finish. I was to stand watch over Mama with the full strength of the rainbow to help him extract the cancer, but not absorb it. I thought I had plenty of time. I knew I had to come to you, reveal myself and let you know the extent of your gifts. I felt it imperative to let you know that I am here to help you with the dark souls that you will undoubtedly encounter in your life. I thought I had plenty of time to get back to him and help him save Mama’s life. Unfortunately, when I returned, he was so weakened by the magnitude of Mama’s cancer that I couldn’t stop his soul from being filled with the deadly disease. Mama grew so weak by the extraction that she died, despite his efforts.”
Faith took a moment to let this sink in.
“Hope, please don’t blame yourself. We cannot change what is meant to be; it’s in God’s hands, not ours. You came to me at the time you did for a reason. At least Mama’s soul was able to leave this Earth cancer free. Please see that and don’t feel guilty. Mama hung on as long as she could. You strengthened me on that day and let me know I wasn’t alone; that I have a purpose and you will always be with me to help serve that purpose. Mama needed to know that before she’d let herself leave this world. Oh, how she loved us!”
Faith wept freely and uncontrollably for the first time in years. Sarah held her close to let her know she’d always be there for her. Lily curled up in Faith’s lap as if to say, “I’m here for you Mom. I love you.”
When the tears subsided, Faith looked up at Hope and asked, “What of Nathaniel? I saw his soul and mistook him for evil. What is to become of him? And why is he here now?”
Shauna L Bowling
Refining, Defining or Rhyming
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© 2013 Shauna L Bowling