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A Heart Divided: A Short Story
She couldn't stay
In the house a moment longer. The old farm house closed in around her, suffocating her ability to consider her present concerns clearly. She ran out of the room into the rain and thunder. Her tears lost in the water from heaven. She knew that she was mad to be soaked to the bone standing in this summer storm. Catching a cold wasn't her idea of fun but then the chill in her heart, the storm in her mind threatened her sanity and health even more.
Jimmy was a beautiful person. She loved him dearly and she felt that he returned her love. Would it last though? What would he feel about her in twenty years? What would she feel? Did it matter? Was it worth the risk? Too many questions and not enough answers. As she considered these questions, her outward chill seemed preferable to what was going in within her heart.
Staring had been helplessly at the family photos a moment ago which was making her cagy and skittish. She seemed to be compelled to consider them as she could see her face overlapping her mothers and Jimmy’s face over her fathers. She was almost relieved to be out in the storm now. The wind, cold, and rumbling around her distracted her from summoning those images again. Those pictures that were obsolete in their representations of happiness and unity haunted her. She wasn't as wise as her mother and father but if they couldn't make it work how was she going to? The rain fell harder. The wind went through her cloths and made her colder still. She saw a big tree that seemed like it might give some shelter.
She started running towards it but right as she was only a few yards away, a lightning bolt struck the top of the tree and the force of the connection between earth and sky rocked her back on her heals. The tree caught on fire in an incredible fashion. In view of the rain and the force of the bolt, the tree split in half. It was as if God saw no more use for the tree and blew it out of existence. That thought stopped her, could she really blame God and objectively decide that He had anything to do with what she had just witnessed?
What if it was discouragement from another source? Wherever it was from, she now knew that she had pushed her luck in this storm and she ran back to the house. She took a brief detour when she remembered the gazebo. Once under its protection she started a fire in the potbelly stove at its center. As the kindling and larger logs caught fire, the warmth pervaded her body with physical relief but did little to settle the misery in her heart.
She prayed for the storm to stop, which storm she was praying for she didn't know. She just needed warmth and now that she was warm she found that it wasn’t enough. She prayed for more, some warmth to touch her hearty. Perhaps something that wouldn’t go out when she was not able to feed it herself. Suddenly her heart was calm and all of her questions faded away. The storm didn't stop nor did her issues in life go away but she wasn't cold any more.
She suddenly remembered something her pastor said last Sunday, "Sometimes He quiets the storm, but sometimes he let the storm rage and quiets the child." She knew what he meant now and she settled on one of the benches in the glass gazebo and watched the storm.