The Faithless Woman
The Faithless Woman
Faithless women are all around; they smile and say the polite thing, find ways to lift up those that look like they may need it. But as many of us know, smiling faces can be masks. Behind those masks, there is a woman that is crying; hurting, breaking, lost, wandering through the world aimlessly, and smiling all the while. Giving others hope while keeping none for themselves, showing others that there are other and better ways to find their footing as they walk with Jesus. When the road gets dark and a storm hits you out of what would seem like nowhere, it gets harder and harder to keep walking to find some kind of shelter in that storm, completely forgetting that He is always there waiting to hear you ask for help. Just mumble the words, “Jesus, help me. Have mercy on me.” But you’re so lost and so tired that you forget to ask. Walking through a storm without Jesus can make your storm so much rougher and last so much longer than it needs to. Faithless women crawls into bed, pulls the covers up over her head, and will lay there, and wonder how long they can go without food and water. Wonder; what’s the point making an effort, when everything she tries to do keeps getting slapped away. “What’s the point?” Is the loudest question that a faithless woman, has in her head. Lying in bed, she finally drifts off to sleep.
“What is the point? Hello, is anyone there? Are you listening to me? Am I even on your radar Jesus? Can you see me? What do I need to do to get your attention?” are the questions she is screaming from her life raft that is being held together by duct tape, rope and a t-shirt to keep the raft from sinking. It rains, the waves get harder, higher, and the rain falls get harder and stronger, making it impossible to see outside the raft. As she floats along, the rain eases up; the waves start to calm down and the clouds in the sky part and let some sun shine through. As she looks up, she sees another raft that’s a bit bigger than hers but not by much, heading towards her. She notices that this person’s raft has a motor and it looks as if they’re going to hit her, but the raft slows down, and pulls up beside hers. A man pops his head out of the middle of the floor of his raft: it looked like a regular raft but it wasn’t.
“Hey, how are you?” the man asked her.
“... I’m fine, you?” she said nervously.
“Really, doesn’t look like it, your raft is sinking, you’re soaking wet, and you look terrible on the inside.” He said to her.
“c’mon, hop on over to my raft/sub, I can get you fed, and get you a change of clothes. Mean-while my guys can repair and stock your raft, maybe even tweak it a bit. Give me your hand and trust in me, that’s all you need to do.” The man said to me.
Looking at her ship sink around her, feeling her empty stomach, and uncomfortable wet clothes, she thought to herself, what’s the point? Then she realized; she’s sinking into the ocean, she’s cold, wet and hungry, what do you think is the point? Self-preservation dumb-dumb.
So she took this strange man’s hand, let him lead her to the door in the floor that he opened for her.
“WOW! MAN THAT’S A MIGHTY BRIGHT LIGHT!!! Does that thing have a dimmer or something?” she said as she rubbed her eyes.
She looked again and saw that there were stairs leading down to the next level.
“Ladies first!” he said waving me forward.
“No way, I don’t know what’s down there, it’s your raft/sub you go.” she said determinately.
“Nope, I can only show you the way and open the door; you have to make the choice whether or not to walk through it. So it’s up to you.” He said.
“Hmm, ok.” She said.
Looking down the steps, she didn’t like not knowing what was down there, she look at him nervously,
“Will you hold my hand and come with me?” she asked him.
“Now that is something I can do.”
Taking his hand and taking the first step down, she felt warmer, she smelled food cooking, onions and peppers with some kind of meat. As she made her way down the rest of the stairs she saw that it was a much bigger on the lower lever, a few big windows. In the right corner was a kitchenette, on the other side of the room was a dining room set fit for sailors, clean but built to last. At the back she saw what may have been the bathroom, in the far corner she saw another set of stairs going down. She turned around to see what was behind her and her jaw dropped; she saw a helm, a sonar station, and a lot of other things that allow people to navigate under water safely.
“That’s the cook, Bart. His real name is Bartholomew, but likes Bart. And at the helm there’s Luke, sonar you’ve got Matt and the other guys are working on your raft and adding a few thing to make it sea worthy, because the two ladies that were sitting on opposite ends of your raft were flagging us down, Mercy put your voice through our radio and grace showed us just where you were. I’ll tell you this, if not for those two, your raft would have gone down after that first wave hit you, but you kept resurfacing, my dad sent us the video feed so we could monitor your progress, but oddly enough the sound went out just when you started asking for help. That’s when Mercy patched through the audio feed through the radio. Now Grace was a busy one too! She held you in her arms so you didn’t go into shock, cause being in a storm like that can kill ya, but thanks to those two ladies we had just enough time to get to you.” He said looking at me.
“Who are Grace and Mercy? The only one on that raft was me!” she said, looking at him a little closer.
“Grace and Mercy are the reason you’re alive.” He said.
“Why don’t you go take a hot shower and I’ll bring you some fresh clothes, huh?” he said as he aimed me towards the bathroom.
As she made her way to the bathroom, she smelled vanilla and chocolate, there may have been a cake in the oven and icing on the stove that he was stirring, she wasn’t sure and didn’t stop to look, the shower was calling her name.
When she finished her shower, she poked her head out of the curtain to make sure she was still alone, and she saw a pile of clothes on the sink. She got dressed in some slightly too big jeans and a flannel shirt that she had to roll the sleeves up on. She found some thickly knitted socks and smiled as she put them on. She came out and saw that Bart and Luke where at the table with a few others that she hadn’t met yet, but they looked oddly familiar, like someone she knows she’s never seen but still knows them somehow.
“Come, join us! Let’s pray and eat! We know you’re starving, ‘cause we are.” The man said.
As she sat the men on either side of her grabbed her hand and Luke said a prayer. After unison Amen she ate pasta and meatballs with them, and listened to their stories, ate desert which was the best thing she had ever tasted.
“What kind of cake is this? Angel food?” she asked, Bart told her no as he got a case of the giggles that slowly spread around the table.
“What is so funny?” she asked wanting to be let in on the joke.
“No, not Angel food, but Angel food; but Angel inspired.” Luke said winking at her.
“Have you ever walked through your home or are in the car driving somewhere and you smell food that’s nowhere around you? Like a certain type of cereal or a loaf of fresh baked bread something like that?” John asked.
“Yes, I remember, few weeks ago, I was at an aunt’s house and I got sleepy so I laid out on the floor, because she has the softest and the plushest carpet I’ve ever encountered. And while lying there in a half sleep state I started to smell, roses and sea, fresh cut grass, and some of the other things that you mentioned. And I heard this deep, rich, strong yet gentle voice saying ‘All you have to do is call on me and I will cover you, and take care of you. Sometimes, people need to be and have to be at their lowest; on their backs, so that they’ll have nowhere else to look but up. Nothing left to say but ‘I surrender to you Lord’ so then they can see the wonders of the Trinity.’ She said. Looking around, noticing that she had a captive audience. Desert somewhat forgotten, one of the guys that she hadn’t yet been introduced to was casually running his finger though the left over icing on the plate.
“And when I woke up, I had the smell of the most beautiful flower that smells so fantastically wonderful. And I couldn’t name it if I tried.” She said.
“That smell means that a heavenly presence is near you, maybe it’s your Guardian Angel, and maybe Jesus stopped by to look in on you and to listen. Sometimes people can get lost in themselves and forget that Jesus is stand there waiting to hear you ask for what you need. But so many want to do it on their own, only to fail in one way or another. I mean who can honestly enjoy an empty victory; you win, but at what cost?” said nameless man.
“Well, you feeling any better, in need of a nap?” asked the man whose name I still didn’t know.
“Uhh, kinda, but I really want to see what has been done to my raft. Is it alright? What’s been added to it?!” she asked with enthusiasm.
“Well, let’s go see shall we?!” said the man.
As they all got up from the table to go see she noticed that she felt at ease around these guys, they made her feel covered, content. Nowhere on earth, had given her that feeling, no house, no church, only her mother’s hugs as a child had made her feel that way. She missed her mother, and her aunt, she thought of them dearly as they all made their way to the top deck.
“Alright, close your eyes kiddo, we have a surprise for you!” said Luke.
As I reached the top stair, a hand covered her eyes.
“Alright, you ready to see what was done to your raft?” Bart asked her.
“Yes, I am ready Bart! Show me!” she said wiggling with excitement.
“Notice anything different?” Bart asked her as her eyes were uncovered.
As she looked at her raft, she noticed that the raft was floating and no longer sinking, and there was a door on the raft, like a hatch maybe. Everything else looked the same but dry and clean.
“Go on, step out on it.” Said nameless man.
“What if it can’t hold me, what if it sinks?” she said kind of panicky.
“Why would I pull you out of a sinking situation only to put you back in the same position? Go on, at least try it, here take my hand and I’ll lead you.” He said as he held out his hand to her.
Taking his hand she felt a warmth travel up her hand and through her body. Letting him lead, she felt safer in knowing that if that raft sunk under his weight that the guys that were around us would quickly pull him in. Seeing that the raft held his weight she gripped his hand as she made ready to step out on it, and hesitated for a moment, then she put her foot down on the raft, then she just trusted the hand that was holding hers and got on the raft. Leading her to the door in the floor she noticed that the floor was remade, better than what she had down at first. He pulled the door up and she saw that there was a room down there that was bigger than the raft.
“How is this possible?” she asked.
“With us, all things are possible.” He said.
“Go on and explore, see what’s where, get to know your space.” He told her as they climbed down the stairs. It was a lot like what his raft looked like. She even had people that she felt she knew sitting at a table waiting on her with cups steaming.
“My name is Seth and this is my friend David.” Seth said as they stood to greet her.
“And oddly enough, my name is Noah!” said the man at the helm, he waved with both his hands, letting the helm slowly drift.
“Noah!! Cut that out ya’ loon!” David said putting his knuckles in his mouth to keep from panicking.
Coming up from the lower level was a woman that was very beautiful, had long hair, down to her waist. But her eyes were filled with pain and loss.
“Hello there, I’m Ruth. It’s so nice to meet you dear.” Ruth said.
“And that’s the crew!! Well, plus you that is.” Seth said.
“This is home for us all, we are family, and we take care of each other and that includes you!” David said as her came to put an arm around her shoulder.
Breathing in she realized that he smelled like onions and butter being fried in a cast iron skillet. She laid her head on his shoulder and sighed.
“I should go and thank the men that saved me, I’ll be right back guys.” She said.
As she got to the top of the stairs, she found the guys on the other boat standing around talking and pointing at the sky.
“Hey guys!” she called as she headed to their boat.
She crawled up with the help of Bart pulling her to her feet.
As she got up, and situated she turned and hugged Bart.
“Thank you so much.” She said.
“Please, it was nothing, I am happy to help.” Bart said as she released him.
“Will you tell me your name, please?” I asked the man whose name she didn’t know yet.
“You have always known my name, it’s now fresh in your heart and mind.” He said smiling as I made my way to hug him and thank him.
“Thank you ... so much for all you’ve done for me and given me. I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to thank you enough. You remade my life-raft, gave me help within reach. I’ll never forget you.” She said.
“Never forget dearest, we are only a prayer away.” Jesus said.
“Thank you, Jesus. For everything.” She said.
“Now that I remember you, I will keep you with me til the end. Until the end, no matter what.” She said.
“I’ll hold your hand in mine, so that when you are weak and your grip slacks, I will hold you til the end.” Jesus told her.
As she woke up, she felt fingers trail down her cheek, and a voice that was close saying
“Til the end.”
And she felt her heart fill with answers,
Do you hear me?
I hear you loud and clear my dear; loud and clear.