Christian Short Stories
Peter has been married for 30 years and has 4 children and 10 grandchildren. He enjoys writing Christian-based short stories with a twist to show God's mysterious ways and blessings. He hopes his work can aid in young people's lives.
Windshield Prayers #1
By Peter M. Deutsch
Elisha was driving to the store, thinking about her grocery list and what she had to do that day. Her baby in the back safety seat was fast asleep. Mindy always dropped off as soon as she got the car rolling. Elisa wished she went to sleep that easy at home. Life had not been what she expected or planned. She'd had a plan a long time ago that had gone missing.
Tom was that loving boyfriend that she just knew was the one, the one to do just the right thing at the right time. He always had that special way of comforting her and making promises that seemed so exciting for their future together. When they had met, all her friends had thought this couple was meant for each other. Having those special dates, going to new and fun places seemed like a dream for her.
After several weeks, giving herself to Tom, thinking that he was the man who would take her into her planned future, as Emeril the Chef says…BAM! Soon after the sex, Tom changed in one weekend, the whole plan, using Elisha as a conquest, he definitely was not her future dream man. Oh, it didn't happen right away, but she detected a slip in their relationship, a momentary glance, a lost feeling. It was not heading in the preferred direction. She would ask those permanent type questions, such as "Isn't that a beautiful house? We could have that someday too.”
“Huh?” Huh, indeed, Tom's answer was no answer.
Tom’s silence during these times sent a cold chill down her spine. Tom of course hadn't tired of her just yet. He figured she now belonged to him entirely, body and soul, to do with as he saw fit. "Heh, heh,” he said to himself. “One more notch on the old belt.” No loss of his perceived animal attraction. "What a guy!”
Well it was about two months into this relationship that Elisha woke to a bright sunny day. It was one of those early spring mornings that you feel anything is possible and all is right with the Lord. Stretching as she arose, she smiled thinking that all was going to be fine. Seeing Tom lying asleep beside her, she felt love and warmth cross her heart, and at that moment she ran for the bathroom as sickness descended on her. She couldn't believe how sick, how fast, and how come this happened. Knowing from other friends that this might be morning sickness which could mean a game breaker for Tom.
Whack! Slam! Boom! Tom was hitting the bed and the wall as hard as he could, "How could you? I have plans for my future, what were you thinking?”
Elisha just stared at him, speechless, not knowing what to say, or do, or feel. Thinking back now, she could of done more, or said more, but she simply asked him to leave. She, at that moment, decided to have this child no matter what.
Tom said as he was leaving, "No way I'm supporting this kid stuff, no way, no how!”
Well as things happen, the baby did come. She didn't have a lick of support from Tom, and it was a lot harder than she had planned being a single mom. Oh, Tom knew about his daughter, but he got most of his information from their friends, who kinda weren't his friends anymore. Elisha hadn't asked him for anything, just the opportunity to see his daughter, but he wasn't having any of it.
"God, why doesn't it get easier as time goes on? It was always said it gets easier,” Elisha said. "What exactly gets easier? I seem to work harder on the same things and don't reach satisfaction with them. Maybe I'm too hard on myself." As a child she thought, all would be arranged, all would be put together for her with no roadblocks or detours, all would be perfect!
"I'm talking to you now Lord and I want you to listen to me. I am not happy. I am not feeling as I should. I want you to help me." Feeling the steering wheel suddenly stiffen up she momentarily panicked. At that instance a voice very pleasantly said to her. "I'm here Elisha, go ahead."
Too stunned to speak, she instantly looked back at her daughter. Nothing was amiss except the car was still rolling down the highway and she grasped the wheel tighter.
"You’re on the clock sweetheart, what’s on your mind?”
Grabbing firmer on the wheel, still feeling the stiffness, but all the same going down the road safely, she became more puzzled than frightened.
"I always grab the wheel when I talk to someone like this," said the disembodied voice. "It kinda helps you from crashing and ending our conversation before it begins. Good idea, huh?"
"Yes, uh, uh, it is. Are you God? Is it really you?" Elisha whispered.
"Yes, it’s me. You can call me Jesus if it feels more comfortable. I know you’re a Christian, so however you feel good about addressing me, it’s all good. What can I help you with?" The voice said.
All her questions seemed to go out the window. "Are you here to help me? Are you here to make my life better, or am I just hearing things," a stunned Elisha said.
"Nope it’s me, and I'm really here to listen."
"Will my baby grow up without a father?" Elisha asked.
"Nope,” the voice said.
"How bout the fact that I'm alone, with no support?” Elisha asked.
"Well you haven't been asking for much support have you. You go to church, you have parents, you have friends, and you have me. Why have you waited so long to talk to me? I've been here all along, until THANK ME, you finally asked for some help. I've watched you hold up your head proudly in church, not asking for anything, not taking anything from your friends, just sitting there holding it all in, taking pride in the fact that you didn't need their support," said the voice. "I am comforting you now. My grace is over you like a warm blanket. Can you feel it Elisha?"
Tom went to sleep after a wild night with his new girlfriend, just an easy drifting off, thinking about his new relationship and how good the sex was. The next moment he was running down the street, it was dark, and forbidding, and he wondered where he was. As he turned a corner there was a fire in a house with many rescue personnel about. He ran right through the crowd of fireman and into the burning house and snapped awake scared out of his wits. Where in the hell did that come from, he thought after waking up in a cold sweat. No more sleep that night for Tom.
Driving to work that morning, Tom thought about that dream. He thought about that dream while eating lunch, and also at the gym that evening. When his girl called to see if he was coming over to see her, he balked and lied to her. He said he wasn't feeling too good today, staying home. He said he was sorry, which in saying that he kinda choked. Tom never said he was sorry to anyone, least of all some girl. Geez, what was happening to him? What kinda of man was he becoming? Where was that real man that he thought himself to be? Dozing off that night, he immediately started running down that same street. This time the street was longer, and he had to run faster, faster, to get to the end. He turned the corner and saw the house again, this time the flames had reached the rooftop. Not stopping he ran past the crews and into the fire and this time felt the immediate heat from the flames, burning, burning. He was on fire, GOD help me.....snapping awake, he felt the burns still on his body. He jumped out of bed and the sensation stopped, no heat, no fire, no explanation.
“This has to stop. I can't sleep. I don't want to dream anymore,” Tom thought as he stared out the windshield. This crazy dream had been coming to him over and over for weeks without easing up at all. Was he losing his mind, or maybe, just maybe feeling guilty. "God, I'm not the man I think I am, I need help, some sort of guidance,” Tom said to no one. "If you’re listening, please give a sign why this is happening to me." Nothing, no sign, nothing.
Shaking his head he turned the radio on and he heard a guy say ‘deadbeat dads should all be arrested, should have their paychecks dunned and they should be simply burned at the stake.’ Continuing he said ‘there's a special place in hell for men who don't take care of their kids.' Then the music came up, it was a radio talk show. “Geez, I didn't need to hear that,” Tom said but he kept listening and heard an opposing view from another listener. ‘So what if she gets pregnant. It wasn't my fault. She should have protected herself. I have plans for my future and those plans don't include a wife and baby.’
Tom stared at the radio and almost ran off the road, because it was his voice that came across the airwaves, at least it sounded like his. "That's crazy, I'm going crazy listening to this," he said as he shut off the radio.
His work, his private life, and his sleep had suffered from these dreams. A discontent had settled over his life that he couldn’t explain. What to do? As Tom was eating his lunch at work, a calm overtook him, and in an almost whisper he heard and felt a warm voice say ‘be at rest, be at rest.’
That night when he laid down to sleep he immediately fell into a deep slumber. The dream started different this time, he was walking slowly down the road and even though it was dark he could hear the sounds of the night, the birds, the crickets, and felt the light breeze.
At a distance he saw the glow of the fire that he knew was around the corner, but he continued walking, faster now, faster. He broke into a run. Turning the corner, he saw the house, the firemen, the danger. Running into the house and up to the second floor he seemed to know where he was going this time. He ran into the second bedroom and saw a baby reaching up to him. Not stopping, he grabbed the child and dashed out of the house, this time not feeling any heat or burn. He ran to the cool grass outside the house and sat down to look at the baby, and he saw his face, a much younger version staring up at him. The baby spoke, "be at rest, now, sleep.”
Mindy giggled as she was pushed ever higher on the swing. She loved the playground, and this man who brought her here seemed to really enjoy this part too. He kept saying, "Hold on, don't loosen your grip. I don't want you to fall.” What a nice day it was, sunny and warm, just a perfect time to play and have a fun time. Her Mother had let her come to the park with this man, who she called ‘your daddy.’ He was very friendly to her, and seemed to really care for her.
Her mother had been busy at the church, helping other children in the Sunday school, and her new job had also kept her busy during the week. This man had seemed to come out of nowhere to help, and Mindy was starting to like him.
When she came home with the man, her mother had said, "Thanks Tom. I really appreciate you helping."
The man turned to Mindy and said, “I love you sweetheart, see you soon.”
(© 2010 Peter M. Deutsch – All rights reserved. Written material may not be duplicated without permission.)
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