Family Non-Fiction posted May 15, 2011

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Love as God intended

The Real Deal

by Janie King

It had been a long time since I had seen that kind of love. My parents had it - that look that passed between them that made us kids know we didn't have to worry about a divorce ever happening in our family. Now, I was witnessing it between our pastors and listening to that kind of love being taught to our congregation.

Because I served as the church secretary, I was around in all kinds of situations; I knew what went on, you might say, behind the scenes. True love, a God-given love, is really impossible to hide. It just kind of bubbles over into every situation.

Most of us have heard about the Fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV). I had witnessed their lives produce whatever fruit was needed to remedy any situation that came up in any given day. They didn't just talk it; they lived it.

The past two weeks had been extremely hard for both of them. Sister Kimberly was with her critically ill mother in Jackson, Mississippi. Pastor Ron was taking care of us, their church family, in Gassville, AR.

Because of having a medical background and being good friends. Sister Kimberly and I kept in touch through the long two weeks she found herself living through. Her mother had been found after being unconscious for forty-eight hours and put on life support. God had touched her to where she was now off of life support but she had open wounds on her hips, back, inner thighs and private area. The fact that she was experiencing severe diarrhea every thirty minutes made it impossible for the nursing staff to get to her as quickly as needed. Thus, Sister Kimberly had learned the nursing skills needed to help clean her mother's wounds and change the bed around-the-clock. This ritual had gone on now for the past two weeks.

It's hard for the person who is in the middle of the battle, but it's almost as difficult for the one on the sidelines; the one who wants to be there to help but circumstances refuse to release them to do as their heart cries to do. I was there. All I could do was listen to both parties and pray.

Life went on here at home. Pastor Ron handled all the ups and downs of the congregation and worked at getting the building project completed. He fasted and prayed for upcoming revival in the Calico Correctional Center. He led us in praise and worship and shared the truth of God's Word with us. As he prayed, we heard the cry of his heart for God to cover "his baby girl" and bring her home safe to him real soon. We felt the love and compassion that lived in his heart for his helpmate, his partner, his wife, the love of his life. I heard the same cry from her heart as I talked with her on the phone.

Sunday night I heard one of the congregation ask him how long Sister Kimberly had been gone. He answered, "It feels like 316 days and 9 hours." I knew he had sat it out about as long as he could. It came as no surprise to me when the phone rang at 7:30 a.m. Monday morning.

"Do you know about what time you're going to be at church today?

"Well, I can go anytime after 10:00 am." I told him.

"I need you to make the church bank deposit this morning," he told me. I could hear the sounds of heavy traffic in the background. We lived in too small of a town for that sound to be heard around here.

"May I ask where you are at the moment?" I questioned, even though I was pretty sure he was nowhere close to home.

"I'm almost to Memphis," he replied. "I'm on my way to see my baby girl."

I felt the tears begin to role down my cheeks. I knew he could only spend a couple of days, but she needed him and he needed her. I could envision the scene that would occur within the next few hours. They would be in each others arms and the tests and trials of the past few days would be put on a shelf as they were just there for each other. There's nothing more beautiful than the love that God places in your heart for the person that is there in the good and bad times. They had the real deal and we all knew it; for they lived it before us every day.


I wrote this from this angle because it was a piece that was put in a book of remembrances for Pastor Ron's birthday gift. I'm always short of money so I did what I found at hand to do. I had the congregation tell me stories of stories about the pastors that had touched them. Then I ghost wrote the pieces and put them in book form with title page, cover page, dedication page, the whole nine yards,so to say. Then I took the twenty stories to a printer and had them bound as a book. It was the most awesome thing I think I've ever done. It touched them in such a special way. It made it worth all the hours of work that went into the project. He got a book of his own and Sister Kimberly then got one for her birthday. I don't know how it will go over here but it has done what it was set out to do.
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