Written In Red
By Pastor Janet M. Fears / Copyright 2012
The professor gathered his papers together, and shoved them into his briefcase, classes were over for another year. All that was left now was to submit student grades. It would be nice to sleep in tomorrow, and not have to wake up early, or battle traffic. With the children all grown, and off on their own, the house would be extremely quiet, but he enjoyed the quiet. His wife Jillian had passed away three years ago. He had adjusted himself to being alone, except when the grandchildren came during the summer months. He frowned. Summer was now here, and he knew he soon would have three eager little boys under foot, running through the house, yelling and screaming. He smiled to a few colleaguesas he made his way to the parking lot, and to his car. What would he do with three boys for the summer? His wife always seemed to know how to keep their attention. Jillian, he smiled as he thought about her. They had meet his first day of registration at college, and were inseparable from that day on. After four children he still recalled her beauty and energy. If he only had of gone with her to the supermarket that morning, maybe she would still be alive. The police said she shielded a young boy with her body when the gunman shot, and was dead instantly. He wiped the sweat from his brow as he merged into the lane leading to his house. Perhaps he could have struggled with the man, if he’s been there. Where was that Jesus she always put so much faith in then, when she needed him. He felt his face grow hot. All those years she talked to him about having faith… about Jesus being real, and life after death, and that he should accept him into his heart . Never, he shouted out loud, bringing the car to a quick stop, Never!“Written in Red “ it was strange how those words suddenly came back to him now. That was what Jillian always said to him when she talked about salvation. She would smile at him and say “salvation was purchased for him with the blood of God’s own son Jesus Christ. It was a done deal, written in red. He was already forgiven of all his sins”. He shoved a TV dinner into the microwave, as he always did after work, and set the timer. As he stood starring out the kitchen window he suddenly thought he caught a glimpse of a woman’s figure by the flower garden. He quickly pushed open the patio doors. What nerve, he said to himself, some strange woman was bent over by his wife’s prize roses. Well he would get her out of there quick! He rushed past the patio chairs almost falling, but somehow managed to stay upright on his feet. “Hey You, he shouted, what do you think your doing there, get away from those roses.”The woman seemed to ignore his demand, as she continued to work diligently with the dirt. He was practically running now, but still she never looked up as he approached. He was only a few feet away from her, yet he could smell the scent that lingered in the air . His wife had worn it for years. She often joked about its name “Taboo”. He stood spellbound, afraid to speak, just standing there watching her long slender fingers move the dirt around in her hands.It was then that he recognized the dress. It was a floral red print, long to her ankles, and she had on that big floppy sun hat that covered most of her face, but he knew, yet it just couldn’t be, he told himself. He reached out a shaking hand to touch her, then pulled it away, as he retreated a few feet. Suddenly the woman stood up, she was looking at something in her hand . He could see that she was bleeding. The blood ran down between her fingers onto the ground in ringlets. “Written in Red”, she said softly, never looking at him, the hat still covering her face. But he didn’t have to see her, he knew. He felt the tears running down his cheeks and quickly wiped them away, only to discover when he did she was gone. He wasn’t a man who showed emotion but he could not hold the tears any longer. He didn’t know how long he was on his knees in the garden crying and asking God to forgive him for not believing in him, and accepting what he had done for him at Calvary. And then he asked him into his heart. He knew God had sent Jillian to tell him one more time . As he raised his hands in praise to the Lord, he felt a joy he could not explain.. Jillian was right, it was written in red, and he would live for that truth. He knew he would see her again one day. That was written in red too . The End
Heaven, that’s what everyone called her. No one knew where she came from, one day she was just there, on the streets. It seemed so strange even to the street folks that such a pretty young girl would be there passing out tracks that talked about Jesus Christ. Oddball couldn’t understand it, but he, like the others watched out for her, making sure no one harmed her. Street folks looked out for their own, and Heaven had become just that. Every day she was there after three o’clock, handing out tracks and smiling, and every day he brought her whatever food he could get from the mission. He figured she was about twelve. He worried about her, she was so thin. Her huge brown eyes looked sunken, and her thin frame could be seen clearly from beneath her jacket. It was like a race to see which one of them could do the most for her. Sheets brought her milk every day, and Bangles made sure she had something sweet , and old Hanna picked up clothes that oddly fit pretty well. But at night she was always gone. Where she went to was a mystery, but also a relief, since he knew night time was more dangerous than the daytime for women, and being older men they often fell asleep, and it was cold too, far to cold for a young girl like her. As he laid down in his box to sleep, he smiled to himself as he thought about her. Heaven had never heard of such names like theirs before. Oddball, Sheets, Bangles, and old Hanna, and she like them all. She didn’t laugh like some of the other folks on the streets. She always smiled and said” Jesus loves your names, and I do too”
He was just about sleep when he heard footsteps coming close. He grabbed the bat he kept with him for protection, and jumped up quickly. At first he only saw shadows, but they quickly got clearer and he could tell it was two people. He blinked in disbelief as they came closer. It was Heaven and some man. The man had her hand in his. What he had been trying to protect her from had happened. Some man had gotten her and was taking her away to harm her, maybe even kill her. He jumped to his feet swinging the bat wildly, ready to pop the man in the head and grab Heaven from him. He stopped abruptly when he saw Heavens face. She was smiling so happily, like he had never seen her smile before. Then he looked at the man holding her hand and blinked in shock. It looked like the man in those tracks she gave them, she said his name was Jesus and that he loved everyone, even those on the streets. She had told them that Jesus wanted her to live with him in a beautiful place, a new home that he had for her, and that he wanted to make a home for them too if they would ask him into their hearts. Heaven smiled at him, and looked up into the man’s face and he smiled back at her, and then looked at him and smiled too. He watched them both as they started to walk away, but not before Heaven turned and waved goodbye. The man took her into his arms, and then to his amazement they both vanished.
Morning came, and oddball wasn’t sure if it was a dream. But the news was all over the streets. A young girls body was found wrapped in blanket outside of a local church a short distance away last night. While others waited for Heaven to return at her usual time, Oddball didn’t. He knew where she was, it wasn’t a dream. She was with Jesus, warm, happy, and loved, and he wanted that too. As the tears fell from his eyes, he fell to the ground and asked Jesus into his heart. A joy filled him that he couldn’t explain. He was so happy, and deep inside he knew Heaven was too . Amen: