This post is a short story that was originally written for and posted at Idylls for the King, a Christian Literary blog I contribute to (which is currently on summer hiatus). I’ve been out of town most of this past week and am heading out on another trip with my sister tomorrow, so I decided to re-post this story here for today’s post because I don’t have time to write something new. I hope you enjoy it.
Sarah stood staring out the picture window across their perfectly manicured lawn. She and John had settled here almost 20 years ago, but it seemed like forever. In the beginning, she was happy here. John kept up the yard and gardens, and she kept the house and cooked for them. But lately a feeling of discontent and despair crept over her when she least expected it. Now was one of those times. She knew there was more to life than what she had, than what they had.
Beyond the blooming rose bushes and the Sycamore tree was the crossroads. She gazed thoughtfully down the narrow bumpy dirt road to the left. She could see where it led from her vantage point at the picture window. It didn’t look like much in the beginning, but she knew pure beauty was found at the end of that road. She longed to move away from this place to a house farther down that road, a small house with everything they needed to be content.
But John wouldn’t listen. He had his eye on a big mansion up the highway going the other direction. And so here they stayed, at the crossroads. Neither was willing to go with the other down their desired road, but neither wanted go on alone either.
“Till death do us part” was what they had promised. Sarah knew she had made a commitment to John that God did not want her to break. But she was miserable living at the crossroads.
Sarah couldn’t really blame John for wanting to move to the mansion up the highway. When they had first moved to the crossroads, she shared that dream with him. The two newlyweds had taken many trips up the highway, admiring all that it had to offer and talking of their future there together.
But over time she had grown discontent with the offerings of the highway. She had gone on her own for a few walks down the narrow bumpy road and found that it was very peaceful. John had gone with her a few times, but he always seemed bored; there was no glitz and excitement there. At times the narrow road seemed almost harsh and treacherous, and John didn’t like that.
But she knew peace down that road, a peace the highway could never offer.
Sarah turned from the picture window and slowly wandered into the kitchen. The feeling of sadness made each step as heavy as if she was wearing lead boots. She had promised John a pecan pie, but she didn’t feel like baking.
She turned on her iPod and hit shuffle. As she methodically gathered the ingredients for the pie, the old hymn “I’ll Fly Away” began to play. She stopped, tears flowing from her eyes. “Just a few more weary days and then . . .”
Sarah looked up and cried out to God, “How many more days, Lord? How many?”
“Just enough,” she heard Him say. “Just enough, my child.” Just then the clouds outside the kitchen window scattered, and bright rays of sunshine struck her face. Their warmth engulfed her as in a loving embrace.
When the song was over, Sarah dried her tears and continued with her pie making. A feeling of peace came over her as God granted her the patience to wait, to remain at the crossroads until John was ready to go with her down the narrow bumpy road to that beautiful, peaceful house in the clearing. Or until God called her to follow that road alone.