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Missed Opportunities

I closed my eyes and prayed.  Then I stood at the plate and swung my bat.  The ball landed in the catcher’s mitt with a loud pop.  I missed.  I tucked my bottom lip between my teeth and bore down—HARD.  The ball came at me a second time, aiming for the center of my bat.  I swung again.  Missed.  I moved away from the plate then kicked the dirt, telling myself I had to keep my eye on the ball.  “Get mean,” I mumbled.  I squared my shoulders, took in a deep, deep breath, went to the plate, and determined to hit that ball out of the park.

I hit it alright.  Straight up.  It landed in the catcher’s mitt before I got halfway to first base.  Like the girly girl that I am, I wanted to cry, but I didn’t.  I snatched my bat off the ground and threw it in the corner of the dugout.

You ever felt defeated?

Sometimes when I kneel and pray for something, I get off my knees determined to do the right thing, knowing that at my next opportunity, if I aim right, I’ll hit God’s message out of the park.  But it never fails that just as I am determined to drive God’s message home, I end up missing the ball.

I had an opportunity a week ago to show a sister in Christ how Satan was using her.  I started the conversation with good intentions, but when I saw that Satan was using her to get at me, I got angry.  Before I knew it, I raised my voice in an effort to penetrate her weakness.  If only she’d let go of anger, I thought.  “Forgive others and focus on your own sin,” I told her, “instead of focusing on your brother’s sin.”  Then and only then would she recognize how much freedom she had in Christ.

At the end of that conversation, I felt her pain through the telephone line.  It took me almost a week to fully see what I had done.

I was so focused on her attacking me, or shall I say, Satan attacking me again, that I missed the opportunity to help her.  And I’m not sure if I’ll ever get another opportunity to right this wrong.

When we kneel in prayer and ask God for his guidance, we must let him guide.  The minute I felt anything other than compassion during that conversation, I should have stopped and prayed for us.  I didn’t need God’s answers in the palm of my hands in order to feel useful.  People don’t expect you to know everything.  What they expect is human compassion and understanding—to know and feel you’ve been in their shoes.

I have no doubt that if I’d offered my sister compassion and a listening ear instead of a mountain of knowledge and scoldings, I would have encouraged her and helped place her in a position to seek God and trust him.

As it stands, she’s still troubled and I’m disgusted with myself.

Prayer:  God, please help me to place my will on the altar.  Father, may your will be done in me.  Refresh my spirit, oh God, and help me to know that even in my weakness you are strong.  As you release your love through me, may it also flow from me to the brotherhood of believers.

Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in love.  Honor one another above yourselves.

1 Peter 1:22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.

I John 3:21-23

21Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. 23This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. . . .


“Is Your All On The Altar?”

by C.L. Fairchild

Donna B. Comeaux
Freelance Writer, Author, Poet

Aging and The Fear of Death

Several years ago, my husband and I wondered where we should relocate. I got distracted by his shaky hands. I thought about aging.  My aging.  His aging.  That hadn’t worried me before, but I found myself suddenly wondering what in the world would I do without him. I plummeted into a funnel of nostalgic memories.

Our wedding day came to mind—me in a light blue mini dress; he in his red OU jacket. I couldn’t have been one hundred pounds dried and powdered down. A strappling six feet tall, he had a buffed, muscular body, a flawless wide and naughty grin. His afro-styled hair—thick, neatly edged. Fuzz on his upper lip highlighted a handsome, stubbled face. Romantic at heart, he had serenaded me, whisked me off my weightless feet, and swung me around while swearing to care for me all the days of his life.  Like so many giddy females before me, I bought into that line.  (By the way, guys, that line still works.)

Now, I wondered how long it would be before I might have to take care of him.  Unable to face the possibility of losing him, I grabbed his hand with both of mine and looked into his dark brown eyes.

“Should I be worried?” I asked.

“What? What are you talking about?” He frowned and pulled away.

“Your hands. They’re shaking.”

“So. What about it?”

“How long has this been going on?”

“It happens sometimes. I don’t have any other symptoms so it’s nothing. Now, will you stay focused. We need to make a decision to take this job or not. Will it be Savannah? Or Washington?”

As important as the decision to change jobs and move away from home was, I couldn’t indulge in the activity of decision-making that day. I had to figure out how much longer he would be with me.

I got off the couch and moseyed into the kitchen, to the dining room, then upstairs to the bedroom where I cried my eyes out.  Rustling leaves tapped against my skylight window above my tub. The sight brought me back to our younger days soon after we married.

I remember walking to the OU campus where I worked at the Law School as a word processor. Our first fall together was a lonely one for me. The strappling football player I married was like a soldier called off to war—gone more in those fall months than I’d expected. I thought we should spend more time together. But when he wasn’t away playing in a football game, he’d be at practice or studying half the night.

I’d only seen snow once in my life. As a young girl, about eleven, it snowed in the deep south for a small portion of the day. It was gone by morning. But outside my office window in mid-October, snow flurries fell from Norman, Oklahoma’s overcast sky. Unbelievable to me, I ran out into the cold and stood on the sidewalk and looked at God’s wonder. Within moments the flurries turned to large flakes and gusty winds forced me back inside.

Right now I ask myself: “Has it really been that long? Forty-one long years?” It didn’t seem that long ago when young football players’ wives and girlfriends laughed and giggled as they dressed for the OU games. We stayed up half the night doing each other’s hair and eating whatever we wanted. After the game, we parted ways, mainly because our chrisitianity wouldn’t allow us to mingle with late night drinkers and party half-naked.

When I heard my husband’s footsteps climb the stairs that day, I was forced to return to my dilemma.  After I had dried my eyes, I braced for an inquisition.

“What are you doing? Why did you leave? I thought we would decide this together?” he had asked.

“I can’t do this right now. Can we try again tomorrow?”

“What’s wrong with you?”

“I’m not sure. I think the idea of moving scares me.”

“Well, you think it over. I’m going to the store. You want anything?”

I shook my head. Before I could stop him, he was gone.

As the garage door sounded below, I remembered our first car—a two-door, green Gremlin. It lasted two months before we had it towed to wreckage. Then many months later, after weeks of walking everywhere we went, we bought a four-door blue and white Chevy Impala. A heavy car that proved reliable for the two years we had it.  He saved money by doing repairs on the car himself. He made sure I was safe.

He’s spoiled me over the years. I’m as rotten as a teenage girl. I bat my eyes and get any and everything I want. I pout. He appeases. I throw a tantrum. He caters to my every whim.

I look toward heaven and sometimes I plead with God to let me go first. I can’t stand to watch him grow old. I can’t watch him wither away like that. But no matter how loud I cry, my pleas go unanswered. God is nothing like my husband. He can’t be tricked or manipulated. In a way I appreciate God’s silence because sometimes I’m not sure I fully understand what I’m asking from him. It’s not until my spirit is calm that I conclude there’s no comfort in me going before my husband. Death will be hard for us both no matter who goes first.

But he’s not gone yet. Years later, he’s still here with me. He’s healthy. Aging, but healthy. I realize that he’s not the only one getting old.  So am I.  I smile as I wonder how is he seeing me.  Am I still the woman of his dreams?  He still spoils me, so I guess I am.

That day long ago, I finally collapsed in a chair and waited for his return from the store.  I was anxious.  I wanted to press my head to his chest and hear his heartbeat.  I wanted to gaze my large brown eyes into his then touch his stubbled face, kiss him warm and tender, grab his large linebacker hands and wrap them around my bulging waistline.

Although our hair is thinner now, our waistlines have disappeared, and we’ve been robbed of our youth, we still have each other. It took me a while, fighting against time, trying harder to control the process of aging, before I realized that it no longer matters how old we get or what condition we’re in when faced with our departure.  As long as my husband’s love lives in me, he’s never far away.  God is walking me through a process, daily teaching me to spend more of my days enjoying the moments rather than fearing the inevitable.

Donna B. Comeaux
Freelance Writer, Novelist, Poet

You can find my new book, Selfish Ambition, at http://www.Smashwords.com or at http://www.bn.com. The book is FREE.

Indebted to Love

“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love
one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.”
Romans 13:8

I never did well in accounting.  As long as assets and liabilities were clearly defined, I’d pass my tests.  But terms like “loss contingency,” “LIFO reserve,” or “debt service fund” plummet my hopes of ever successfully completing Basic Accounting.

Often we measure love against our hopes, dreams, and selfish ambitions.  As long as others align themselves with our agendas, love is anchored deep.  It’s solid.  Immovable.  But if others succeed in their personal endeavors and leave us behind, they are seen as a threat.

We are to glorify God through our love for one another, not use love as a measuring stick for personal triumph.  Think not about how we should gratify our sinful nature, but rather have sincere affections one for another.

Prayer:   God, please teach me to love.  

Think:     For every bill you owe, is your indebtedness to love far greater?

Read:      Romans 12:9-10; Romans 13:8-14; I Corinthians 13:1-13

Donna B. Comeaux
Freelance Writer, Poet, Novelist
New book, romance novel, “Selfish Ambition” can be found at http://www.Smashwords.com or http://www.bn.com


“Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when
you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. . . .”
Hebrews 10:32-39

Christ fell to his knees in prayer and asked that the cup of persecution and death be taken from him.  God remained silent.  As a result, Jesus suffered countless hours of torture.

His only response:  “I Am He.”

My response would have been to babble endlessly in hopes that I’d say something to save myself.

To endure such gruesome beatings and slanderous accusations without mumbling a word in his defense reads like a prisoner of war tale.  It seems impossible to endure so much and say so little.  Yet, God never requested the impossible from Jesus.  Neither does he request the impossible from us.  All that Jesus did we can also do.

Prayer:    Lord, embolden me in the face of persecution.  Though I am weak, make me strong.

Think:     How did you respond to slanderous accusations?  Remember how God rescued you from the jaws of persecution.

Read:      Hebrews 10:32-39; Revelations 12:17; I Peter 4:12-19; Luke 1:37

Check out Donna’s new book “Selfish Ambition” at http://www.Smashwords.com or http://www.bn.com.  It’s FREE.

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