Sample Sunday | Historical Romance
A soft contact on his arm caused an internal jolt as he glanced to his right. Sara stood beside him, hesitancy darkening her blue eyes as she worried her lower lip. Dread dried his throat. She only ever looked like that when about to speak directly to a need. Pushed by Someone Christopher tried desperately to ignore. Someone who wouldn’t be ignored. Sara displayed courage in that; speaking in a way that didn’t accuse or belittle. She simply offered.
“Mr. Christopher, I….” Sara sent a fleeting look to the studio door before again meeting his gaze.
He noticed something different in her expression, and the hesitancy didn’t seem to be for him. “What’s the matter?”
She flushed but didn’t look away. “I know you have no’ painted since—” Sara’s cheeks paled. Christopher cleared his throat and looked away. “But could you… could you help me? I try so hard,” she confessed, her blue eyes wide as the recognizable glimmer of frustration appeared. “Even using my charcoals before the paints I still do no’ see an image. I thought….” She finally lowered her gaze, clasping her hands in front of her. “I thought, perhaps, if you could help me as before, something might come of it. You are such a natural hand with the brush.”
His chest tightened with the overwhelming desire to do what she asked. To paint. To create. But when he again focused on the studio door and remembered how large the white… “The blind leading the blind,” he mumbled.
“Mr. Christopher, you are no’ blind.” Sara’s tender tone drew his gaze. Her eyes glowed. “You have but closed your eyes to what’s there, perhaps a bit frightened of what you might see.”
“Or what I won’t.”
“But that is no’ what you want.” She rested her hand on his arm, and the warmth of it burned. “Do you no’ want to see the images again?”
Christopher clenched his jaw and slightly nodded.
“Then believe you will and move to the doing of it. God’s whispers never stop. We only stop listening.”
Christopher frowned and pulled his arm from her touch. “He stopped listening a long time—”
“No, Mr. Christopher. No, He did no’ stop.”
He moved his glare to the studio door.
“You are hurt and angry, and wanting to know a ‘why’ that your heart and mind likely canno’ accept. He chooses no’ to answer, and you hate it. I did, too. But He’s still there. Listening. Watching. Doing what needs to be done to keep you moving forward. That little bit of strength coming when you had no’ left. That little bit of silence when a laugh would have been too much.”
Christopher swallowed hard at the words and what they meant, even as he fought against them. “If He cared, why did she die? Why am I blind? Empty—”
“Do no’ ask for the answer to the ‘why’,” Sara pleaded. “There’s no answer to be had until we face God at the hereafter. Ask the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ and the ‘when’. ‘What can I do to go on?’, ‘How can God make it better?’, ‘When will God bring the blessing from this?’” Sara wrapped a hand around Christopher’s arm and gently but firmly squeezed. “Look for it, sir. It be there. It is always there.”
“I…” And the cacophony of desires… to see the blessing, to have the release, to have that security back; they bombarded him. Pushing. Pulling. Tearing at something deep that hid a terrible agony. A mountain of loss, his wife, his faith, his passion. Desperation to have it back clawed at him, but the betrayal fought it back.
Christopher shook his head and tried to pull his arm from her hold. “I… I can’t.”
Her hold didn’t loosen, which drew Christopher’s gaze. Tear trails glistened on her face as her blue eyes shone with her own memories.
“You must,” she whispered. “For Gwyn. For yourself. For everything waiting to give to everyone else. You canno’ stay in this black place, sir. Yours is a good heart. One that hungers after God’s whisper. You canno’ ignore that. You die each day you do.
Nona King was born in Oregon City, Oregon, and grew up on a 30-acre homestead in historic Aurora, population 540. She has been writing songs, plays, and romance & adventure novels since the age of sixteen. Her first paranormal fantasy series, The Soul Cycle, is a winner of the National Novel Writing Month and based on adventure modules written by her husband, Michael King. Her inspirational romance, Searching for Sara, won Honorable Mention in the 2011 Deep River Books Writing Contest.