Commit Thy Way – A Sequel to “Thy Will Be Done”

A few years ago I wrote a 12 part story entitled “Thy Will Be Done”. This is the continuation of that short story. If you want to go back and read “Thy Will Be Done”, follow the links under Inspirational Fiction in the header above.

 

Here is Commit Thy Way Pt. 1 —

Jedidiah Brown set his mouth in a tight line and lifted his chin in determination as he stared at the station master. He was not about to let a little thing like a missed train upset his plans.

“When will the next one arrive?”

“Not until 10:00 tomorrow morning, sir.”

Jed narrowed his eyes, giving the small man the sense of being pinned to a stake. The man swallowed hard, but refused to be cowed by the giant that towered over him.

“Any place I can stay the night?”

“There’s a hotel over on Bealer Street, sir, that might still have a room to let.”

“Might?”

The question rumbled deep in his chest and sounded for all the world like thunder rolling across the heavens to the man that found himself grateful for the counter that stood between him and this mountain of a stranger.

“Cattlemen, sir. A group of ‘em arrived today to visit the stock yards. May’ve filled up the hotel, sir.”

Jed sighed and bit down on his irritation. What else was going to go wrong?
“How do I get there?”

The station master gave him clear, concise directions and Jedidiah stepped back out into the cool night air. As he stepped off the station platform and headed into the tiny town, he found his irritation ratcheting up a notch or two at the delay. If it hadn’t been for the other delays along his route, he would have been at his destination in California already.

He stopped in the middle of the town and turned to look at the doorway of the saloon across the way. He was thirsty but found he didn’t care for the drunken atmosphere that floated out that doorway and into the street. He ran his eyes over the buildings that flanked the dusty avenue and stopped when he found a small restaurant a few doors down on the left. The lights showed the place was still open and he crossed the street and stepped up onto the wood sidewalk.

The quiet atmosphere of the establishment was in stark contrast to the raucous noise that spilled out of the saloon down the street. Jed settled at one of the tables in a back corner and watched the young girl that was gathering up the remains of a meal left on a table at the front near the door.

She was young, too young to be working, even in a clean place like this. Jed couldn’t help by wonder what her parents were thinking to allow her to come into contact with the men that might find their way in to get a meal. As he studied her, he realized the top of her head wouldn’t even reach his chin; and again a frown crinkled his brow at the idea of one so young being put to work in a restaurant.

The loud laughter and crude comments that preceded the opening of the door brought Jed’s eyes to the entryway and had them narrowing on the drunken cowboys that all but fell into the room.

“Well, hello there darlin’.”

The slurred comment was directed at the girl, and she shrank back away from the three men.

“Whatcha’ got good, girly?”

This question came from the dark-haired one that had inched his way around the room and trapped her between the three of them. The vulgar requests that came from the other two in answer to this query had the blood first rushing into her face and then draining away to leave her pale and shaken. She tried to back away from them, but the dark haired one stepped forward so she backed into him.

The inebriated man shot one arm out and grabbed her around the waist. Using the other hand he gripped one slender wrist tightly, sending the tray of dishes that she held clattering to the floor. The tiny whimper that reached Jed’s ears had him lunging to his feet and swinging as hard as he could at the guy’s face.

He could feel the shattering bones in the man’s nose as the blood gushed out and down the whiskered chin. The man’s howling cry drowned out the angry threats from his comrades, but Jed ignored it all and pulled the girl safely behind him.

“I suggest you leave her alone and get out while the gettin’s good.”

They lifted their injured friend and carried him out onto the street all the while flinging threats back at Jed and the girl.

Jed turned to look down at her and felt himself sliding into her deep brown eyes.

 

© Drusilla Mott and https://drusillamott.wordpress.com, 2018

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TEA BAGS AND FAITH LESSONS – A Short Story

Back in 2012, I joined Pam Ford Davis’ group Tea Pot Testimony on Facebook.  In one of her posts, Pam asked what one does with a cup of tea that is full of bits of tea due to a broken tea bag.  As I thought about my answer, the idea for this story was born.  The memory of that first cup of tea is my own, shared with my mom and my Gramma Olcott when I was small.

Gramma went home to be with the Lord many years ago, and this past Saturday marked two years since my mom’s death.   I miss them both so much, and while trying to decide what to post for today’s fiction, I chose to re-post this story in their memory.

MOM & GRAMMA O OCT, 1988 b - Copy2

*   *   *   *   *

I stared out the window as the tea kettle began to steam, lost in thoughts of past tea times.  It was on afternoons such as this that made the emptiness of my heart pulse with an ache born of loss and grief.

Many had been the days when the three of us would settle at the scarred farmhouse table with a steaming pot of tea and whatever baked goods Gramma had whipped up for our time together.  Three generations of Olcott women, sharing hopes and dreams over spicy ginger snaps, dark molasses cookies or scones.

Many were the lessons learned as I sat with my mother and grandmother.  Learning the proper way to brew a pot of tea, learning the lessons of being a Godly wife and mother.

I remembered the day I had first been invited to join the gathering, growing the number to the three of us.  I had been just a child, secretly thrilled with the tiny cup and saucer that had been set in front of me.  I had watched in awe as the cup was filled half full of steaming tea, then watched as a spoon of sugar and a liberal amount of milk had been added.

I smiled slightly as I relived the moment of that first sip, the unimaginable pleasure of being allowed to share in such an adult ritual.  All these years later, no other cup of tea ever equaled the taste perfection of that first cup.

The tiny hiss of sound steadily grew until it reached an ear-piercing whistle.  I reached out and turned the knob to shut off the burner.   As I lifted the kettle to pour the water into the pot, tears stung the backs of my eyes, even as I smiled mistily.

When I had filled the pot and set the kettle back on the stove, I lifted the tiny ceramic lid and settled it back on the pot, closing in the scent and heat.  Lifting the tray, I carried it across the large kitchen and set it on the same old table that had taken up the center of the room for generations.

Even as I settled into my customary chair across from my mother, the emptiness of Gramma’s chair pulled the tears from my eyes to run down my cheeks.  Swiping my hand across my face, I swallowed and lifted the pot to fill the three cups that rested in their matching saucers.

An indrawn gasp filled the kitchen as I looked at the tiny bits of tea which swirled in the cups.

“Oh, no!”

I lifted the bags out of the pot, shaking my head at the large hole in one of them.  I closed my eyes in exasperation, then looked across at my mother.

“Don’t worry about it,”  she told me.  “Just get the strainer.”

I did as I was bid, and poured the tea from the cups back into the pot before using the strainer to catch the tiny bits of tea leaves as I refilled the cups.  As I did so, I was reminded of one of the most prominent lessons that I had learned during our afternoon tea times.

I glanced at the newcomer to the gatherings and studied the young face.  Love swelled in me as I met my daughter’s eyes.

“Did I ever tell you about the time great-gramma had this happen?”  I asked.  When my teenage daughter shook her head in the negative, I recounted the story.

On that afternoon so long ago, the tea bag had also been ripped.  When my grandmother had gone through the same process, she held up the tea strainer and pointed to the tea leaves that lay therein.

“Do you see these tea leaves?”  When I  had nodded, Gramma had continued.  “These tea leaves are like our lives before we accept Jesus as Savior.  They are the sin that fills us and contaminates our souls.  But when we are saved, that sin gets strained from our lives, leaving us with a clean soul and heart, just like the tea in your cup.”

My daughter smiled as she studied the tea in her cup, then grinned.  “Who would have thought that you could learn something about faith just sitting and having tea?”

 

© Drusilla Mott and https://drusillamott.wordpress.com, 2012, 2017