JEM Ministries
Jesus Every Minute

Round Robin - October 30, 2002
Jenny


Installment 1: Barb Campbell:

A full moon hung low in the dark night sky, illuminating the silent world below. All quiet there as families sleep soundly in their beds. Soon the start of a new day will be upon them and the stillness will give way to the hectic pace that has become the norm.

Lying calm and still in his bed, Thomas let the rare quiet envelope him. Another day was approaching and its list of activities was already invading his mind, trying to eat away at the temporary peace there.

"Lord," he whispered, "Give me the strength for today -- 1 day, Father -- that's all I am asking."

Slowly he turned to the empty spot in the bed -- a mirror of the empty spot in his heart. Once again he was reminded that Jenny is no longer there. No more ragged breaths and fitful sleep for her - oh no -- she is singing with the angels now, praising her glorious Lord for His eternal goodness! She has a better view -- she can see The Plan unfurl and understand how all the pieces fit together. How Thomas wished he had that view, but he didn't. No, he didn't have that heavenly perspective here on earth. All he has is this day -- today -- and all that it holds.

Installment 2: Joyce Handzo:

Thomas rolled away from that empty spot beside him and slowly eased his feet over the edge of the bed. The chill of the floor sent shivers up his legs.

"Have to find my slippers," he mumbled.

He padded softly over the polished wood floor and opened the door to his closet. Her scent was still there. He inhaled deeply and tried to imagine that she was nearby.

A tear wandered down his cheek and he let it fall quietly. He sighed.

"Now, where are those slippers?" he asked in a slightly quivering voice.

Thomas bent down and started pushing the contents of the closet floor around. Boxes were stacked on top of each other, each carefully filled with Jenny's things.

His hand lovingly rested on the smallest box. This one contained Jenny's most prized possession.

Thomas reached in and felt the worn leather covering of her Bible. This had been her constant companion for the past year. He reverently opened it and thumbed lightly through the pages. Jenny's neat handwriting was on every page, as she faithfully recorded her prayers and thoughts.

A sob suddenly shook Thomas' body and he dropped the Bible as he fell to his knees.

As the Bible fell, an envelope floated out. Across it were these words:

"To my Darling Thomas."

And it was dated six months ago.

Installment 3: Jeff Imbody:

Thomas stood motionless in front of the walk-in closet, peering down at the small, brown manilla envelope. His eyes rested firmly on the writing on the envelope, his mind drifted away, consumed by thoughts of her, of her face, of her voice, of her eyes. He began to reach down, and stood back up quickly. He was afraid. He had never been afraid of anything that was connected to Jenny before. Even when he had been forced to go through her things to pack them up in the weeks that followed her funeral, he had grieved, he had cried, he had even laughed...but he had never felt fear.

Thomas stood for what must have been five minutes, staring at the envelope, alternating between fear, and doubt, excitement and anxiety. What had she written? What final message from his dead wife? What thoughts and memories and stirrings would it bring back? And why was he so afraid?

Before he knew what had overcome him, the envelope was in his hand, and his fingers were tearing at the flap, loosening glue from paper with a smooth, perfect efficiency that would have rivaled a letter opener. He noticed something fall out on the floor when he had it open, there was a tinkle of something metal, and a flash of silver past his eyes, but he ignored it for the moment. His gaze was fixed on the paper he found inside, finsished in her perfect, flowing script.

Thomas, my love,

Have no doubt that I have found the sweetest rest of all. If it is possible to regret in Heaven, my love, the only one I will have is that you cannot be here with me. There is something very important I need for you to do for me. I had to wait until after I was gone and you had grieved before I could set you on this task. It is one of the most important things you have ever done for me. Take the key in this envelope, and go to the train station. The locker that it opens will contain all the answers to the questions that must be running through your mind right now.

Always know that God is there
Always seek the heavens above,
Never give in to doubt and fear
And never doubt I love....

I love you, Thomas.
Jenny.

Thomas was shaking so hard that the note fell from his trmbling fingers. It fluttered to the floor, landing on top of the key that had fallen earlier, in just such a way that on part of the key was still sticking out, pointing towards the bedroom door. Thomas noticed on more thing before he snatched up the key and letter and started rooting desperately through his closet for clothes to put on. He couldn't imagine how he had missed it when he first read the letter. Written at the top, in Jenny's own hand, was

September 5th, 2002

Today's date, he muttered to himself unbelievingly as he found his shoes and headed for the door.....

Installment 4: Matt Imbody:

For so many months, Thomas had found the twelve blocks to the train station joyous to traverse, because Jenny was always waiting there for him to walk her home. Even before they were married, Thomas had almost floated the distance--because Jenny was either coming for a visit, or he was going to see her in Springfield--but now, each step seemed to take a lifetime.

Thomas stopped for a second and shook himself. “snap out of it,”, he thought. After taking a deep breath and running his hand over his balding head, he summoned his strength and went on.

Mr. Dewitt waved and smiled as Thomas passed the jewelry shop. Thomas could only manage a weak grin. His thoughts were on the day he and Jenny had picked out wedding rings there. After looking at about a dozen sets of rings that Thomas really couldn’t afford, Jenny pointed to a simple set of plain gold rings. “Those are the ones.”, she said, triumphantly. Her words rang in Thomas’ head. He knew she had picked the cheapest rings for him--because a grocery manager doesn’t make enough to buy expensive rings--but that’s just how Jenny was. She was unselfish, loving, and...

Screeching brakes tore Thomas away from his thoughts. He looked up towards the blaring horn and met eyes with an unhappy cabby. Thomas had wandered into an in intersection against the light. He was thankful that it was cold, and the taxi’s windows were up. He was sure he didn’t want to hear the words that the driver was so expressively uttering.

As he turned and began walking again towards his destination, he found himself almost wishing the cab hadn’t stopped. His heart dropped even deeper within himself as he passed the theater where he and Jenny had gone for their first date, the restaurant where Thomas had asked the young woman to marry him, and the flowershop where they had purchased their bridal arrangements. Finally, he stood in front of the marble steps that lead up to the train station. Again, fear and doubt gripped him. What would he find when he opened... he reached into his pocket, retrieved the key, and read out loud... “locker 117”

Installment 5: Denise Imbody:

As Thomas slowly walked toward locker 117, all sorts of things were going through his mind. He just could not even imagine what could be in that locker. The mysteriousness of it all--although he was very concerned, and afraid--brought a smile to his face. This was just so Jenny--she just loved games, especially treasure hunt types of games, and he felt like he was playing a game with her, even though she really wasn't there to play with him. He finally reached the locker he was searching for, and began to place the key in the lock.

His hand was shaking so much that the key fell to the ground. It bounced a bit--and the clanging sound it made--as he watched in horror--just rang right through him. Then as he bent down to get the key, he heard footsteps. They sounded like those of a womans high heel shoes. After snatching the key up, he stood up and turned around to see if he could see who was coming. As he was turning around though, he noticed that the footsteps at stopped, and standing before him was...

Installment 6: Robin Sloboda:

In that instant Thomas woke up. Jenny was sitting next to him on the bed -- gently brushing the wild hair out of his eyes with her hand.

Softly she whispered, "Wow! That was some wild dream you were having my friend." "It sure was," he murmured -- his mind still in a state of dreaming.

Thomas tried to recall detailed points from the dream. The first thought was it was only a dream; he took a deep breathe and sighed with a thankful heart. His beloved Jenny was wearing a neatly tailored black dress and high heals (perhaps the sound of woman's high heals in his dream). It seemed she had been up for sometime, her hair was styled in a shoulder length bop that revealed her beautiful face, radiating tender love to him. In her other hand she was embracing the Bible.

Then remembering one other specific point in the dream; the letter Jenny had written. Her words, "one of the most important things you can do for me" rang through his mind revealing a truth to his heart. The key in the manila envelope -- represented the key of prayer. One of the most important things he could do for his beloved wife was to thank God for her daily through all kinds of prayers and supplications.

He climbed out of bed, kneeling on the floor -- taking Jenny's hands in his -- right then and there he vowed to pray for his wife daily. All the angels in heaven were cheering for the couples love, singing Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty.

Then Thomas told Jenny he would love her forever in Christ.

Amen!

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Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. --1 Thessalonians 5:16-22