“I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race [is] not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.”

~*~Ecclesiastes 9:11~*~

Monday, October 22, 2012

Chapter Fourteen, Part One

         Sandra picked Elizabeth up for worship earlier than usual the Sunday a week after the retreat.  As Elizabeth climbed into the car, adjusting her scarf frantically and trying to pin a few stray strands of hair back into her braid, Sandra gave her a hard look and pulled her hand away from the dark green scarf Elizabeth was picking at.
            “Stop it, Elizabeth, it looks fine,” Sandra ordered.
            Elizabeth nodded and put her hand into her lap.
            “We have more important things to talk about anyway.”
            “Is that why you picked me up so early?” Elizabeth asked.
            “Yes, it is.  Are you going to complain the entire way to the church?”
            Elizabeth shook her head, but didn’t say anything.  Sandra was clearly in a mood and she didn’t want to make her angrier than she already was.
            “Today is a big day for you, Elizabeth,” Sandra began as they backed out of the driveway and started down the street.
            “It feels like any other day,” Elizabeth mumbled.
            “Don’t interrupt.  Today you’re going to meet a lovely young lady that goes to your school.  She was asked to come to church today by one of her friends, but as I’m sure you noticed back when you joined the church, one does not come into the church with the person who converted them.  There’s too much personal history there and in order to start on your journey, you can’t have a Rose Angel that converted you.  A Rose Angel must be someone who can’t bring their personal feelings into your journey.”
            Elizabeth looked at Sandra in shock.  “Woah, woah, woah.  Rose Angel?  Since when am I a Rose Angel?!”
            “Since Pastor Simon thought you were ready to take on a charge.  Now listen, this girl you will meet today—her name is Aimee Jones.  She’s being brought by one of her friends, who is a level ahead of you.  After the service, you will be introduced to her.  In a couple of days, you will invite her out to dinner with the rest of us.  Morgan is going to get someone too.  It will then be your job to try to convince her to join.  Be kind to her, listen to her, make her think she is the most important person in the world.  Do you understand?”
            Elizabeth nodded, unsure of how to take all this information.
            “You’ll be fine,” Sandra said.  “I’ll be right there the entire time.  I know you’re going to be nervous, but, trust me, it’s not that hard.”
            After worship, Elizabeth stood awkwardly in a corner of the atrium with Sandra; Delia and Morgan in another area not too far away.  Only a few minutes passed until a tall Level Three and a mousy girl in a visitor’s scarf walked up to the duo.
            “Ah, and here are Sandra and Elizabeth,” the tall girl said.  “Sandra, Elizabeth, this is my good friend Aimee Jones.  Aimee, Elizabeth is a senior at your school.”
            Elizabeth nodded a greeting and smiled at Aimee, who looked nervous and unsure.
            “Thank you, Savannah,” Sandra said to the Level Three.  “Aimee, it’s so nice to meet you.”
            “Yes, it’s very nice to meet you, Aimee,” Elizabeth finally spoke up.
            “I’m sure you two have a lot in common, going to the same school and all,” Sandra offered.
            “We should get together and hang out sometime soon, don’t you think?” Elizabeth said to Aimee.
            Aimee nodded in response and offered a small smile, but seemed too uncomfortable to say anything more.
            Sandra gave Elizabeth a subtle, but painful, nudge on the arm.  “Right, well.  Maybe we could get dinner together as a group or something later this week,” Elizabeth stuttered, trying to rub her arm without Aimee noticing.
            “That sounds nice,” Aimee said, barely louder than a whisper.
            “Great!” Sandra said with great excitement.  “We actually have to go, but we’ll talk to you soon, Aimee!”
            As Sandra pulled her back down the hallway, Elizabeth turned and looked back at Aimee.  She wondered if she’d ever looked around here like Aimee was right now—in a mix of wonder, nerves, and complete amazement at what she had just heard in Pastor Simon’s sermon.  Elizabeth knew that Pastor Simon had that effect on people.  She only wished she could have the same effect on Aimee.

No comments:

Post a Comment