Nineteen years later
The following morning, I tapped lightly on the brass knocker of Jamie’s door at 9:31 AM. My razor-sharp creased gray pants and light blue button-down oxford shirt upgraded my look from the previous night’s showing. A dozen long-stemmed red roses tucked under my arm added what I thought was the proper atonement for the situation.
As the door opened, I bowed on my right knee and held up the roses as a peace offering.
Jamie stifled a laugh with the back of her hand and leaned forward, taking the flowers. I glanced up at her. She looked stunning in her light blue shirtdress which framed her figure in such a way she appeared godly and sexy at the same time. Both were a natural part of her makeup.
I stood up and when I did, I looked over her shoulder. What I saw stunned me. There on the green Queen Anne loveseat and matching sofa in the living room sat mama, an associate pastor, and a church elder.
I squeezed her hand.
“I thought we were going to do some quiet talking over breakfast, just the two of us?”
Biting her lower lip, Jamie hesitated for a beat or two.
“Sugar, we need wise counsel, don’t we?”
I call it a prophetic glimpse when a person can see what is about to take place before it transpires. And in Jamie’s momentary hesitation, I had a peek into the future through a vision which played out in front of my eyes like a quick Technicolor video.
“Yes, of course,” I said, resigning myself to what I saw.
I held her hand as we walked into the living room. There, I first greeted the two men with handshakes, each standing to look me in the eyes. I bent over to give mama a hug and light kiss. Amid the greetings, Jamie disappeared into the kitchen to put the flowers in a vase. Upon returning, she sat next to mama on the loveseat. I motioned with my hands for everyone to sit down.
As I walked toward the creek stone fireplace, I could not resist peeking in the gold framed mirror above the walnut mantle to check out what everybody was doing behind my back. Their faces looked grim as they eyed each other. Jamie gritted her teeth and clasped her hands in her lap.
I knew it would be hard for anyone to understand my angelic experience, but what was my alternative? I turned to face the group.
“Pastor Reed,” I said, “would you pray for us before I relate what happened yesterday afternoon?”
“Yes, Luke,” said the gray haired associate pastor who I suspected dressed in a black suit, matching tie, and white shirt seven days a week, even on fishing trips.
“Heavenly Father, we ask for Your grace and mercy to fall upon us this morning as we gather to seek You. We pray that the Spirit of Truth will enlighten us to hear Your voice. We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.”
I shared my experience with them, describing the angel’s appearance, his words, and the struggle I had with the whole incident. Upon finishing, I asked if anybody had any questions.
“Luke, what are you planning on doing?” Pastor Reed asked in a hushed voice.
“Tomorrow, I will resign from the ministry. Then, as soon as possible I plan on moving to California and becoming a car salesman.”
“Oh, sweetie,” said mama, choking back her emotions, “what about your marriage to Jamie? And why must you turn your back on your career? God wouldn’t ask you to do that, would He?”
Jamie reached for her hand to comfort her.
“Mom, I’m sorry. This is not any easy time for me. It’s devastating. And as far as Jamie and I are concerned, I’d hope she’d want to come along with me. What about it, Jamie?”
I already knew the answer because I saw it in the prophetic glimpse, but I hoped my interpretation proved wrong.
Jamie looked at the platinum engagement ring with the marquise-cut solitary diamond on her left hand. Tears streamed down her smooth cheeks as she slowly removed the ring.
“I love you Luke, I really do. But I believe you are deceived and that the angel was not from God, but instead was one of Satan’s angels of light. Darling, you are throwing away your calling, your career, and I don’t want any part of it. If you are going to California, it will be without me.”
“And furthermore,” Jamie added, “Pastor Reed and Elder Quincy feel the same way. They were – ”
I cut her off.
“Is that true?”
I turned to face the associate pastor and elder. Both nodded their heads in agreement but said nothing. I raised my hands in surrender.
Then I spun around and walked toward the door. With one hand on the brass knob, I looked back.
“Jamie, I love you, but I have to follow what I believe God has called me to do. I wish this could have played out differently. I really do.”
She nodded and looked away from my furious eyes. This time I slammed the door behind me.
(The above is the fourth part of Chapter 2 for a new novel I’m writing, The Day LA Died, © Larry Nevenhoven, 2012.)
(Conclusion – for now)