Madrigal’s New Friend

“Oh! I forgot about you, Buckwheat!”

Madrigal was trying to stuff the cornbread mix into her pantry, when she found the bag of buckwheat flour. She stared at it for a split second and started calculating in her head. She hadn’t planned to bake a cake, but if she was quick about it the cake could be done by the time they were ready for dessert. David had volunteered to wash up the dishes, so what else did she have to do?

She grabbed the sack and dropped it inside the one clear space on her tiny, kitchen counter. She spun around to set the oven to preheat, and then sashayed over to her mixing bowls, grabbing the largest one from the stack. Balancing it on top of the roll of paper towels, she reached across David for the whisk. “Sorry!” She quickly measured the dry ingredients into the bowl and gave them a quick whisk.  As she waltzed over get a second mixing bowl, she looked at David from the corner of her eye. She was surprised by how much she enjoyed sharing her little kitchen with him. He didn’t feel “in the way” at all.

Grabbing a dishtowel to dry off the spaghetti pot, he paused and watched Madrigal dance around her kitchen. She filled the kettle with one hand, while reaching for vinegar with another. Butter, milk, and eggs seemed to fly out of the refrigerator with just one sweep of her hand.

“And just like that, she baked a cake!” David said, placing the pot on its shelf and returning to the sink. At that moment, Madrigal was deciding which baking dish to use—which one is going to bake fastest, she wondered—but his comment got her attention. It was just a casual comment, lightheartedly floating in the air now. Yet, it made her stop and look at him. She was so curious about this new friend.

He smiled at her and she smiled back, somewhat self-consciously, because she suddenly realized she could be seen.

He could see her.

She chose a baking pan and carried to the stove, and silently repeating his words to herself. She didn’t want to forget them.

Pouring the batter into the pan, she wondered how he knew where she kept the spaghetti pot.

 

Dedicated to The Saxophone Player. Happy Birthday! XO

Buried

This is fiction, inspired by my Father and based on both his and my Mother’s accounts of his decision to answer the call to ministry, instead going to law school.  


He buried his hands into the decomposing leaves and tried to raise himself up. How long had he been there? His knees were sunken into the soft earth; the air was cooler now.  Instead of the sun beating down on his head, he felt the shadows of the trees on his back. It must be dinner time, he thought. Today he would end his fast. It was time. His mother was concerned for him. She didn’t understand; she just wanted him to eat.

He tried to lift himself, again. He was weak. He realized he had not brought a canteen with him—it was definitely time to go.

Yet, he didn’t want to leave this place. He didn’t want to open his eyes. He just wanted to rest in this divine peace as long as possible. Here in these woods he was alone with God, alone in His presence. It was a great luxury he didn’t want to squander.

However, there was work to be done, and he was already beginning to get a vision of what God had in store. His spirit was suddenly filled with an indescribable joy, and before his legs could protest, he was on his feet. He was excited—but not quite stable. He stumbled as he took his first step and steadied himself against a tree. Oh, how his former sparring partners would mock him, if they could see him now. “When I am weak, He is strong,” he laughed. “Amen!” 

Ignacio dusted off his pant legs, and ignored the damp stains on the knees—he had long ago learned how to take those out. One could not stand in the pulpit with dirty knees.

He reached down for his Bible and began the walk back to campus, so grateful and so eager. He could tell his load was lighter now, and he began to walk faster; his gait growing stronger with each step. Buried in those woods was everything he’d imagined his life would be—every ambition, every worldly aspiration, and every dream—and he was leaving it all behind. He was free now, to do what God had called him to do. He knew it wasn’t going to be easy—his mother was not going to take the news well. “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother…he cannot be My disciple.” Christ’s words filled his thoughts. God knows I don’t hate them, but I cannot forsake You for them. 

A flash of the setting sun hit him in the face as he reached the edge of the woods, and his hand quickly shielded his eyes. He stood there for a moment, just enjoying the glorious view and fresh air. His future was before him, and it was bright.

An Encore

Merry Christmas!

I am re-sharing a post from two years ago. I read it again today and thought it was nice enough to share, again.

Madrigal’s First Christmas

One day, I hope to find out what happens to Madrigal. I have big hopes she is having a very happy Christmas day today—and, I hope you are, too!