Krysta sat at the dining room table overlooking a glistening lake in the mountains of Arkansas. She sighed as rain tapped on the red and gold leaves of the oak trees that overshadowed the stone lined walking trail leading to the lake. It was raining on her mini vacation and she was content. “I needed this.” Nothing but peace and quiet for three days. Krysta decided to treat herself to an autumn getaway at a resort on the outskirts of Hot Springs, Arkansas in hopes of shaking the heaviness of depression at the loss of her best friend of twenty years. It had been almost year, and this weekend would have been filled with the girlfriends celebrating Shakyra’s thirtieth birthday. But Shakyra was gone. A blood clot had claimed the one friend she had shared her most intimate secrets and dreams. “I can do this. I have to keep living and not let the end of our journey end my life,” she thought as she pulled on her rain jacket and rubber boots to hike to the lake.
She loved walking and meditating in the woods. “Lord, I know you have Shakyra now, but I miss her so much.” She whispered as she slowly descended the steps of her cabin. The rain had stopped, but droplets fell from the leaves sketching trails of water down her jacket. “You gave me Shakyra and I thank you for our friendship. What do you want me to learn from this experience? I am here this weekend to be with You. I want to know Your plan for the next journey in my life.” As she approached the lake, Krysta spotted a covered pier occupied by a café style table and two chairs. She looked around to see if there was a cabin nearby before deciding to sit down to admire the picturesque scenery surrounding the lake. Since there was no sight of a cabin or people, Krysta sat down and inhaled deeply, “Lord, this is so beautiful. Shakyra would have loved it here. She would have gotten bored in just a few minutes, but she would like to have her picture made here. Thank you for drawing me to this place. You paint a very pretty picture, Lord.” She smiled and said, “I would name a painting of this place Peace.”
“So would I,” a deep voice startled Krysta. She jumped from her seat. Standing at the rail a few feet away stood the most handsome man Krysta had ever seen. His ruddy complexion was highlighted by his auburn hair and dark eyes. He wore a blue plaid shirt which hung untucked at the waist of his jeans. He smiled a crooked smile and lifted an eyebrow. “I hope I didn’t scare you. I saw you sit down and thought I would come to see if I could be of assistance. I’m staying at the top of the hill there.” He pointed to the trail leading way from the pier.
“I am so sorry. I didn’t mean to trespass. It just looked so inviting.” Krysta apologized and began to walk towards the trail.
“You don’t have to leave. Please stay and enjoy the view. My name is Eli.” He extended his hand for a handshake.
“I’m Krysta and thank you,” Krysta shook Eli’s hand and noted the contrast of softness and strength in his shake. “I don’t want to intrude.”
“You aren’t intruding. I am renting the cabin and the pier comes with it. Frankly, I would love to have someone to talk to right now. I have been here for a month and you are the first person I have encountered other than the people at the store when I go buy supplies.”
“You’ve been here for a month. That’s a long time to be away from home. Don’t you miss your family?”
“I miss my parents, but they are enjoying their retirement in Arizona. I’m not married and have no children. I live in San Diego, but I travel a lot for work.”
“Oh, what kind of work do you do? If you don’t mind me asking.”
“I’m an author. I write for magazines and I am currently working on a novel. I came here for the solitude. Too many distractions at home and on the road.”
“And here I am intruding on your seclusion.”
“You are not intruding, believe me. I was just thinking I needed to have a conversation with a human before writer’s block sent me into depression.” He smiled. “Please sit. Can I bring you something to drink, like a cup of coffee, tea, a glass of wine?”
“A cup of hot tea would be great.”
“Wonderful, I will return shortly. Enjoy the view.” Eli hurried up the hill to his cabin. “Well, that was fast, Lord. When I asked for some company, I didn’t expect such a lovely answer so quickly,” he thought as he heated a mug of water in the microwave for tea.
When I started writing at the beginning of this week, several thoughts came to mind. I really enjoyed writing the hope stories and felt drawn to writing about answers to prayers. Hope and A Prayer is the introduction to a novel that is turning over in my mind. We all know that God doesn’t always answer prayer as quickly as we would like to. But over the next few weeks I am going to share stories of prayers I have witnessed God answer. Eli and Krysta are starting a journey together and will narrate stories of answered prayers. I invite you to and I hope you feel free to share your stories of answered prayers in the comments on this page. Psalms 34:1 says, “I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” I believe we praise Him when we acknowledge that He is the answer and solution to every victory in our lives.