Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Pay it Forward


1 Peter 3:8
Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.

As many of you know, I am working diligently to produce the next two books for Adventures in The Glade.  Truly, I released the first installment believing I knew where Book 2 would end.  But I was wrong.  The story just keeps unfolding!  Now, however, I am nearing the end, I pray, with manifold and thorough edits to follow.  This will take time; time I know God is granting me.  After all, this work is His, not mine.  I'm only an instrument to be played by His plans and orchestrated in His courts.

I would like to share with you today an excerpt from Book 3 which I recently wrote.  Please allow me to set the stage:  David and Sarah Murray are the grandparents of Davy and Sarah.  They are travelling from Hawaii to spend some much needed time with family far too distant from them.  David and Sarah are also the parents of John, Kate's first husband, who died in overseas combat.  Their reunion is a long time coming.  And the unexpected glimpse into their son's past as they make their way toward their destination is something I hope will inspire you.

David and Sarah Murray reached Blue Ridge, Georgia, about mid-afternoon and decided to look for lodgings there for the night.  It was the height of the tourist season, but they were hoping beyond hope they could secure a motel room.  Good fortune found them when they inquired about availability at the Comfort Inn whose sign they had spotted from the highway.  While David took care of the arrangements, Sarah stood at a distance from the reservations desk, perusing a rack of pamphlets advertising the many attractions the area offered.  

The clerk behind the desk, whose name badge read "Roger," greeted David warmly.  "How long will you be staying with us?"  Roger inquired.

"Just one night," said David.  "We're heading up to North Carolina and the Nantahala Mountains tomorrow."

Roger grinned broadly.  "That's some mighty gorgeous country up there," he declared.  "God's country, I call it.  I've been up that way countless times.  Is this your first visit to that area?"

"No," David admitted, "but that was so long ago, it will seem new all over again."

Roger took David's credit card and was prepared to swipe it when he noticed the "check I.D." in the place reserved for a signature.  "Sir, my I see your driver's license?"  he asked courteously.

"Why, certainly," David answered as he retrieved it from his wallet.  "I'm glad you caught that, son.  Most folks don't and that's a shame.  You can't be too careful nowadays."

"Yes, sir, I agree," said Roger as he scrutinized the license.  When he saw David's last name and realized his place of residence was Hawaii, he had a sudden flash of memory.  He studied David's face and noticed a familiar green in those eyes, such a rare color he had seen only in one other person his entire life.  It was a long shot, but curiosity got the best of him.  "Begging your pardon, Mr. Murray," Roger said, "but is your wife's name 'Sarah' by any chance?"

David was understandably taken aback.  "Why yes, it is," he said.  "How did you know?"

"I really didn't know," Roger admitted, "but I took a guess based on your last name and the fact you live in Hawaii.  Plus, sir, I've only seen eyes the color of yours on a friend I served with in the military.  His name's John Murray.  Is he, by any chance, your son?"

At this most unexpected question, David once again experienced the grief he thought he'd buried all those years ago come churning to the surface like a tidal wave.  Before he could stop them, he felt tears stinging his eyes and a lump rising in his throat.  David lowered his eyes, trying to gain his composure.  He was barely able to croak out an answer.  "Yes, he was," he said haltingly.  "John was killed in the line of duty."

Roger's face fell and his hands began to shake.  "I'm so sorry," he stammered awkwardly.  "John was a good man, a loyal soldier, and an even better friend.  If I'd known, sir, I'd never have brought it up."

David forced a smile.  "It's not your fault, Roger," he said with as much grace as he could muster.  "Thank you for your kind words about John.  Any father wants to hear good things about his son."

"You have every reason to be proud, sir," Roger said, a bit more confidently now.  "We were only in our unit together for two months, but he looked after me like I was his kid brother.  I was only 18 and scared out of my wits.  His encouragement was the glue I needed to hold myself together and make it though."

"I'm glad to know that," David said sincerely, giving permission for a tear to fall as he reached over the counter to shake Roger's hand.

"And there's one more thing you need to know, sir," Roger said as he raised the signed charge slip up with his free hand.  "Your stay tonight is on me."

~
Roger is the perfect example of what it means to "pay it forward."  When have you done the same?

Prayer:  Father, may You help us all to be like-minded, sympathetic, compassionate, and humble as is Roger in the story.  Allow us to pay it forward and bring joy to others in Your name.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.


10 comments:

  1. I am looking forward to the next two installments Martha. I have loaned the first three to a young man who had them devoured in no time. I got them back and gave him #1 in Adventures. Meanwhile, I have passed on the other 3 to another young man. :) On your post: I will never complain about being a recipient of something like this, but I love doing this for others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for passing the books on to others, Bill. That's how the good news is spread!
      As for paying it forward, in writing this, I realized it's something I don't do enough of. That's probably why God called me to write this passage as a reminder of how He would have me live.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  2. Martha, your words are so very powerful. We never know the impact we can make on a person's life by the smallest of gestures. Paying it forward really doesn't have to be huge or even cost us anything. I've paid it forward by opening doors for others--especially if they are on crutches (I've been there!) or their hands are full.
    Love and blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Kim! Yes, we can pay it forward in even the small ways each and every day. Thanks for that reminder, my friend!
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  3. Pay it forward - it's a wonderful concept, isn't it? It blesses the giver and the recipient alike!

    Keep up the great writing, Martha - your story is captivating.

    GOD BLESS!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do love that concept, Sharon, as it does bless all involved. Thanks, too, for your kind words about my story.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  4. Martha, I am always so impressed by those who can write beautiful fiction. I don't have a very good imagination. Being able to teach through stories is a gift. Thank you for sharing it here with us. Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Deb, for your compliment here. I do feel God has given me a gift which I need to use for His glory. So far, so good! :)
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  5. This is so exciting to read here today and what a wonderful concept to build into the story. I certainly agree that stories take on their own life - you never are sure where they are heading.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your kind words here, Jean! I do love how the characters will move me in directions I never imagined possible. God is so good!
      Love and blessings!

      Delete

The Battle Rages On

Today's blog is one I originally posted in November of 2013.  And no, the leaves here have not yet started to turn, but I know some o...