The new beginning 4

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The new beginning 4

Post by Sharlee » Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:52 am

The New Beginning
June’s Place

The frigid Winter cold was now ending. You could see the signs of Spring coming to life. Grass was turning green; flowers were poking their heads up for the warmth of the sunshine. Although there was still a cool nip in the air, it was refreshing to be outside.

Kelsey loved this time of the year for it was like the new birth in Christ Jesus. The old was passing away and all things became new. She smiled when she thought of how the Lord had taken her from nothing to using her for His glory.

But not all things had changed; Kelsey was glad this was true. June’s Place was still the place to go for coffee and sweet rolls and fellowship.

June would still be sitting at her table working on something. Kelsey slowed her pace. She just wanted to enjoy the day. Taking a deep breath, she was thankful for the clean fresh air. She walked into June’s Place and smiled; there was June sitting at her table, crocheting.

June, looking up, motioned her to come and sit. Kelsey quickly poured a cup of coffee and joined her.

“Hello Kelsey, I am making little Peter James a new blanket. He is growing so quickly, it really is hard to keep up with him. Jane told me that he is standing up by himself. Can you imagine?" Kelsey laughed, "Oh, yes. Jane brought him into the store the other day and he tried everything he could to get out of that stroller. He was so determined, Jane and I laughed so hard. He is such a sweetheart. I believe he has stolen everyone's heart in this town. Peter is like a breath of fresh air; he makes me smile each time I see him."

Across the room, there were two tables filled with farmers talking about their crops and the yield. Every day they would come in and see who could brag the most. Sort of like fishing for the biggest fish. Only they bragged about their fields and crops. This went on daily. Every day you would find them arguing whose crop was better. Kelsey had grown to love this small town and the people who lived here. It really was home.

The front door open and slammed into the wall. Mrs. Jones was standing there white as a sheet. June knew there was something terribly wrong. She stood up and walked over to Betty and took her to the table.

Through quivering lips Mrs. Jones said, "June, oh June, something just terrible has happened. Ralph and Ruth Burns' son, James, has been killed in Iraq."
The whole place got quiet; no one made a sound. One by one the men left, stunned by Mrs. Jones’ announcement.

Kelsey felt glued to her chair. She could not move.

June was able to wrap her arms around Betty as she started to sob. “Oh June, how could this have happened? James was due to come home the first of next month. Everyone was getting so excited and planned a party for him. Why? Why? God did this happen?”

June eased Betty into a chair and tried to console her, which was no easy matter because Betty was sobbing uncontrollably. June took Betty's hands and bowed her head in prayer. Kelsey immediately lowered her head.

Once again the front door flew open as Ruth Burns staggered toward June. All three of the women in the shop looked up to see her; pain filled her entire being. “June, oh June, they are saying that my James has been killed. This is not true, is it? He is coming home in a month, remember? This is just a big mistake; it just has to be. Tell me; please tell me they are all wrong.” Then her legs gave out and she crumpled to the floor.

June jumped up to go help her. But the door opened again and
Ralph Burns ran to his wife. He picked her up and talked gently to her, “Come, Ruth, let's go home now. We’ll talk to June later.” His face was tight and his words ran together. He was in a great deal of pain himself.

June looked at Kelsey and said, “Honey, why don’t you take Mrs. Jones home? I have a few things to do right now.”

Kelsey nodded as she led Mrs. Jones out the door. Everything seemed crazy, confusing, and awful. She needed some fresh air. She opened the door and Jane walked by her and headed straight to June. It was unusual to see Jane without Peter. Kelsey just wanted to get to her shop and sit down and think.

June opened her arms for Jane. “Jane dear, please sit down, I am so sorry you are hurting so badly. God knows that no one expected this news. James was coming home next month, coming home to you and Peter. No words can be said to take away your pain. So many people’s world has been shattered today. We are all going to have to lean on the Lord more than ever. He alone will help us through this. Jane, do you remember when I told you that He would never leave you nor forsake you?”

Jane raised her head and nodded. She wanted to talk, wanted to say something, but the words would not come. She was aware that June was praying and she wanted to thank her, but all she could do was cry. June embraced Jane as she cried; tears were rolling down her cheeks, also. June really had loved James. He used to come to see her daily, and he had loved to listen to her tell him Bible stories when he was younger. He was a special young man.

When James and Jane came to talk to her about their love for one another, she asked them to take things slow, to pray, and seek the Lord for direction. There was not a day June did not pray for them.

James had joined the Army and gone to Georgia for basic training. It was when he came home on furlough, spending every minute possible with Jane, that she got pregnant. He was in Iraq when he learned he was going to be a Dad. He was eighteen and Jane would turn seventeen when the baby was born. James wrote her that he loved her and was so thrilled about being a Dad. He reinforced his love for her and that soon they would be together again.

Jane stood up. “June, I have to pick up Peter from Moms so she can go to work. Will you please pray for me?”

June took both her hands and held them close to her heart. “Oh yes, my young one, I will indeed pray for you and for the Lord to grant unto you His peace.” They prayed and asked for strength and wisdom.

Jane left and the place was so quiet and still. June laid her head on the table and prayed some more for she knew this news was going to shake this whole town up. Only God could soften the hearts of some of the people living in Hammer. Many hated this war and made no secret about it. Now, with this news who knew what would happen next? June knew she had to go see Ralph and Ruth soon. The rest of the day was a quiet one for June. She had much to pray about.

The telephone rang about 4:00 o’clock. June answered it and heard Ralph Burns say, “June, would it be possible for you to come over to the house tomorrow morning? The Dr. has given Ruth a sedative and she should sleep through the night. She so wants to talk with you.”

“Of course, I will come tomorrow morning Ralph. How would about 10:00 in the morning, will that work out for you?”

“Yes, June that will be fine. We will expect you then. Thank you so much. Good bye.”

June went to her table to sit down. She was in prayer when Kelsey showed up and did not even realize the door had opened. Kelsey grabbed a cup of coffee and went to sit down.

June jumped when she realized that she was no longer alone. “Oh, my Kelsey, you gave me a start. It is so good to see you dear. It has been a very quiet day here. Seems the farmers are actually doing the work they so often talk about.”

Kelsey laughed. “Oh yes, they are in the fields today for it is a beautiful day and time to get the work done. I saw Mrs. Jones and Mrs. Henry a while ago. They were going home to make food for the Burns family. Mrs. Jones seems to be doing better now.”

June nodded and smiled at Kelsey. “You know the news really shook up this town. Now they are trying to get some reasoning for what happened and there really is none. There are wars and our young men and women get killed. It is tragic and even more so when it hits so close to home.” I am going to see Betty and Ralph tomorrow morning. There are no words to say that will take away their pain. But, I know that our Lord will be with them and help them through this. He knows the hurt and the pain and will comfort both of them.”

Kelsey nodded. She could remember that pain. Her parents were killed in a car accident 6 years ago and she felt as if she would never make it. But, the Lord strengthened her. She took one day at a time and she was able to function. Now she hurt for Ralph and Betty. No one knows this pain unless you go through it.

June got up to lock the door. She was going to see Ralph and Betty.
This was no easy task and she did not know what she would say to them but she knew she had to go.

Kelsey walked over to the door and said, “June, we need to pray before you go over there. I know the Lord will use you to help both of them in this situation.”

So pray they did and a peace seemed to fill the place. You could feel the presence of the Lord. Once again the Lord showed June that He was with her and He would give her the words to say.

Ralph and Betty lived a short distance from June’s Place. Kelsey
walked with her until she reached her store. They hugged without speaking; each going their own way.

June reached the Burn’s house; she slowly walked up the steps and knocked. Ralph answered the door quickly and a look of relief was on his face. “Oh June, I am so glad to see you. Betty really needs to see you. She is in such denial. There seems to be no words that will comfort her.”

June followed Ralph into the family room. Betty sitting in the
Rocking chair looking so distraught. June walked over to her and put her arms around her. “Oh, Betty, I am so sorry about this. I only wish there was something I could do to stop all your pain.”

Betty looked into June’s eyes and said, “June, I just cannot believe that my James is gone. How is this possible? Do you believe they could have made a mistake? Maybe we should call someone to see if this information is wrong. Ralph keeps telling me that it is no mistake and I just cannot believe it. James is coming home in a month. He is going to spend time with us. We have so many plans. Please tell me this is a big mistake.”

June shook her head, “How I wish that were true Betty. But, I am afraid the news is correct. James is home with our Lord now.”

“June, I just cannot take this pain. My heart is broken. I feel such a loss that will never be filled again. I love him so much. I love his smile, his laugh, and everything about him. He is such a special young man. You know don’t you June?

“Yes, Betty I know that. James was a wonderful young man. You could not help but love him. “

Ralph walked over to Betty and sat beside her. “Honey, you need to get some rest. We have things to do today. I need you to be beside me and help me make decisions on what we are going to do.”

June took Betty’s hand, “Betty, Ralph does need your help. Do you think you can do that? You know that your deep loneliness will not vanish overnight. But even when you feel the pain so intensely, you can know that the gracious and loving presence of Christ.”

Betty straightened her shoulders, “Yes, June, I can do it. Thank you for coming over, It means a lot to me.”

June smiled. “Oh, Betty, of course I would come over. I will be here anytime you need me. Now I will be leaving so you can get some rest before Ralph do what must be done.” She bent over and kissed Betty on the cheek.

Ralph walked her to the door and once again thanked her for coming.

June walked slowly to her place unaware of what was going on around her until she heard a car honk. She looked up and saw a truck driver yelling at her. “Hey lady, you trying to get killed or what?”

June decided she better pay attention to where she was walking. She reached her place and hurriedly unlocked the door. It was normal for her to go to her table. She walked over, sat down, and prayed.

Kelsey thought the week drug by. June’s place seemed to be filled with controversy and arguments daily. The atmosphere seemed changed. The farmers no longer talked about crops and whose field was the best. They talked about the war and at times the conversation got heated. Kelsey had a hard time trying to understand just what was going on.

June sat at her table but was just not she. She had spent many hours in prayer and lost many hours of sleep seeking the Lord’s will.
There seemed to be no answer to her questions. She had to talk to Jane again and needed the words to say. Yet, she really had no idea how to approach Jane or what she would say. Others noticed how often she would just sit and stare into space. No one was sure what was going on for this was so unlike June.

Ralph called and informed her that James body would arrive late next week. He asked if she could come over and spend the afternoon with Betty for he had to arrange to have James brought back home and did not think Betty would not be able to handle that now. June agreed to spend the afternoon with Betty for she knew Betty was struggling. Maybe a nice visit would help.

June was leaving when she ran into Kelsey. “Kelsey my dear, how have you been? I have missed you. I imagine you have been very busy with all your new products that have come in. How wonderful for you to expand and build up your business.”

Kelsey laughed. “Oh, June, I am wondering if I made the right decision but I really needed to do something. I prayed about this and felt a peace before going ahead. Now, I am a bit nervous about what I am undertaking.”

June’s silver hair fell lose from its comb as she shook her head. “Now will you look at this? I have made a mess of my hair.” She laughed and laughed. For the first time in so long June felt at peace. Little Kelsey had helped her without even knowing it.

Kelsey took the comb from June and put it back into her beautiful silver hair. “There, no harm done at all. Where are you off to?”

“I am going to see Betty. Would you like to come along? Betty would be so glad to see you. Why don’t you just go with me and both of us will help her and each other.”

Kelsey agreed.

Ralph was walking out the door as June and Kelsey arrived. He smiled and whispered, “thank you. Go right in. Betty is in the setting room and will be so happy to see both of you. I have an appointment that I cannot miss. See you both later.”

June put her arm through Kelsey’s and they went into the setting room where Betty was sitting. Betty looked up and gave a weak smile. “Oh June and Kelsey, it is so good to see you. I have wanted to see you again. Come sit and we shall all have a cup of coffee?”

They sat down and had a good conversation and laughed at silly things that they had done. It was so nice seeing Betty laugh. She looked so tired and worn out but with Gods’ help, she was hanging in there.

June whispered,” Thank you Jesus”.

They stayed over two hours. Betty was getting tired so they stood to leave but June stopped. She walked over to Betty and asked if she could pray with her. Betty was happy to have her do so. They all three prayed and asked for God’s wisdom and strength. Both June and Kelsey gave Betty a big hug before they left. Kelsey and June walked without saying a word; both were in deep thoughts.

When they reached Main Street, June hugged Kelsey “You know, Kelsey; this is going to work out fine. It really is. God has given me peace that I have not had since this whole thing happened. I have to remember He is in control not man. He will never fail anyone. Don’t work too hard, and try to get some rest. This next week will be a busy one for us all.”

Church was filled Sunday and the Pastor’s message was loud and clear: We are to show His love to one and all. This arguing and division has to come to a stop. There are those who need support from all of us. You all would do well to pray for the family and the families of other soldiers who have lost their life for this country.

The next week the atmosphere in June’s place was much different. The farmers were once again bragging about their fields and crops. Many talked about James but the talk was gentle and kind.

Kelsey was busy in the shop with orders for flowers. She hired a couple of girls to help her keep up. She decided to skip out for a bit. She really needed a hot cup of coffee. June was sitting at the table working on something. It was as if the week before never happened. Getting her coffee, Kelsey went to sit with June.
“June, what are you working on so intently? You certainly are in
deep thought.”

“Hi Kelsey. Yes, I am trying to get this done before the funeral.
It is a comforter for Betty. I have put the dates of Ralph and her
Marriage The day James was born.” She never mentioned the day Peter was born, but his name was added to this beautiful comforter.

June was not at all sure how or where Ralph and Betty would learn of their grandchild but she knew that they would, and it would be soon.

Kelsey commented how beautiful the comforter was. She told June how busy she was with so many flowers being ordered for Saturday. She wanted them to be special and beautiful. This really was her first effort to bring flowers into her shop. Kelsey had taken a step of faith. She just wanted things to be right.

The telephone rang so June laid the comforter to the side carefully not to show Peters name or birth. She came back to the table with a smile.

“Well, Kelsey, it looks like Ralph wants us to come to his house on Thursday. He implied there were matters that needed to be addressed. Keep your book open so you can join me.”

Kelsey nodded and said, “I wonder what in the world Ralph would like to say to us with the funeral being Saturday? Sure, I will go with you. Do you have any idea what is going on?”

June just shrugged and sat down to work on the comforter again. She had a good idea what was going on but she was not going to open that door now.

Kelsey remembered that she needed to get back to work, gave June a hug, and rushed out the door.

Thursday came around quickly. June walked to Kelsey’s shop around 6:00 PM to pick her up. Neither one of them spoke on the way to Betty’s.

Ralph answered the door quickly. He led the ladies into the sitting room. Betty was sitting on the couch. May and Jane were there looking very nervous. Little Peter had no idea what was going on but he was happy being there. June and Kelsey sat down. Betty looked at Ralph.
“Ralph, what is going on here? Is there a reason you invited
everyone here?”

“Yes, indeed, Betty there is a very good reason. Several weeks ago while you were holding little Peter in your arms, I thought there was something familiar about the scene. This would not go away. So I went to see Jane and Peter at their home. I asked Jane a question that had been bothering me for some time. I was not surprised by her answer. You see, Peter is James son. James fell in love with Jane and they were to marry when he got home next month. We have a
Betty stood and looked at Jane. “Jane is this true? Is Peter James' son? Why would you not say anything to us? Oh, dear Lord, this is too much for me to get hold of..."

Tears were flowing down Jane’s cheeks.

“Yes, Ralph and Betty, Peter is your grandson. James wanted to be
here when you were told. I am so sorry. I really did not know what to do. I have prayed about this and knew I had to tell you. When Ralph came to see me, I poured out my heart to him. I loved James with all my heart and always will. Peter is part of James and I thank God I have him.”

June sat back and said, “Thank you Lord.”

Kelsey sat with her mouth wide open, “Wow! Who would have thought it?”

May had known this was going to happen tonight, she was also crying. The Burns needed to know Peter was their grandson. She was thankful this was all out.

Betty walked slowly toward Peter. She bent down and picked him up. He put his little arms around her. Oh yes, Peter looked like James. Why had she not seen this before? She held him close. “Oh, Ralph, we have a grandson! We have a grandson.”

Ralph walked over to her while she held Peter. He bent over and kissed her forehead. “Yes, my dear, we have a grandson, James' son.” Ralph looked at Peter with love as both Betty and he cried.

These tears seemed to release a sweet spirit in the house. There were no dry eyes there except for Peter and who was looking from one to another unsure just what was going on.

The funeral was held Saturday. Many showed up to support the Burns' family. People were wondering why Jane and Peter were sitting with the family. They would all know in time.

June looked at Kelsey, who was crying. “Kelsey, dear, death marks the beginning, not the end. It is a solemn, dramatic step in our journey to God. God had complete control of this situation. I needed to get out of the way and let Him do His work.

1 Corinthians 15:26 “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.”

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Re: The new beginning 4

Post by Hope » Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:04 am

This took me two days to read it and I read it with tears in my eyes. I also got chills while reading some of it I LOVED it and was so touched by the this story you wrote in so many ways. God is truly using you He gave you an Awesome gift and I am so happy you are sharing it here!

God Bless You Love Eva

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Re: The new beginning 4

Post by Sharlee » Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:32 am

Thank you Eva, I do need to break the last part into two parts for it is much too long. I am so glad you enjoyed the story for I enjoyed writing this one. I do pray that it will touch others and I am so thankful it touched you. I needed to hear that. God bless you for being who you are and who your are is a very special lady. May His blessings be yours always. Thank you once again for your comments.
Love, Sharon

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