Yesterday Jordan and her siblings decided to at least try to trust the couple that is adopting them. In this post they discussed their ideas and ended up agreeing that they were home. But even after their agreement Jordan finds herself wondering how she can be at home with total strangers. And she might just find out!
Surprises at Church.
We walked to church. It was only a mile away and in the late afternoon the world was at peace. We strolled down the street and enjoyed the landscape around us. It was mostly houses.
But at last we reached Aqua Way the street that lead to the church. And as we headed up I was pleasantly surprised! The church was adorable!
It was cozy and a little worn at the edges but it was beautiful. It looked homey and the people strolling in with us seemed to fit it. Girls wore dresses and guys wore shorts. They were all laid back and no one seemed to be in a hurry. The pastor stood at the door smiling and talking to everyone as they arrived.
The church was at the edge of town on a little hill. Trees were crowding close around it as if they wanted to be sure it was safe. We climbed the hill and everyone there smiled in a friendly way. James and Ana greeted the pastor and they chatted with almost everyone! They seemed to have many friends and that was when I remembered that they had lived there before.
We entered the church to find it as picturesque inside as outside! There were four windows, two on each side wall. A wooden stage and the pulpit were up front. Behind them hung a large, wooden cross on the wall! Two rather rusty old fans hung from the rafters. However they were unneeded for all windows were open and were allowing ample air to run through.
Unexpectedly the feeling I always got in the summer overcame me! The open windows, the ladies hats, and dresses, the air breezing in, it all made me remember summer! We seated ourselves on the old, well padded benches and prepared for church.
The congregation stood up when the band entered and they sang like they meant it. Even when the piano sounded a little of tune and the guitarist forgot his solo, they sang beautifully. The guy singing way of key in the back ground for once didn’t bother me, nor did the alleluias, or hand raising. They at least sang instead of whispering around like the old church.
The sermon was ok. The Pastor told some stories and had a neat point. But while I admired the little, old Pastor for his stories, I still knew religion was crazy. I ended up watching cars out the window till we stood up and sang again.
I enjoyed singing though most of the songs were rather boring. But the last song, Amazing Grace, was not boring.
A young girl, about my age, came up to the stage. Behind her stood the violinist. The guitar guy was sitting down. Obviously he was not playing. The piano started and the drums kept the beat but the violin was the main instrument. And then the girl began her song.
She had shoulder length, brown-black curls. And she wore a light blue dress that contrasted her tan skin. Her blue eyes shone as she sang. And she could sing! She grinned out at the crowd and sang the ancient words. And for the first time ever a religious song made me stop and listen for I had never heard Amazing Grace sung as a solo. But it was the second verse that really caught my attention.
“Through many dangers, toils, and snares I have already come.
“T’was grace that brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home.”
Home. That’s what James and Ana were offering us. A home. A real one! And we siblings had vowed to trust that they really meant it! Was the song saying their God had a home for them?
Was that why people liked the Christian God so much because He cared about them. Was it possible He cared for everyone! Did He have a home and a safe place for everyone! Did He really have unending love and amazing grace? Or was He even real? I was thinking hard as the song came to the last verse,
“This earth will soon dissolve like snow. The sun forbear to shine.
“But God who called me here below will be forever mine.”
How, after all that, could they still want God? But if He really did care for them how could they not? And then the song ended leaving me still in awe and wonder. This God they had sung of, was He really real? And surprisingly I found myself wondering if maybe, just maybe, He was real after all.
Church ended with a burst of applause for the soloist and a loud noise as everyone started talking. Several people started crowding to James and Ana wanting to talk to them. Obviously they had been missed while they were gone!
We squeezed out of the pews and gathered in a corner while the adults chattered and laughed. I was kind of shoved back in the back which was ok with me. I was thinking of the song.
Maybe, I decided, because they believe their God is so nice that is why James and Ana want to adopt us. Do they want to give us a home like He did to them?
It was a rather odd idea but it made sense. I was deep in thought when without warning a voice spoke and startled me,
“Ah. Oh!” I jumped and starred at the speaker. It was the girl. The amazing singing!
“Hey, sorry!” She cried.
“No, that’s fine.” I tried to smile through my shyness. She was even prettier up close! She was the type of girl I’d always wanted to look like! She had strong, tan arms, beautiful hair, and a fun smile. She looked powerful yet totally lady like.
“Good job singing.” I stuttered, feeling very introverted.
“Thanks.” She beamed rather embarrassed, “I love singing, that was only the second time I’ve sung a solo!”
“You acted like you knew what you were doing!”
“I didn’t! I was shaking so bad I just about couldn’t start!”
“Oh!” I breathed, imagining the horror of facing a fear with quaking knees. That always was the hardest way to face things! “But,” I exclaimed triumphantly, “you faced your mortal fears and came out strong, so that’s awesome!”
“Yah, I guess so!” She giggled at me and wondered, “What’s your name?”
“Well, Jordan, I’m so glad to met you!”
“Uh, me too. What is your name?”
“Oh, sorry! I forgot to tell you! I’m Annika.” She grinned like she had earlier, “Annika Grace Florez.”
“Oh! Are you related to James and Ana?”
“Yes.” She beamed as two little boys elbowed past her. “James is my dad’s brother in fact.” She stepped out of the way as more people crowded in “We are cousins!”
“Yes.” She proclaimed, “That’s why I’m so glad to met you. And, well,” She sighed as someone else squeezed through, “come one. Let’s go outside!” She grabbed my hand “You ready?”
“I think.” I wondered what she meant.
“Ok.” Promptly she charged through the crowd and drug me out the door!
We stepped out into a cool, breezy evening. Kids were dashing about on the lawn laughing and playing. The trees looked green and gorgeous in the new, summer air. It seemed summer was finally beginning to arrive!
Annika lead me over to a fountain behind the church. It was a quiet and cool garden with a patio and two benches on either side of the fountain. She exhaled contentedly as she plopped down on the bench.
“We live right over there.” She told me pointing back behind the woods, “Dad’s the pastor but he was gone this week that’s why Mike was preaching.” I sat down beside her and took in the tranquil setting.
“It’s beautiful here! I didn’t know there were woods around here!”
“There are.” She laughed, “Dad says we have an ocean, a woodland, a prairie (he means the dunes) and a desert. (The beach.) That’s why it’s best to live on an island!”
“I really like it.” I whispered. Some how it was scary to admit it because then it would hurt more to leave if I had to. At once I realized I did want to live there. And I wanted to be able to trust that James and Ana really were kind.
Annika had heard what I had whispered. “I’m glad you like it.” She decided. “I know Ana has always loved this place and it’s been James home at heart always.”
I smiled still thinking about all that had happened. “I can see why they like it.” I noted.
“They really love you guys!” She randomly stated.
“Yes. Dad has told me all sorts of stories James has told him. And today as I was struggling through that mass of people, and trying to find you, I heard them telling everyone quite proudly, ‘And our kids are Kate, Jordan, Scott, Rhyan, and Pearl!’ “She laughed, “In fact I feel like I sort of know you because of all Dad tells us that James told him!”
“They really like us?” I half asked, half stated.
Annika eyed me with a grin and questioning look. “Yes, I could especially tell last night.”
“Last night?” I had hoped she didn’t know.
“Yes, last night. Of course they called us.”
“But really.” She noted, “Ana was scared almost to death and James couldn’t stop moving and praying he was so distraught.”
I listened and thought about the previous night. When James and Ana had seen us the look I hadn’t noticed in their eyes was a look of unending joy! They were delighted to find us and I’d been to scared to notice. They did really mean it after all.
“What’s wrong? Are you cold?” She wondered.
“No.” I looked up into her kind, blue eyes and wondered if I should tell her my fears.
She declared, “Hey, you can trust them. I would know I’m their niece!”
“Oh . . .” I breathed out one, long sigh, “but to trust someone,” I noted, “is a dangerous thing.”
“Yes, it is.” She agreed, “But with the right people it is also a beautiful thing. If you love them enough trust will build up if it should. Not all people should be trusted. But those who can be will prove it eventually.”
So trust came from love. That made sense to me! And as she spoke all my worries seemed to sweep off for a moment. After all she was right. I didn’t need to trust everyone right away. Instead I let their actions prove their trustworthiness. How they treated me determined how trustworthy they were!
I gazed at Annika and she looked back at me. And I felt like she could be my friend! Why would she lie to me? In fact, why would James and Ana lie to us? There was no reason for any of them to lie. Besides James and Ana had been working for years to be able to get us! They cared for us. They treated us wonderfully. And they seemed entirely trustworthy!
Somehow, in that moment, I knew that everything would be ok. Like in Annika’s song, though it seemed everything would dissolve like snow, home would still remain. For some reason I just knew that. And little did I know I would soon discover how right I was!
To be finished here.