Wednesday, November 30, 2011


The church picnic was boring and poorly attended for a church of two hundred. Not even the pastor had attended. After lunch, there were no games for the kids, no horseshoes or table games for the adults. Church members just sat around tables in the shade. Being a newcomer, Stevie was on the outside of the conversation. And being alone, she felt like a fifth wheel among so many couples and longtime friends. It was not that anyone was overtly standoffish, but Stevie could not help imagining that the words newcomer and divorcee were tattooed across her forehead. It would take some time to break into this "loving" group of Christians, she assessed.

Stevie drifted away from the picnic to the small amphitheater where preparations for the rally were almost complete. Finally, Bellardi's large entourage arrived on the platform, the band played on to the delight of the audience, which was now on its feet. Stevie's eyes flitted between the smiling candidate and his wife, standing front and center, and Wes, the young volunteer, buried three rows back in the platform crowd. She eagerly awaited the senator's address.

Suddenly Jeremiah 29:11 flashed through her mind: "For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Yes, thought Stevie, a future and a hope. . . .

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