As we enter September, I trust you are thriving in the life God has given you. Now is a good time to find out what has transpired in Susan’s quest to find the box. Part 3 continues now.
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By Charlene Elder
Susan had extra free time the following afternoon and she took full advantage of it. She immediately headed to the attic while her mother, brother, and grandma took a nap. After turning the light on and finding a dusty old chair, she sat down, and opened the nearest bin. It contained a lot of notes her grandfather had written. On quite a few pages she found the same reference he’d made, Galatians 5:6, ‘faith works by love’. She wasn’t sure what it all meant until nine simple words jumped off the page. Faith produces love, and love grows out of faith. Her grandfather had underlined it in his notes. She thought on that phrase for several minutes while sunlight filtered through the small attic window. And, as if on cue, a ray of sunlight highlighted her lap and those words.
Susan felt an immediate warmth inside her. She took a deep breath and smiled. I think I get it! When I believe in God, His loves grows in me which causes my faith and belief in Him to grow. Wow!
Still contemplating this new revelation, Susan’s grandmother called for her so she quickly put the papers back in the large bin, turned off the light, and headed back downstairs. Grandpa’s BOX has to be up there somewhere. I’ve got to find it.
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Several days later while Susan cleaned the breakfast dishes her grandmother yelled. “Susan, come quickly and help!” It was an urgent yell.
Susan dried her hands as fast as she could and ran into the sunroom where her grandmother held a cold compress to her mother’s forehead.
“What wrong, Grandma?”
“Your mother has a fever. I think you need to call your Dad. We need to get her to the doctor right away.”
Susan didn’t wait for further instructions but quickly grabbed the phone dialing her father’s work number. She waited while the phone rang, her heart pounding. Finally her father answered. It didn’t take more than hearing “Daddy, Momma’s got a high fever” for him to hang up the phone and run out of his office.
Susan heard the squeal of the brakes before she saw the family car screech to a stop in front of the porch steps. Her grandmother already had her mom wrapped in blankets to keep her warm. Even with the high fever, her mother shivered uncontrollably.
“Susan,” her father hollered as they got her mother into the car. “Look after your brother. We’ll call you as soon as we know more. Please stay here.”
Susan just stared as they drove down the driveway and out of sight. Her heart hurt. It felt like she had just run a marathon and couldn’t catch her breath. Fear began to creep into her thoughts. She couldn’t lose her mother. She had to get better. She just had to.
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After checking on her brother, Susan paced in front of the living room window. She tried combating the horrible thoughts going through her mind. O, God, help my mamma get better. I don’t want to lose her! We can’t lose her!
A mild wind blew the curtain in the living room but Susan hardly noticed. She stared out the window and didn’t notice the dark clouds fast approaching. She glanced at the phone. Why doesn’t it ring? She walked across the creaky floor and opened the front door as a big gust of wind assaulted her. She didn’t feel the wind but heard an echo.
There it was again. The Box.
Susan raced to the attic stairs, grabbed the cord lowering the ladder and quickly climbed up. Locating the light and turning it on, she found the bin with her grandfather’s notes. Rummaging through the papers she hoped she’d find a separate box.
“Where is the Box?” she yelled, her voice echoing back to her ears.
She headed to a corner she hadn’t look in before and started pushing aside bins, old pictures, and some crocheted shawls. She thought she saw the square corner of something—maybe a box—but when she reached for it, the phone rang downstairs.
Susan didn’t think twice, but jolted for the ladder nearly sliding all the way down the stairs. She was out of breath but grabbed the received on the second ring.
“Susan,” her father’s voice was shaky. “I’m not sure how long we’ll be. Mama isn’t doing well. They’re going to try something different, but…I…don’t…know.”
Susan’s breath caught in her throat. “Oh, Daddy!” was all she could say. Just as he was ready to hang up, she hollered into the receiver “Tell Mama I love her!” She waited but only heard the dial tone once her father ended the call. Oh, Mama, you’ve got to fight. You’ve got to get better. We need you!
Her heart hurt again and now tears puddled in both eyes. The floodgate was about to burst but she quickly dried her eyes on her sleeve and went back to the attic ladder. Just as her feet touched the third step, she heard a whisper, the Box. She hurried up the remaining steps and rushed back to the corner, pushing aside the old pictures and shawls. There, buried underneath, was a small brown box similar to a music box. Susan’s hand shook as she reached for it. Grandpa, is this the box?
She just held her breath for what felt like an hour, partly afraid to open it yet eager to rip it apart to see what was inside. Finally, taking another deep breath she was ready to open the lid up when she heard her brother screaming. Susan dropped the box and ran directly to the attic stairs, skipping the first two steps altogether, her feet landing on the floor. When she reached her brother she was out of breath and couldn’t talk, but she didn’t have to. Her brother held up his empty glass. “I’m thirsty, Susu, and I’m cold.”
Susan nodded, still out of breath. “You scared me when you screamed Bobby.” I’ll get you some more water right now,” she said taking a couple of extra deep breaths and closing the living room window. “You can watch the clouds float by out the windows while I get your water.”
After refilling her brother’s water glass, she put it on the table next to his chair and gave him a hug. She glanced briefly through the window at the darker clouds on the horizon and hoped they didn’t bring an early summer thunderstorm. “I’ve got some things to do in the attic but I won’t be too long, Bobby.” He nodded.
Just as Susan headed up the stairs again, the phone rang in the entry way. She stopped mid-step, quickly turned, and rushed to grab the phone.
“Susan.” It was her grandmother. “We don’t know how long we’ll be. Are you both all right?”
“Yes, Grandma, we’re fine. How is Mama?”
“We don’t know yet, Susan. She’s not improving. We really need a miracle.”
Susan’s heart hurt again and it was impossible to keep the flood of tears from escaping her eyes.
“Tell Mama I love her, Grandma. I want her to get better!”
“I’ll tell her, Sweetie. We’ll hold onto God’s promises, Susan, so don’t lose hope.”
Susan hung up the phone and dried her eyes. Hold onto God’s promises her Grandma had said. I’ll try, Grandma.
She really need to find the Box. Before going up the attic stairs, she bowed her head and whispered, “God, I hope you can make my Mama better…I really think you can.”
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(Part 4 continues next month)