Janet Stone waved at Ron from the Greyhound bus with a pang of regret . Should she have been so nonchalant toward the one man in her life that had been her anchor for the past year and a half but did she love him the way he said he loved her? He was so content. Not that that was bad, but she had places to go, things to do. Maybe God would even want her on some faraway mission field someday. She had to prove herself. And she definitely did not want to make a wrong choice about this most important issue of life. She had learned how important these decisions were when she had received Christ as her Saviour.
Now on her way, she prayed once more.
"Lord, I want to do your will. I don't understand why the mission turned down my application for service in Argentina after Bible College. Please direct my steps."
She wouldn't think about Ron or the rest of her family and friends. For the first time in her life she was vacillating in her own convictions. She fully believed that Christ had saved her and she wanted to live for Him. But how did all that play out in moments like this. She just knew she wanted to go away. Away from Mom and Dad's quarreling and bickering. Away from the constant studying. Away from decision-making. She wanted to see what life might be like in a different place and time -- maybe even find the love of her life.
A young woman bearing a tiny baby came down the aisle. Janet breathed a sigh of relief as the young woman took the seat behind her. Next came a middle-aged man with a round face and purplish nose. She diverted her eyes -- he kept on. A young man appeared. His neat white shirt and open collar, displayed nice tan which spread upward to the clean, regular features of his face. A slight pink rose in her cheeks. She was glad she had worn her blue and white fitted dress that complimented the blue of her eyes. He stored his laptop, hesitated a moment, then slid into the seat beside her.
"Traveling far?" he asked.
"Atlanta. My brother says it should be easy to get a job there. I'll be staying with him."
"What kind of job?"
In a hospital, I hope. I'll work as an aide, then maybe I can tell whether I really want to study nursing after college."
"Really?" "I just happen to be doing my residency at Grady Hospital in Atlanta. Maybe I can help you." Janet's heart leaped but could she trust this man of the world?
"I'm not sure ..."
"What have you been up to till now?" he asked, deftly changing the subject.
" I'll be graduating from Bible College in New Brunswick next year -- that is, if I decide to go back," surprising herself were her thoughts being governed by this handsome stranger?
"Canada? Bible College? What on earth for are you going to become a nun or something?
"Nooo." she chuckled. "I just believe Bible training will help me in whatever I do. God is a very important part of my life.
"Do you really believe all that stuff about Creation and all those fairy tales."
"Yes I do. God is so much greater than people give Him credit for. I depend on Him every day."
"I didn't think anyone still believed all that. His skepticism was softened by a disarming glance.
Suddenly, the huge double-decker bus lurched to the left ... Janet slid helplessly toward him, grabbing his knee to stop herself. He seized her hand and pulled her closer. Something stirred deep within her.
"I have to go," he said reluctantly and stood up, releasing her hand. If it's an accident I may be needed.
She didn't answer. Her mind was whirling. Wow, he sure isn't like Ron. I've enjoyed talking with him even though he doesn't agree with me. But I'm not sure I trust him even though -- I like him.
He was back.
"Just fender-bender, no one was hurt." His eyes were on her. Darkness had fallen and the dim overhead light danced in his wavy hair and shadowed his face.
She hoped he couldn't see the flush in her cheeks. "Oh, help me, Father," she cried silently as he settled beside her.
"Do you really think you might be able to help me find a job?" She spoke distractedly, not sure how to deal with her aroused emotions.
"Yes ... yes. No problem." He sat back. "Give me your brother's phone number and I'll
call you. My name is Carlos, by the way, Carlos Diaz, M.D."
She liked him for not asking for her cell number. "I'm Janet, she said, Janet Stone," silently thanking God for rescuing her. Shortly, the call for Atlanta sounded.
Grady Hospital Atlanta, Georgia
"So, Janet, how do like your new job?" Carlos swept by her table, nearly upsetting her iced tea.
Janet grabbed her glass. "I like it. Thanks for putting in a good word for me."
"Your welcome, I wouldn't do it for just anyone,you know."
Janet, blushing, looked around. Good! No one saw. She hated it when she blushed. She felt so unsophisticated.
"Say, I'm getting a the evening off from O.R training tonight. How about taking a stroll downtown ?"
"Wh what time? I'm in my uniform, you know." He had sprung it on her so suddenly.
"Oh, what of it. So am I. At least I'm not in my scrubs. Meet me at the front entrance at six?"
"Well I ." She had to have time to do her makeup and her hair Oh man .
"You what? Don't tell me you have to go to a prayer meeting or something."
"No not tonight I'll be out front at 6:30."
As time went on there were more strolls, movies, theaters she drew the line at dancing to stay within her conscience dictates. She enjoyed her job -- carrying trays, combing hair, getting to know patients. But her life was so busy her Bible lay unopened on her nightstand for days at a time, and previous intentions of making her job a blessing to others by reading it at the bedsides of sick patients had vanished. Of course she still prayed when a special need arose even prayed with a patient occasionally, though she felt quite hypocritical when she did so.
In August, she wrote to her advisor at Canadian Bible College suggesting that she pursue her nursing career there at Grady, and postpone college.
One day at lunch, she was surprised to see the hospital's nursing supervisor, Anne Miller, who was also a Christian, approaching her table.
"Sorry, I can't stop. But, Janet ... please be on your guard with Doctor Diaz, he can be a bit flattering at times. I like him but don't take him too seriously, OK?"
"Of course, Anne, I'll be careful." As Anne left, a new student doctor entered the room. He was short and blond with a decidedly serious countenance.
A fleeting image of Ron crossed her vision. "Oh, Ron I promised to call you you've been so patient. I'm truly sorry for ignoring you so. Oh, I do like you you're not flashy and bold but you're kind and good and and I miss you!!!
At home that afternoon, she found a letter from her college advisor.
"It is not our policy to ." she threw the letter on her bed and fell to her knees.
"Oh God, why can't I do this? I thought I had things all figured out." She reached for her Bible, and spread it open before her. She couldn't believe it the underlined phrase in one verse jumped out at her -- " Be not unequally yoked ." the very verse their College and Career leader had spoken at church on her last date with Ron.
Father, forgive me," She continued aloud. "I haven't been truly wanting to know Your will." She hugged her Bible, now wet with tears. "I've been so foolish, Lord. I've tried to make my will Your will.
The next morning Carlos stopped her in the hall. "What's the rush?" he asked, backing her against the the wall, his left hand above her.
"I'm late. I stopped at the office to put in my two-weeks' notice." She answered
nonchalantly, wondering what she had ever seen in him.
"What? I thought you liked us." He leaned closer.
Janet stepped out from behind his arm and held out her hand.
" I've enjoyed my job, Carlos, but I'm headed back to Bible college and to see an old friend," she added, with a cognizant smile.
Ignoring her hand, he laughed, turned on his heel, and they both walked off in opposite directions.
Flora Jackson Sawyer is a widow, mother of two and grandmother of eight. she has been journaling, writing for newspapers, had an on-going email devotional, published a children's book, and contributed to a 500-page local history.
@copyright Flora Jackson Sawyer 10/12/09