Advent Stories, Part 3

Hello, friends!

My friend Rachel is hosting a fiction writing challenge for the Advent season. If you’ve been following along, Part 3 is a continuation of Jon and Hope’s story. If you’re just now joining us, here’s Part 1 and Part 2.

This week’s prompt: Joy.

Jon lifted his head, peace settling on him and warming his soul. He smiled at Michael. “Thanks. I needed that.”

Michael grinned back at him. “We all need a little boost sometimes. Now the question is, do you believe in miracles?”

Jon considered the question for a moment. Years of ministry and family life had taught him that miracles come in big and small ways. But what was Michael really asking? Was he asking what Jon had seen and witnessed over the years? Or was he asking if Jon believed God could come through for him now, in this moment? Jon had a feeling it was the latter.

Could Jon truly answer yes? God had been faithful over the years. Moments like when he and Hope had been down to their last fifteen dollars and riding on empty and a one hundred dollar bill mysteriously appeared in the diaper bag. Hope discovered it on the way home from church and burst into tears. No, Jon couldn’t deny the faithfulness of God.

But to answer yes in this moment? When the weather and the airlines and the whole world seemed against him? He felt the peace from moments ago sliding away and he breathed another silent prayer.

God, help my unbelief.

Memories flooded him, not only God’s faithfulness, but provision, healing, and comfort for the members of the small church Jon had pastored for years. As he recalled the many miracles he’d seen take place, a still voice spoke to his heart.

Why not you? Why not now?

His twirling thoughts calmed, and peace descended once again. He didn’t know what his miracle would look like, but he believed God could move on his behalf.

“Yes. I do.”

Michael’s grin widened even further, if it were possible. Light and joy shone through his eyes.

“Now we’re talking.” Michael clapped his hands together and his laughter rang out through the corridor. The man’s joy was tangible and Jon was unable to resist laughing alongside. Passersby glanced their direction and moved on, but neither man cared.

Michael leaned back and breathed deeply, his laughter gently fading. He turned to Jon. “Good things are coming for you, man. I believe it. God moves when faith is kindled.” He snapped his fingers as if illustrating the point.

Jon was about to answer, when his name was called over the intercom. He excused himself and hurried to the gate desk.

He gave his name to the harried gate agent, who looked up his details. When the computer loaded, she looked up and smiled at him.

“Well, maybe I can make one person happy today. The storm is clearing and we’ve got you on a flight that should leave in about an hour. How does that sound?”

Joy bubbled in Jon’s throat again and he returned her smile. “I’ll get home today?”

The agent peered at her screen and tapped a few buttons. Finally, she nodded. “Yep. It’ll be late, but it’ll be today.”

Relief swept over Jon like a crashing wave. He’d be home in time to see Hope today. Maybe they wouldn’t get to decorate the tree, it would be too late for that, but at least he’d get to hold her in his arms.

He nodded, smiling at the gate agent over the lump of joy in his throat. “That’ll be just fine.”

He made his way back to where Michael sat, and gave him the good news. The large man jumped up from his seat and wrapped up Jon in a huge hug.

“I knew it, man! I knew it.” He released Jon and pulled his phone from his pocket. He held it out to Jon. “You said your phone’s dead, right? You better use mine to call Hope and let her know.”

Jon accepted the phone and wandered toward the windows to call Hope. “Hey babe,” he said when she answered. “I’m coming home.”

To be continued…

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