Fingerprints of God: A Fictional Story (Part Two)

Monday, December 16, 2013

(photo credit: beccaxsos via photopin cc )

The crisp air of winter stung against Noelle’s face as she slowly made her way to the old barn. The red paint was peeling off the sides making it look worn and homey. She could smell the hay as she got closer and the sound of reindeer bells chimed in the distance. Snow began to lightly fall and Noelle stuck out her tongue to try and catch them. She hadn’t done that since she was a girl. But the memory she once tried to avoid didn’t seem to pack quite as big a punch the way it used to. No this time it was more like a stinging sensation. It was nostalgia at its greatest.

She approached the barn but nearly stopped altogether when she heard the song “The First Noel,” being played. Why did it have to be this song? Why now? She was just beginning to feel lighthearted after her conversation with Maudie, yet this song had to be playing just when she walked up to the barn.

“Well hello there missy!” an older gentleman with a deep baritone voice called out to her. “You coming to visit them horses?” he pointed to the stables which were full of the majestic looking creatures.

“Hi, yes, I guess I was.” Noelle didn’t know why Maudie told her to visit the barn, but visiting the horses seemed like a good way to start the day.

“I’m Noelle.” She stuck out her gloved hand to the man.

“The name’s Christopher, but you can just call me Chip” he smiled. The man had a scruffy brown beard and he wore a tan leather jacket with wool lining to keep warm. “I’m just saddling up Old Knight here.” He gave a big black horse a pat on the back.

“Was gonna take him out for a trail ride. You been riding before Noelle?” Chip asked.

“Yes” she nodded. She looked over at a stall that at first glance seemed to be empty but upon closer inspection, found a horse lying down. Noelle walked over to find the little one with a lame leg. It whinnied at her when she came near.

“That there, is Hope” Chip said. “Not yet two years old.”

“What happened to her?” Noelle asked.

“Born with a lame leg. No one will ever be able to ride her but she can still get around well enough. Some days are harder for her to move than others. But her spirits are always high with energy.”

“Hi Hope” Noelle reached over and gave her a pat.

“Go on in Noelle, while I saddle up a horse for you to ride. We’re gonna head out on the trail.”

“Thank you Chip, I’d like that.”

“Not a problem Noelle,” Chip got to work while Noelle sat with Hope for a few more minutes before they both decided to head on out to see Colorado’s best in the winter time.

The sights were amazing. The Colorado Mountains had so much wildlife and open space. It was like another world to Noelle. The snow was fresh and the smell of wood and pines made it truly feel like Christmas day.

“It’s beautiful” she whispered.

“Sure is” Chip stopped beside Noelle with his horse. “You can learn a lot from camping out in these woods.”

“Not sure I could take the silence” she admitted.

“Not take the silence? How could you go on without the silence? Unless you can take to time to listen for that still small voice then I’m not sure I could stay sane. I think that’s where people go wrong these days. They don’t take the time to sit still and breathe in the silence. There seems to always be a phone ringing, a laptop dinging or an iPod singing, but never silence.”

“Maybe some people are just afraid of the silence. Maybe they feel like their own thoughts would consume them if they actually took the time to stop and sit quietly. It could just be too hard” Noelle suggested. She knew that this was the reason why she avoided the silence sometimes.

“I never said that it was easy, but it’s essential. If you can discipline yourself to sit still in complete silence then you’d be amazed at how well the rest of your day goes.”

“I’d have to start small though; maybe a few minutes at a time.”

“Rome wasn’t built in one day, babies don’t come out of the womb walking and Jesus began His ministry with only twelve disciples Noelle,” Chip looked at her.

“You gotta start somewhere.” Chip looked up into the sky and watched a hawk circle above the tree line. He took out two sandwiches that Maudie had packed for them and they ate in silence while gazing at the hawk together. Noelle thought about her mother, she thought about her faith and she thought about her future during that silent time. A peace began to wash over her that she couldn’t explain and yet, she knew where it came from.

“In quietness and trust is your strength.” Chip gazed longingly at the sky for few moments then began the trek back to the barn.  Noelle pondered those words for a few moments before heading back with him.

Scriptures Referenced: 1 Kings 19:12 and Isaiah 30:15

(Disclaimer: This is a fictional story with fictional characters and a fictional plot. All copyright belongs to Whispers to the Heart blog.)

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