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He knew he was lonely, but this maddening, haunting feeling that nothing seemed to shake was more than loneliness it was like the instinct that drives a wounded animal to its den. He felt the need to get somewhere someplace where he could find his center again, his foundation his home. Yes, that was exactly what he wanted, and that was why he had come back to this town it was the closest thing to home he had ever known.
This primitive instinct drives many thoughtful people it drives some to drink, some to drugs, some to work harder, some to power, some to affairs, some to church, some to diets, travel, poetry, mysticism, fitness centers, sporting events, TV, or cheap novels.
When he drove into town, he was very disappointed. Much was gone; much more had changed. He didnt recognize anyone. Now that he was here, he didnt know what to do. He had thought that just coming back would provide the reason it didnt. He drove around a little while went by the high school, looking for old, familiar landmarks. He stopped in a restaurant for a cup of coffee and finally recognized an old acquaintance. They shook hands, exchanged pleasantries, and bragged a little on what they had accomplished. Hows Alice? Pete asked. It was an inevitable question, but it was the one he wanted to avoid most of all. Shes fine, I guess. I suppose you havent heard that were separated. I havent seen her in nearly two years.
Separated! No kidding! Gee, everybody thought you were Mr. And Mrs. ideal couple. Two years! Why dont you just get a divorce?
For the first time in a long time, he had a plan he knew exactly what he was doing and why.|
Pete was in the real estate business, and finally George asked him if he remembered the house they had lived in. Sure, Pete said, In fact, Ive got it listed. Without really thinking about it, George said, Lets drive by; Id like to see what theyve done to the old place.
His mind flooded with memories as they drove down the familiar streets maybe he had been happier here than he thought. Pete had a key to the lockbox, and very shortly, George found himself wandering through the empty rooms. This is it, he said to himself; this is why I came back.
The grass had not been cut in back. The previous owners had not cared properly for the grapes or the fruit trees; the bedrooms needed paint badly. You know, he thought, I always meant to pipe the water from the washing machine out to the trees, and I think Alice was right about putting a mantle over the fireplace. In fact, now that Scott is bigger, we could finish that back room, put in another bath, and have a bedroom to ourselves.
It began to dawn upon him very slowly what a good time he was having, how excited he was, that he was planning in terms of we instead of I and that gave meaning to the future. But his excitement vanished as he realized that it was all a myth, a cruel unreality. It struck him forcefully that he didnt own this house, he didnt live in this town, he had no job here, and of course, Alice and the kids lived far away. But the idea wouldnt leave him, and he knew just as a homing pigeon knows that he was home and that this was his one chance and that
How much are they asking, Pete?
Seventy-five thousand, but theyll take sixty-eight.
Ill take it. George couldnt believe it was his voice that he heard. There was assurance in it. For the first time in a long time, he had a plan he knew exactly what he was doing and why. Ill call her, he thought; Ill call her tonight. But he couldnt wait for tonight, so he called her at work. Normally, he asked for Alice, but today he asked for Mrs. George Franklin. He heard the secretary whisper, Alice, its for you, some guy wants to speak to Mrs. George Franklin. When she picked up the phone, here first words were, George, I hope this is you. Ive been thinking about you all day.
Alice, I just bought the old house back. Could we get together this weekend and talk? Its important to me.
I just happen to be free this weekend, and I dont know anybody Id rather spend it with than you.
A noble impulse acted upon reunited two people who had allowed the petty things of life to drive them apart. George and Alice Franklin mended their broken relationship and began rebuilding their life together.
Are you burdened with a heavy sense of wrongness? Do you find yourself looking out windows into other peoples windows? Have you lost touch with the important people in your life?
Gods providential touch may already be working to help you rebuild broken relationships.
HEARTLIGHT(R) Magazine is a ministry of loving Christians and the Westover Hills church of Christ.
Edited by Phil Ware and Paul Lee.
Copyright © 1996-97, Heartlight, Inc., 8332 Mesa Drive, Austin, TX 78759.
© 1997 John William Smith. Excerpted from Hugs for the Hurting, Howard Publishing Company. Used by permission.
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