Friday, December 16, 2011

Faith. Hope. Love: Chapter Five

During my stay in Singapore I was able to finish reading a few books. One of my favorites was How Stella Got Her Grove Back by Terry McMillan. The first time I saw Stella was at my boyfriend’s apartment before I left for Singapore. His roommate (a female) had been reading it. There it sat and curiosity got the best of me as I picked it up and scanned the synopsis. When I came across it again in Singapore among the shared literature, I had to indulge.

I met Stella before grace (Ephesians 2:8). Her independence and adventurous nature struck a chord with me. I admired how at a moment’s notice she packed a suitcase and went off to Jamaica all by herself. I felt I could relate to her on some levels though our lives were nothing alike. (First of all, and most importantly, she is fiction and I am not.) There were twenty years between us and she was a successful business woman with a son and a home. I, on the other hand, was in a relationship (though lived alone), had no children, no house, and was neither prosperous nor an executive. Yes, I had an excellent job, paying me decent money, and was traveling but it was a short term gig. It would all come to an end in just shy of a year.

After a few months in Singapore I called my boyfriend to find he was moving on and in essence, dumping me. (An old flame, “the one that got away” from him was interested in rekindling their relationship…he had talked about her often, I knew it was only a matter of time.) One of my colleagues came over and I sat on my twin-sized bed, in my silk (pant and long sleeve shirt) pajamas, verbalizing my disappointment. As my heart spewed forth its sadness there was a knock at the front door. Two thoughtful associates informed me there was a party and would I come? I declined. My only desire (at that particular moment) was to remain in my room licking my wounds for a bit. Stella would not tolerate this! She would dress in a smokin’ hot swimsuit and head for the beach…and who needs a boyfriend anyway? The next opportunity I got I was going to be like Stella! I was going somewhere alluring, wonderful, and chalk full of beautiful men! (Not to say Singapore was not magnificent. It truly was.)

The ocean always has a way of rejuvenating me. Its proud waves may reach the coast yet go no further (Job 38:8-11). But, I did not frolic by the seashore while in Singapore. Though this city-state is similar to Hawaii in that it is made up of islands, the recreational shorelines are not prominent. Only twice did I go to the water’s edge in the five months I lived there. Once, a local was showing me how I could look across the water and see the shore of Malaysia. The second, was while I was attending a social gathering at Sentosa…an amusement park type place with animals, fireworks display laser light show, and picnic areas.

My mundane was time served at work. Though I loved my job---I really did---it was physically demanding and draining. My breaks were spent taking a catnap, walking around the venue, or immersed in Jamaica with Stella. I was her travel companion whether she liked it or not. (Being she went public with her trip, I assume she did not care.) I have never been to Jamaica! I would jump at the chance to go there only I have yet to find a means. So, for now, Stella’s groove-seeking-recount will have to suffice.

I sat at my table wearing my yellow, company issue sweat suit (because it is so stinking cold in the venue), head down, eyes fixed upon the pages, imagining myself digging my toes into hot sand while the crash of the powerful waves fills my ears. I put sun block balm on my lips as they are kissed passionately by the sun. The breeze coming of the water lifts my hair from about my neck and gently plays with it. I rub sunscreen like a fragrant lotion to cover my exposed, olive skin. I can taste the salty sea air on my tongue. Ah, Jamaica! You make me thankful to my Maker for all of creation (Romans 1:20).

The smell of coconut tanning oil fills my nostrils. I should get a drink…something cold, crisp, maybe even fruity with a cute umbrella poking out the top. My cabana chair creeks as I shift in it. The tide is threatening to come close and try to jump in my lap. I move my fabric bag to a safer location…wouldn’t want my wallet and book to get wet. I exhale audibly as I close my eyes and lay my head back. Mmm, Jamaica! You seem so lovely. I open my eyes to find words gazing back at me. I close the book. Ten more minutes then it is back to work.

Faith Hope Love: Chapter Five
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