Updated: Jun 7, 2021
All at once everything was gone. The river, the fisherman, the leaves, the hedge, all of it. Sam stood there in the vacancy, starring at the backyard of his gramma’s house, unchanged. There wasn’t even the slightest alteration of the patio furniture, since the last time he saw it, which seemed like years before. There was someone emerging from the back sliding glass door, however, someone he had never seen before.
Sheer curiosity drove him to meet the stranger even if just to stop at hollering distance. “Hello!?” Sam called out.
“Hello there!” the warmth of his tone was very inviting, indeed, so Sam ventured further to close in the gap.
“Do I know you?” Sam thought the question appropriate since the man had just come out of his house.
“No, sir, no you don’t,” the mysterious man laughed loudly, putting Sam at further ease “I am your mama’s brother! Your Uncle Emery!”
Sam froze, no more closing in the space, no more returned smiles, no more interaction.
It was the large jovial Uncle Emery who braved the dark winds of emotion that gathered around his nephew with a sudden, unrelenting jolt. Of course he knew, discourse was now flailing, of course he knew Sam was probably thinking the worst of him, of course he knew Sam had no interest in moving….of course he knew all this, but still he walked right up to Sam, squared with him at eye level and whispered the words Sam would never forget, “I am not just your Uncle, Sam, I am your friend.”
Sam was melting under his gaze, but the sustaining power of his new faith held him up. Where once he would have melted off into oblivion, in turn acted out, thus repeating the same destruction, he just stood there. He remembered the rabbits, he remembered the fisherman, he remembered the change that took place and he knew, what really mattered about that time was never going away, no matter where he ended up.
Blinking, Sam thought he should, at least, lay down some facts about himself, in case there was going to be any question, “I met Jesus.”
“You have!?” Uncle Emery’s mouth broadened into a large toothy smile, “that is fantastic news, otherwise I would have had to tell you about Him myself. I don go nowhere without Him.” He stretched himself upright, “whew, that’s settled.”
Sam was now grinning. Not because he knew the future, not because everything was perfect, not because life came with instant answers, because of WHO was with him, and it wasn’t Uncle Emery, his mama, or even his Gramma, God rest her soul. It was Jesus, and it would be Jesus from here on out, every. single. time.
“Ready to go pack your bags?” His Uncle Emery gave Sam a sideways knowing look.
“No,” Sam look meeting his same expression, easing off with a grin.
“Ha!” They both headed to the backyard of the tiny pink house “that’s alright. I don’t blame you, but it’s gunna be great, I know it.”