17 – Searching for Answers – Dinner at Sarah’s

How detailed will Joe be with his feelings? Will Carol stay a memory of the past?

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Joe headed back to his house to kill the next hour before going over to Sarah’s. Quickly changing out of his work clothes into something a little nicer, he sat down in his favorite chair, turned on the TV and was skipping around the channels when a dinosaur filled the screen. He had found the Discovery channel and they were airing a program on the history of dinosaurs. The first thing Joe heard was that 120 million years ago ………. Hitting the pause button on the remote Joe looked at the ceiling and said: man is not 120 million years old, so why would I have a dream about being chased by dinosaurs that are? He pressed play again and a few minutes passed as he was thinking about this one statement when he hit the channel button a couple times and stumbled on to a documentary showing a picture of a dinosaur track on top of a human track. Ok, this is just wild. The show was about some findings down in Texas. That’s it Joe thought to himself as he turned the TV off. He jumped out of his chair, grabbed his keys off the table and headed out the door. Checking the time he realized he had some time to kill before he went to Sarah’s, so he just sat there in the quiet of his car, closed his eyes letting his mind sort things out.

Joe’s phone rang and quickly picking it up he could see it was Sarah. Are you still coming over? We are almost ready to eat. Joe looked at his watch and discovered time had got away from him. I’m sorry Sarah. I am on my way and will be their in a few minutes. Tell you more when I get there.

Joe pulled up in front of Sarah’s house and quickly headed to the front door when Sarah opened it with a smile on her face. Well I thought you were going to play hooky from dinner also or was it that you don’t like to peel potatoes? I would never play hooky when it was to see you Joe whispered as he gave Sarah a big hug. Come on in, dinner is on the table Sarah said with a grin.

Hi everyone. Sorry I’m late, Joe said to as he walked into the room and saw Sarah’s parents walking out of the kitchen with the last of the food. It was really nice that you inviting me to join you for dinner. I will help do the dishes to make up for being tardy. Oh my, I think I like this guy Sarah’s mom said as she smiled at her daughter. Come on let sit down and get started. They sat around the table and Sarah’s dad told Joe it was a custom for them to say grace before dinner and that they held hands while saying it. Sarah reached over and took Joe’s hand and her mom took his other. Joe’s heart was racing and he didn’t even hear the prayer except the amen when Sarah’s mom let go of Joes hand. Sarah and Joe continued to hold on as the electricity would not let go.

Sarah’s dad picked up the dish of potato’s and passed them to Joe saying; guest first. Thank you Joe replied as he let go of Sarah’s hand to take the dish. Before long they were all eating when Sarah’s dad said; it’s really nice to have you join us for dinner Joe. Sarah talks about you sometimes, actually a lot sometimes, and has told us a little about you. We would like you to know that you are welcome at our house anytime. So what do you do for a living anyway. Well, I work in a shop where we build modular housing. We build the walls and floors in the shop and ship them to the building site where they are put together. Oh, I know that company. Is it Clifford Homes? Sure is Joe replied. I have a friend that is one of the owners there. Ok dad, enough shop talk. I want to hear about Joe’s day off work today and what he was up too. I’m not sure my day off work is a good topic for the dinner table Joe replied. Well it’s up to you Joe, but we always talk about our day over dinner sharing different stories and laughing at some of the craziness that happens Sarah’s mom added. Sarah jumped in saying; you can feel comfortable talking about anything if you want. I have told them just a little about your crazy dreams, so they already know you are a little crazy. We can talk after dinner also. But mom and dad are great listeners and generally have some good help and advice Sarah said with a snicker on her face. Oh just generally Sarah’s mom replied as she laughed out loud. Everyone joined in the laughter adding to Joe’s comfort level with Sarah’s parents.

Sarah’s dad broke the ice by looking at Joe and saying; we want you feel comfortable and welcome in our home and just all us Carl and June if you would like too. Sarah’s dad continued saying; from what Sarah has told us, you have some of the same issues I had when I was close to your age. I had big issues with this creation and evolution thing and I think we have better information now than we did back 25 years ago. I was so upset with the church I left it in the dust as I ran away. I was going to enjoy life and no one was going to make rules that were going to stop me. I don’t think I was a wild person; I just liked to have a little fun. Many of the people in the church I was raised in were so – well let’s say high and mighty and hypocritical – I didn’t want anything to do with them. It took me a long time to realize that I was judging God by just a few people. I met June’s parents and they showed me what a real Christian was really all about. I learned that many of those man-made rules that some religious organizations put on their people are just that; man-made. I don’t think I really ever stopped believing in God, I was just very upset with people who said they were Christian’s but acted like they weren’t most of the time. And then you add in all the hype about evolution – well let just say I kind of understand where you might be coming from. Did you ever have any dreams about dinosaurs Joe asked leaving the part about Sarah out? Not that I can remember Joe. Just a lot of doubt, frustration, anxiety and a general dislike of man-made religious rules designed to control our thoughts and behaviors.

Sarah reaching over and putting her hand on Joes arm said; Dad, I never knew you had any issues with the church or the Christian religion. You have never talked about it. You have always made me feel positive about God and have never added any rules outside of the ones I have learned from the Bible. Well that is because I figured it out just after you were born and I vowed to help you see Christianity the right way. I wanted you to know what took me so long to figure out without going through the feelings and doubts I had. I wanted you to make your decisions based on what is written in the Bible.

Joe looked over at Sarah saying you have some pretty cool parents. I guess some of us have some things in common no matter what we believe. Most people do have a lot in common Sarah’s dad replied. We just don’t realize it. We can get so caught up in our own thoughts and feelings that we can’t see the things going on around us. Well you both have made me feel welcome and Sarah, well you know …. Joe stopped as he was lost for words. Yes we like her too Joe, Sarah’s mom added.

Joe looked at Sarah and said come on let’s get started with the dishes that I volunteered us to do. What do you mean us, Sarah said laughing. It wasn’t long and things were put away and dishes were clean. Sarah asked Joe if he would like to go out and sit on the deck. I really want to hear about your day she added.

As they walked outside Joe reach for Sarah’s hand which she willingly gave him. She looked around and not seeing her parents watching she put her other arm around Joes neck, pulled him close and with her beautiful brown eyes looking into Joe’s, stood on her toes and gave Joe a kiss. Joe responded as he quickly pulled her even closer. They held each other tightly for a few moments before they made their way to the sofa on the deck. They just sat quietly for a while holding hands as they stared out at the sun set when Sarah said; ok, tell me about your day.

“To be continued”

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Is Joe changing his feelings about Christianity? Is Sarah going to give into her feeling for Joe and allow herself to become Joes girlfriend in spite of their different beliefs? 

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