Serafine could not believe it. Grammy did it. She heard every word. Every detail. She had spared no expense. No wonder she had pulled together a very diligent crew to encourage Serafine to relocate, permanently to Houston.
Cooper walked her around the property that was so familiar yet new to her. The layout did not change but the structures had been updated. The cabins added. The central facility was new.
“I am in shock.”
Cooper laughed. “You should be. But knowing your grandmother you should not be surprised.”
“But the facility, labyrinth and the prayer path?” Serafine said in awe of how much one could accomplish in five years.
“Okay…maybe a little,” Cooper said. “Miss Jo had a plan. It was like it was written in detail in her precious little head. She would not stop until it was just so.”
“That’s her for you.”
Now they stood back at her car.
“I hope you don’t mind me asking but why is this all new to you. My understanding is she did it for you.”
“It’s a long…long story.” She looked off at the water. It was all just so beautiful and it was hard for her not to get excited about the potential. Her very own retreat center.
“I have time and coffee if you’d like to talk about it.”
Serafine searched his face. All she saw was caring eyes and an easy smile. He could probably charm the pants off a saint.
“I’ll pass, maybe another time. Does this mean I’m your employer?” She asked reaching for the handle of her car.
“Yes and no. We will work together but I’m paid by the estate. Your grandmother had a very clear 10 year plan for this place. I’m looking forward to seeing it change lives for the kingdom.” He said with ease.
She did not want to discuss it further. Of course her grandmother would attach some stipulations. She was a Christian but not a practicing one. Heck, she didn’t even attend church except on Christmas and Easter. She would sometimes attend on Mother’s Day but since moving away her attendance was nonexistent.
However, it was more than her lack of church attendance. It was her heart. It was broken and cold. But somehow she knew only God could fix it.
The tears started again. She turned with her back facing Cooper. She did not want him to see her cry but she couldn’t help it. Being home brought back all the feeling she’d run from. How was she to take ahold of this wonderful opportunity her grandmother was providing when she was broken.
Shattered into a million unrecognizable pieces that resembled anger, bitterness, pride and every other sin found in her grandmother’s favorite book. Then the passage entered her mind…The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.
What she wouldn’t do to have her soul converted. To be new. To start over.
“I’m sorry. Did I say something?”
For the first time since their meeting he looked uncomfortable. His hands fidgeted as if he wanted to reach for her but couldn’t.
“No,” she responded locating a tissue in her pocket, “this is just all overwhelming.”
“I’m sure it is. Can I?” Cooper stepped closer and gestured to place an arm around her. “No funny business I just feel like you could use a hug.”
She nodded and he place a strong arm around her shoulders.
“One of my favorite scriptures is ‘The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.’”
She nodded. She didn’t trust herself to speak. She was already crying all over the man’s shirt. She was a mess.
“But what I love most is the passage ends with ‘no one will be condemned who takes refuge in him.’
“Serafine you are dealing with the death of your grandmother, a very very special woman. I have not doubt she is in a better place. You will grieve. You will cry. But I hope that you will also pray. Because if I know nothing about Miss Jo I know she was a praying woman.”
“That she was,” she said.
Who was this man quoting scripture? Only Grammy would find a bible quoting groundskeeper. That made her smile.
“I will say to you then what I believe Miss Jo would want you to know. Seek refuge in him. Your situation is not new to God. And he will be a refuge for you if you let him.”
But could she trust God?
Something told her she could. She had nothing to lose, except her pain and baggage, and everything to gain.
“Are you okay?” Cooper asked.
“Yes Cooper, I’m not perfect but I’m on my way.”
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[reminder]What bible verse brings you comfort in troubling times?[/reminder]