As Father Tom and Dan jogged that morning, Dan was proud of himself for keeping up, well for at least the first half mile or so. “Dan to be honest, I think you just need to relax.” Father Tom said, with little effort. Dan was starting to huff and puff a little, so he just shook his head yes.
It was a beautiful morning, one of those spring mornings, where the sun was bright but the air was cool. And the birds were making some beautiful music. The two men made their way through the woods, and out the other side, making a circle on the path near the church.
“People of faith are just like everybody else, my friend.” Father Tom continued, “We struggle like everyone else, and we have the same needs…….and yes the same desires to be loved.” Dan just listened. “But the difference is…..we have an internal strength because of our beliefs, which not only gets us through the tough times, but helps guide us daily. That doesn’t mean we’re better than anyone else though.”
Realizing that Dan couldn’t really talk because he was out of breath, Father Tom stopped. He didn’t want their morning run to turn into a time of sermonizing. They made their way over to some benches.
Dan said, “Yeah you’re right Father, but well……Stephanie is the first woman I’ve met…..well she’s the first that……wants to wait until after we’re married.” Dan was struggling with the words, and hoped he made sense. Privately he loved the way Stephanie viewed marriage, and knew that it would make intimacy incredibly special once it did happen.
Father Tom continued giving Dan some advice. The two of them talked for longer than either one of them expected. Dan didn’t realize it but he was developing a friendship with the priest, that would last for many years.
When Father Tom looked at his watch, he said, “Listen I need to go, but have you spoken to her since you broke off the kiss?” Dan shook his head no. “Well why don’t you call her now, tell her you’ve talk to me….and be honest with her. Tell her this is all new territory for you.” Dan nodded and he was truly grateful. “Thanks Father.”
As the priest jogged back towards the church, for an 11:00 funeral, Dan dialed Stephanie. Voicemail. Should he leave a message? “Steph, hey listen I’m sorry about yesterday, but I was just talking to Father Tom…..Steph I……well I’m in new territory here…..I really want us to continue, can we go walking?” He knew she loved the spring.
And then he said something he hadn’t expected, “Steph, I have something important I’d like to ask you….”
To be continued early next week!
Writing and Image Copyright 2017, Blue Skies in the Morning