Bella – part 11 Humiliation

“Strange? Like what?” Amanda looked at Bella as she sipped on her coffee in the church lobby.

“Like… they… aren’t like other people. Like… maybe… they’re not from here.”

“Well, Pastor Toby and Jude have been here longer than I have so I can’t speak on where they might be from. But I do agree that they aren’t like other people.”

“How so?”

“They’re nicer. They’re good all the time. Everyone else I know have times when they’re selfish or maybe do something that hurts someone else. But Toby and Jude never do. They are always supportive, loving, and kind no matter what I say or what I do.”

“Sounds too good to be true,” muttered Bella.

“You would think so, but in the ten years I’ve been here, I’ve never seen them be anything but good.”

“Haven’t you wondered about their background? Where they came from?”

“Sure, sometimes, when I first joined this church. I asked a few people and got a few crazy answers, but mostly I was told they had always been here. And after talking with them, I came to believe that also.”

“What were some of the crazy answers you got?”

Amanda looked curiously at Bella. “Why do you ask?”

Bella thought about pretending it wasn’t so important, that she was just curious. But she decided to be upfront.

“They just seem out of this world. Like they’re not only not from here, but they aren’t from anywhere near here. Like they are from a whole other world.”

“Ah, yes. They do say things sometimes that is so opposite to what we hear all around us. And their values are very different. I can see how you might think that And maybe you’re right. Maybe they are from another world. But they’re here now, and that’s all that matters to me.”

“So, you’re saying they might be aliens?”

“Maybe, but they don’t have any accents or anything that would suggest which country.”

“No,” Bella said slowly. “Not another country. Another world. Another planet.”

Amanda stared at her and then burst out laughing. “Who put you up to this? Was it Robert? Robert is always kidding me about my love for sci fi.” She looked around, still laughing. “Robert! Where are you?”

Bella, feeling foolish and not wanting to involve anyone else in this, forced a laugh and said, “Um, no. I don’t even know Robert. It’s just me and my stupid sense of humor. Sorry.”

“Oh, no problem. I needed a good laugh.” Amanda stood up. “It was a pleasure meeting you. Let me know if you have any other… questions.” Still laughing, Amanda waved and headed to the kitchen.

Bella got up and thought about finding someone else to talk to when she heard a burst of laughter come from the kitchen. Amanda! She must have told everyone about their conversation. Humiliated, Bella looked around for the nearest exit door, then quickly joined the people who were headed that way.

“Hey, watch where you’re going!” growled a voice. She looked up just in time to avoid bumping into a man who was carrying a toddler.

“Sorry,” she said. She veered away from him and ran into a lady who was handing out IMG_20180804_082909664bulletins. The bulletins went flying, causing the lady to yell out.

“Sorry,” Bella said again, embarrassed. As she bent over to help gather them back up, she heard a loud grunt as someone tripped over her and landed with a crash.

“What are you doing?” cried the lady with the bulletins. “Stand up. You’re in the way.”

“I was trying to help you pick up the papers.”

“I don’t need your help.” She frowned and pointed to the door. “I can handle this. You just go ahead and leave.”

As Bella, eyes filling with tears, hurried through the door, she heard a voice behind her.  “Aw, don’t be so rough on her. She didn’t mean to trip me. It was my own fault for not watching where I was going.”

Bella slowed a bit and chanced a glance behind her. A man was speaking to the bulletin lady as he got back on his feet, but his eyes were on Bella.

“Wait up,” he called when they made eye contact.

She waited for him on the other side of the door. “Are you OK?,” she began as soon as he caught up. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to trip you.”

“I’m fine. I’m more worried about you. I didn’t want you to leave upset.” he said, taking her arm and directing her to the side of the large number of people streaming through the doors.

“Thanks, but I’m fine. Have a great day.” Relieved that he hadn’t gotten hurt, Amanda tried to leave. She felt humiliated and confused, and needed time to think which she always did best when alone. But the guy holding her arm wasn’t letting go.

 

Bella stories:

I’m Not Hurt, Not Really Part 1 Part 2

Bella part 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

I Think There Were Angels Here

“That’s the last of them,” she told her husband as she dropped a board on the stack of boards in their back yard.

He looked up from where he was setting up his saw. “I’m ready here.  The first thing we need to do is dig the holes.”

“Why can’t we just build it on top of the ground? It’s going to be heavy enough not to blow over.”

“It may not blow over in normal wind, but it wouldn’t stand a chance in a hurricane. Besides, do you want to chance it falling over with our kids on it? ”

“No, of course not. I just don’t see how it could fall over.”

“Trust me. We need the holes. And they need to be about two and a half feet deep.”

Sighing, she picked up the hold digger. She hated digging holes. “Here, you do it,” she told him.

She watched as he got busy, handing him the ax whenever he ran into a thick root.  They had decided to build a free standing tree house close to a young tree. She had wanted to wait until the tree matured a bit more and nail it to the tree, but the kids were growing too and she wanted them to have the tree house while they were still young enough to enjoy it. Besides, her husband had pointed out, the tree was tall enough for its branches to extend over the tree house giving the illusion of being in the tree while not putting any stress on the young tree itself.

When he got about two feet down, water began filling the hole.

“I’ve hit the water table,” he said. “I don’t know how much further I’ll be able to go. Hopefully this will be deep enough.”

After attempting to dig past the water, he gave up and started on the next hole. When he finished all four holes, sweat was pouring down his face and he moaned as he stretched his arms and back.

“That was hard,” she said.

He just looked at her.

“What’s next?” she asked.

“We build a side, then stand it up and slide the posts down into the holes.”

“OK, what do I do?”

“Hold this,” he said as he laid a 2x2x5 across two saw horses. She held the board firm as he measured then cut it to fit between the two 4×4 posts that would be going into the holes. He cut a second one to match the first.

“Now what?” she asked.

“Hold this,” he said, laying one of the cut boards across two of the 4×4 posts. As she kept the board from shifting position, he nailed it down securely, then placed another 2x2x5 across the posts, a little ways from the first post.  “There,” he said. “Now grab that side and I’ll get this side. Stand it up slowly.”

She took her position and between them, they got the side to stand up, then managed to pick it up, and slide the posts into two of the holes. As she held the side up, he backfilled the holes, tapping the dirt down firmly every six inches until both holes were filled. She let go of the side and it stood there straight and tall.

“Perfect,” he said. “Now for the second one.”

They repeated the process only this time it didn’t end as well. As they were sliding the posts into the holes, he lost his grip and the side began swaying. IMG_20180516_195405657

“Hold on!” he said, trying to get a good handle on the post.

“I can’t hold this!” she grunted. “It’s too heavy.”

His hand slipped again and the post began falling towards her.

“Watch out!” he yelled as he desperately tried to get a hold of the post.

But before she could move, the side came down right on top of her. It happened too quickly to take any evasive action and she felt the brunt of the weight land on her shoulder. He bad shoulder. The one that had been damaged back in high school and later had surgery to repair the recurrent dislocation.

Shocked, she stood there unmoving, not knowing what to do to avoid more injury.

“Don’t move. I’m going to get this off you,” he said.

But she couldn’t hold the weight any longer. She twisted in ways she would have thought were impossible for her until she managed to get the side on the ground.

“Are you OK?” he asked her.

She didn’t answer right away She just stared at the boards laying within inches of her feet, and thought, “I could have been killed.”

He went to her and checked for injuries. Your neck is a little red and I think you’re going to have a bruise there, but other than that I don’t see anything.”

“I could have been killed,” she said. “Or at least on my way to the hospital. ”

“But you weren’t. And you’re not.”

“How did those boards not hurt me? They weigh more than I do and they came straight down on me. And all I get is a bruise?”

“Praise God for that!”

She thought about it as they got back to work. After a while, with no more mishaps, they were able to finish the tree house. By the time they finished cleaning up, she thought she knew why she hadn’t been hurt enough to call 911.

“I think God knew this was going to happen,” she began.

“Of course He did. He knows everything,” her husband interrupted. “Nothing takes Him by surprise.”

“I think there were angels here,” she continued.  “I think they caught that side so it wouldn’t kill me. It’s amazing that I’m not even really hurt.  Do you think there could have been angels here?”

“Definitely. God charges some of his angels to protect us. Remember what it says in Psalm 91:11? “For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.”

“That’s right!” she agreed. “I do remember reading that. I just don’t think about it very much. But after today, I bet that’s going to change.”

Looking up to heaven, she said, “Thank You Father for Your angels, and for looking after Your daughter.”

“Amen,” her husband said.

And they went inside together to let their kids know the tree house was ready for them.