A Husband’s Prayer, A Wife’s Vision
By Te’Kia Miller
No the dishes are not washed. It’s only been two days. So what? And no, the laundry hasn’t been touched. One day late won’t kill it. It definitely won’t kill me. Today is my off day from work. A very much needed day off. One more day like the last three and I’m jumping into traffic the minute I see a Mack truck. Not really, but I feel I could. Everyday won’t be honky-dory, but some are worse than others. Lately it seems to be a running theme. My faith of choice says we reap what we sow and lately I’ve been doing a lot of talking behind people’s backs, complaining and backbiting. Note to self: remember to repent and tame this tongue. Anyways, bad days are bound to happen. Today isn’t one of them but my thoughts are making it out to be that way.
So since the cleaning hasn’t been done, no doubt Terrance, my husband, will be worried. He’ll wonder why nothing has been done and if something is wrong. I’ll answer him yes, something is very wrong. It’s called being frustrated to the point of I-don’t-care. Usually I’ll clean the house throughout the week and do a touch up on Friday so I can have the weekends to myself. That has become a futile attempt every week. I work retail and the slave masters always want you to have ‘open availability’ as if you don’t have a life outside the job. I have other things to do with an actual steady schedule besides work all kinds of erratic hours. How dare you ask me to drop what I’m doing and come into work on a moment’s notice. I have other obligations too. What is this?
Why don’t I just find another job? Well the answer is simple: why doesn’t the economy just get back on track? Why doesn’t my mid-level manger job at the Trust Us Federal Bank just hire me back? I could ask I whole lot of whys which seem easy enough to answer, but what would that get us? Exactly, nowhere. So don’t ask me anymore whys. And sure, the extra hours they’ve been giving me at the store is a blessing, money-wise. But sanity-wise? Let’s just say these consumers make me want to burn that store down and take everyone with me. But that kind of thing is a crime and God wouldn’t be happy. Plus, my husband would be crushed. I’m the only woman he’s ever known.
You’re kidding right? No, I’m not kidding. We grew up in the same neighborhood and had the same classes in school until high school. We had different classes, but nevertheless, we caught each other’s eye and so we became high school sweethearts and fell in love. We followed each other into college. You don’t want to get me started on college, believe me. I love learning and I’m a cheerleader for education. Now, the institution of education? Like I said, don’t get me started.
There he is. Terrance Lakewood pulled into the driveway of our two story home. The engine died and the door opens. I see him as I sit in the living room looking out through the bay windows. That man knows he looks good in a suite. He’s tall, athletic but lean, waves cascading over his cut hair and brown eyes that ignites my soul. He’s simply beautiful and equal parts intelligent but not so intelligent he has no faith. The man believes in the True Living God and the power of prayer. Like I said, beautiful.
The key turned and the lock pops. He’s looking down as he walks in, turns to close the door and stops in his tracks upon seeing me. I am still dressed in my flowing white silk robe, my legs bent beneath me and crossed at the ankles. In my hand is a mug with chamomile tea and ginger. Steam is lifting from the warm surface of the elixir. In the background, ‘Pure’ by Boney James is playing. Terrance closed the door, a perplexing look on his face as he dropped his briefcase.
“Well this is nice surprise.”
“I had today off.”
“Yeah, I know. I just thought you might be dressed by now,” he trailed off.
“But,” I ask, “because I know there’s a but.”
“But since you aren’t dressed and you’re looking right in that robe, I can only assume you have some quality time in mind,” he said slowly walking over to me. He has that low bedroom eye gaze piercing through me. I feel a certain twinge come over me as he takes my hand, still gazing into my soul. “Dance with me,” he says. Poison, I think to myself. It’s a trap he’s setting. And willingly I go so I set the mug down on the ledge.
We danced to the rest of the song and then to Kirk Whalum’s jazz rendition of ‘For You’. The original song sung my Kenny Lattimore was our wedding song. It’s so beautiful. When the song is over, Terrance gently pulled away and looked down at me. He smiled but then it faded.
“Something is wrong, what is it?”
“I’m frustrated. So frustrated I’m getting to the point that I don’t care that the dishes aren’t done and neither is the laundry. I’ve looked where ever I could for a job to no avail and working this retail gig is like working two jobs ‘cause people call off for this and that. Plus I have you and our home to take care of. It’s just getting to me.”
“So that’s what’s bothering you. I knew something was wrong but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Listen,” he said pulling me closer, “we just have to believe God and continue having faith. He is faithful and will never fail us.”
“I know. And I will continue to pray and put my trust in Him. I was just here thinking when you pulled up.”
“Look, since the job search is working your last nerve, just give it a rest for a few days.”
“You’re probably right. I should shower and get this place cleaned up and get dinner started.”
“I have a better idea,” he said. “Why don’t I run you a bath, and while you’re doing that, I’ll wash the dishes and start dinner.”
“I would love that.”
“Then follow me,” he said taking me by the hand again.
I followed him up the stairs, took the immediate to pass the loft and came to our master bedroom. Crossing the room we arrived at the bathroom door. Leaned against the door jab I watched as he drew the water, poured in the bubble bath and swished it around. He rose from the porcelain tub, turned towards me and tugged on my robe’s belt, drawing me towards him. He pressed his lips against mine and time froze. Then he eased away and caressed my cheek. He planted a kiss there.
“I’ll leave you to your bath,” I’ll leave you to your bath.
By the time I’d finished my bath, Terrance had two loads of laundry done, the dishes washed and had put the finishing touches on dinner. It smelled great. I entered the kitchen dressed in navy blue boy shorts, a grey sleeveless tee and grey ankle socks. Nightgowns were never cute to me so I didn’t own any. I walked up to him and took a big whiff.
“Oh my, that smells great!”
“Almost ready,” he said with a quick kiss.
“I’ll set the table.”
I left him to finish up and set the table. Five minutes later, we were eating. Terrance was always a great cook. We both were. From time to time he would cook, I would cook or we would cook together. Tonight he cooked chicken fajitas with churros for desert. When we finished eating, he offered to do the dishes.
“I’ll get them,” I said, “but if you would, put another load in the washer.”
“Of course,” he said and rose from the table, placed his dish in the sink and went to the laundry room.
Later that night we laid in bed and pillow talked for about an hour. It was something we did every now and then, sometimes just because and other times because something was bothering us. Terrance wanted to know what was going on with me and I told him all my concerns, worries and doubts. I also told him all my hopes. During that time he never said anything but just listened. When I’d finished he just kissed my forehead and told me to sleep.
“Everything will be better in the morning,” he said sliding his arm around me.
Then in the wee hours of the morning I rolled over and he wasn’t there. I sat up in bed wondering where he could have gone. In the distance, I could hear a voice. I listened intently and realized it was Terrance’s voice coming from the fourth bedroom down the hall. I instantly knew what he was doing. He’d done it many times before as had I. He was praying. What he was praying for, I don’t know. The only thing was able to make out was my name. I knew then he was lifting me up in prayer. Feeling like I was intruding I stopped trying to listen in. Closet prayer was private prayer in my mind. Just him and Almighty God. I went back to sleep, tears strolling down my cheek. My husband was praying for me.
I woke up the next morning, startled from a vision I had. No doubt about the culprit. In the vision I had my own business. I was in a shop filled with bags, quilts, blankets and jewelry that surrounded me. When I told Terrance of the vision he smiled, beaming.
“What’s the smile all about,” I asked.
“The Father has answered my prayer to give you vision, clarity of direction and renewed strength.”
Now, three years later, I run my own business selling homemade purses, bags, blankets and jewelry. So far I only have one establishment but with profits the way they are, I’ll be moving into a bigger space or opening another small boutique. I have a website where people can place online orders and I go to trade shows to increase business. My salary is more than what I was making at the retail store and I’m happier than ever doing what I love to do instead of working at some bank. And what should I have to thank for this blessing other than faith in the Lord-God and the prayer of a prayerful husband? To The Lord be all the glory and honor and praise forever. Amen.