God's Will
Bev Vines-Haines
Pastor Julio Marco prayed for a blind wife.  Not so much that she wouldn’t have vision as much as she wouldn’t be able to see through him.  He was in the middle of a plagiarized hell fire and brimstone sermon the first time he saw her sitting wide-eyed and gullible in the front row.  In his 24 years of preaching and crying out for the faithful to fulfill their obligations to the Lord through the offering, he’d often been awestruck by their naiveté.
He would have felt guilty if he actually believed in a living God, in a powerful Being who could take him down.  But he didn’t.  Plain and simple. His own father had been a snake oil salesman, a flim-flam man back in the days before Internet sites and shared police records made such occupations risky. 
Once he flunked out of the State University, he decided to allow the Lord’s flock to feed and care for him. It had been a match made in Heaven, so to speak.  And now, the Lord was about to provide again.  Miss Abigail Hansen thought the sun rose and set on the fervent power of his words.  Once he had invited her to dinner at the Golden Corral, she was his forever.  He’d held her hand, told her she was the prettiest, sweetest and most God-fearing woman he’d ever known.  He said God whispered, “She’s the one, my son,” when first he saw her and he admitted he was out to woo her as his wife.
He had had a couple other wives over the years.  Not to mention a string of rather ungodly conquests.  But he failed to mention them.  In fact, he told Abigail he’d kept himself pure, just waiting for the woman God chose for him to appear.  He was on his best behavior those first few months.  He sent Abigail flowers and spoke of his love straight out from the pulpit. The faithful beamed and praised God for His faithfulness.
Julio was an Old Testament man.  He believed women were untrustworthy harlots, not even worthy to be called property.  But he needed a son, an heir, and that required courting a woman.  Abigail gave him only daughters.  Six of them.  Each more treacherous than the one before. 
He watched as Abigail’s adoration turned to fear and loathing.  His daughters would scatter like rats when he returned home each night.  As if actually cared.  From the pulpit he exposed them.  Unloving.  Uncaring.  Unwilling to follow those Proverbs 31 rules. 
One Sunday a pretty young woman smiled at him adoringly from the front row.
“Thank you, Jesus,” he breathed. 

First published: February, 2013
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