Meant to Live: Chapter 10
Christine kept herself busy by cleaning and organizing the house. She also cleaned up outside and did some weeding. As she looked at the beautiful flowers, her heart trembled and she began to cry. She remembered the days before she left for school. Jennie used to weed them so carefully; she loved the pretty colors. Christine shook herself; how difficult it was to battle with all these memories.
Finally the time came for them to leave. Christine stepped in front of the mirror and fixed her hair. She smoothed her dress and fixed the collar.
“Ella,” she asked, as her sister was pulling on her shoes. “Do you think I should change my dress or maybe put on some jewelry? Oh, I think I have some blush too.”
“Christine, you look fine,” Ella laughed. “What’s up with you? You’re never like this.”
Christine stomped her foot and turned around. “No, you’re right, I’m not like this. It’s only, well, I suppose one’s mind gets messed up when one likes someone--or thinks they do. I don’t want to dress up, really I don’t. I want him to see me just as I am. Yes, that’s it.”
Ella was very interested. “What do you mean?”
Christine sat down on the bed with a sigh. “Well, I do like Charlie, at least somewhat. Perhaps it’s more admiration than liking. I have to be careful because since I do like him, part of me wants to dress up nice and look beautiful so that he’ll like me to. But you brought me to my senses. I don’t want Charlie, or any man, to like me just for my outward beauty, or even worse, my pretended beauty. If a man is godly and true, I would certainly offend and disgust him, and of course, the Lord. Or if he was not what he seems and is a man of ungodly character, it is likely he would like me -- mind you, only for my outward appearance. Now think, if that man pursued me because he loved my body, and if I was deceived and thought he was a godly man, think of what would happen! We would marry and I would soon see that this man is not who I thought he was. And I will be forever sorrowful and regretful that I was so foolish as to dress the way I did. Now, do you see how important it is?”
Ella nodded thoughtfully. “Yes, I do. I never before thought that the way you present yourself would be so important. But the way you explain it, I can see it is.”
“Thank you, Ella, for saying what you did. I may have done just what I told you not to do! It is hard to keep your mind straight when you are fighting against a sinful nature. Why don’t we do this: whenever we are in this sort of situation, we must remind and help each other.”
Ella nodded. “Alright, so we will.”
Without further ado, the small family began the walk up the street to where Charlie’s family resided. It was only a few minutes before they arrived.
Stepping up to the door, Christine knocked. A tall boy answered; Christine noticed right away that he looked much like Charlie.
“Hello,” the boy greeted them.
“Hello,” Christine replied, trying to calm her heart. “My name is Christine. Me and my family have come to visit Charlie, if we may.”
“Oh, of course!” He boy replied, opening the door. “Please come in; Charlie has told us much about you.”
“Thank you.” Christine lead the way in and found herself in a large living room, neatly furnished and very clean. She saw a woman bending over the stove. Just then, children entered the room from all over the house.
The boy who answered the door hurried to the kitchen and brought his mother out. “This is Christine, Mother,” he said, gesturing to Christine.
“Oh, Christine! I am so glad you came, and brought your family too! We must introduce ourselves. I am Julia Pierce.” The children gathered around and the introductions began. Charlie’s five siblings were present: Will, Sarah, Joy, Timmy, and Ben. Will was seventeen, Sarah and Joy were twins, both fifteen, Timmy was thirteen, and Ben twelve. It was Will who had answered the door. Christine then introduced her mother and siblings.
“I will go see if Charlie is ready for guests,” his mother suggested as she slipped down the hall.
“Is your father working today?” Christine asked the children, if they could be called children.
“Not quite,” Sarah answered. “He’s on a business trip and should be home tomorrow. He goes away often, but not for long.”
Christine nodded. “It must be good to have him home again.” She thought of the days when her father would come home from work and gather his children around him.
Mrs. Pierce returned with a smile on her face. “Charlie would be most delighted to meet you all, and see you again, Christine. You may go into his room; it is that last door on the left.”
Christine lead the way again as her siblings and mother followed. Charlie’s mother and siblings stayed back.
The door was open and they walked inside. Stepping up to the bed, Christine saw Charlie smile.