Love was gone. Hope was gone. Faith had dwindled into uncertainty. Cara looked into the placid lake water and thought, “It looks peaceful. I need some peace.” She didn’t hesitate. She didn’t blink. She dove off the rock into the brink.
The icy cold water hit her body hard; so much so that Cara found her muscles beginning to tense immediately. She sank like a rock. She did not resist. She allowed her body to be pulled under, deeper and deeper. As she sank, her mind let go.
Cara felt something strange. She didn’t know what it was at first. Then she realized it was her soul leaving her body. It was then that she died.
Cara’s soul floated above the lake, watching as mortality slipped away. That lasted briefly. The soul watched as a tall, handsome man dove into the waters and made his way to Cara’s body. With precise movement, he grabbed the small female and pulled her to the surface. It took him only seconds to get the body on the shore. Once there, he started mouth to mouth resuscitation.
Cara’s soul felt itself being pulled down. “No, it screamed, although it could not be heard.” As the small woman coughed up water and began to breathe again, her soul made its way back into its mortal shell.
“What have you done?” The tiny blonde screamed. “Don’t you know a suicide when you see one?”
“I do,” a deep voice responded. “But I don’t respect it. You’d have been condemned to hell if you’d succeeded. Is that what you want?” With that, the huge framed man gave Cara a look of disapproval.
“Oh, you’re one of those,” Cara said with disdain.
“One of those?” The man looked mildly amused.
“You’re a Bible thumper. You believe in heaven and hell and all that.”
“Well, I don’t,” Cara said, finally standing up. She was annoyed that her small frame barely reached her savior’s upper chest. “Just how tall are you, by the way?”
“I’m 6′ 7″. Let me guess, you don’t like tall people either.” This time the man looked fully amused.
“No, I just don’t like that I can’t meet you eye to eye.”
“Is this better?” The man bent down to meet Cara’s stare. The action surprised her but what surprised her even more was what she saw inside his crystal blue eyes. It was something she’d never seen before. She didn’t recognize it but she knew instantly that she liked it.”
“Why don’t you tell me why you jumped?” The big man asked tenderly. “Life can’t be that bad, can it?”
“Let’s see. My boyfriend left me at the altar after cleaning out my bank account. He also sold our home and ran away with my maid of honor. My parents died in a car accident right after the busted wedding. I lost my job and thanks to Robert I have no money to get an apartment. Is that good enough for you?”
Putting her hands on her hips, Cara did her best pissed off impersonation. She had to fake it given that the man in front of her was beginning to get to her.
“Well, let’s see,” the man answered. “If the idiot left you at the altar, then you are better off without him. Obviously, he didn’t deserve you. Money can be replaced. Tell me how much you need and I’ll write you a check right now. As for your maid of honor, you need to choose your friends more carefully.”
Then looking sad he continued. “I am sorry to hear about your parents. You have my sympathy.”
He blinked and Cara could have sworn she saw a genuine tear in the corner of his eye. It made her inhale sharply.
“If you need a job, you’ve got one. I can always use a good worker. I also own a lot of real estate. I bet we can find you a place to stay until you get back on your feet.”
Cara stared at the man, her mouth wide open. She couldn’t believe he’d just offered her a loan and an apartment. She was a complete stranger. Why would he do that? Finally, shaking her head, she ventured a question, “What’s the catch?”
“What do you mean?” The man looked completely confused.
“What do you want in return for the loan and the apartment? I’m I supposed to sleep with you or something?”
Standing tall once again, the man looked down on her with disappointment. “You truly don’t recognize an act of kindness when you see one do you? That means you’ve never shown one in your entire life.”
“That’s not true,” Cara started but she stopped. The man was right. She’d never done something solely out of the kindness of her heart. She didn’t believe anyone did. It was then that she put a name to the look she’d seen in the man’s eyes. It was compassion.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered. “I never thought anyone did anything without expecting payment in return.”
“Then you live in a sad world, my child,” the man returned. “I want nothing more from you than for you to live until you’ve completed whatever you were set on this earth to do.”
“How do you know I’m meant to do anything?” Cara really wanted to know the answer to that question.
“Everyone is, child. Otherwise, there’d be no need for us to be here.”
Oddly, the man’s words suddenly made sense to her. Existence did imply a purpose. Looking at the man with gratitude, Cara asked,” You’d really loan me money until I got back on my feet?”
“Why not?” The man grinned. “What’s the use of having money if I don’t use it to help others?”
His logic made some sense too. Cara smiled at the man, “Then I accept your gracious offer. You are officially my guardian angel.” With that she held out her hand to shake his huge one.
“That pleases me,” the man returned. He shook Cara’s hand then reached into his back pocket for his wallet. “Here’s a few hundred in cash. Handing that to the young women, he pulled out a check and pen and began scribbling on it. “Here’s another $5,000 until you get settled. If you need more, you can reach me at the number on the check. Now where can I call you when I find you a place to stay and a job?”
Cara took the check and stared at it. For a brief moment, she wondered if it might bounce. Then she stared at the $500 on her other hand and knew it would not.
“I’ll stay at the Motel 6 on Brentwood,” she mumbled. She looked at the man with complete wonder.
“Oh, I forgot to ask what you do for a living.” The big man giggled. Cara thought the sound was amazing.
“I’m a reporter,” she returned.
“A reporter. Imagine that?” The man giggled again. “I just happen to own a few newspapers here and there. Do you have any opposition to relocating? I actually need an editor for a newspaper I just bought in Oklahoma.”
“I’m from Oklahoma,” Cara gasped, beginning to see divine providence taking place in her life.
“Well, imagine that,” the man smiled. “God works in mysterious ways.”
“I guess He does at that,” Cara admitted. “I think I owe Him an apology.”