Excerpt for The Three Friends by , available in its entirety at Smashwords




Other Books by the Author;



A Child’s Journey Through Darkness

Weeping Child to Forgiving Child

A Child Interrupted

And The Child grew Up

Crushed Violets

Love Letters to Daddy

Mining Town Girl

Unshaken

Wanderlust

Miriam’s Song

Story of Ruth

Seasons

















Copyright © 2018 by Donna Nieri



The Three Friends



Prologue



They were always very

close, even from the

beginning,

children living on the

same street.

In the evening playing

in the park, mother's

closely watching.

The first day of school,

the three met at the bus

stop, waving goodbye,



knowing they would be

OK, for they had each

other.



Summers came swiftly,

now old enough

to play alone outside.



Their secrets they only

shared with one another.



It was just such a perfect

and happy time for her, and

her three friends.



Going to school and

then to college, moving

away, having families.



On the way to church one

evening, she and her family

were just blocks away.



Suddenly the screech of

brakes were heard, she

lost her family.



Friends ran quickly to her

side,

kneeling beside her,

no words of comfort could

they find.

A few years later, not

feeling well, the prognosis

isn't good, she has a

terminal illness and would

not live much longer.



Once again running to her

side,

their hearts hurt so bad,



they can't understand why

this has happened to their

friend and not to one of

them.



It is difficult to see her

waning, slowly loosing

ground.



As it came to the end, they

returned and wept as their

friend slowly slipped away,



with no comforting words

to say, only their presence

had they to offer.



****



There is a man called Jòb

in the land of Uz, beyond

where the Euphrates River

flows,



dividing into streams

of blue waters.

Flocks of ostriches with

pink and orange plumes,

proudly strut around.



Resting in the shade of

the broom tree plant,

wild donkeys and

mountain goats shout their

cries.



As far as the eye can see,

all of this land belongs

to the Patriarch Jòb,

a wealthy man, with many

herds and families.



Now, it seems that this is

a story that existed from

the very beginning of time.



When it was written we are

not sure, but it was

inspired by God's word.



It is a sad story, but has

a very happy ending.



Jòb is an honest man and

fears God,

having many possessions,



animals, servants,

seven sons and three

daughters.



The villain of this story

is jealous, and accuses

the God of this man, of

unfairness.



Speaking one day, "You have

favored Jòb and if you

remove his children and

land, he will curse you!"



God replying, "alright, take

these things away, but

do not harm him."



One early morning after

his sons and daughters

feasted the night before, Jòb

arose to offer prayers.



His servant entered with

the news, "your children

and herds have been slain

and I am the only one that

remains."



Jòb is astonished, but

does not find fault,

trusting the God he exalts.



Then, the foe of Jòb says

"surely if you afflict

this man's body he will

curse you to your face."



Jòb is afflicted with

boils covering his body,

shaving his head, sitting

in ashes.



Yet he does not charge God

with wrong, replying,

"shall we receive

only good, and not evil?"



Jòb questioned God, but

never cursed him!



He is the victim of a

wager between God and the

devil!



****



When Jòb's three

friends heard of his

dilemma, they rushed to

his side.



Deploring the sight

of his suffering, they

sat down with him for

seven days and nights.



No one said a word, his

friends also sat in

sackcloth and ashes.

Not one word of comfort

affording, sitting in

silence!



****



After these seven days,

Jòb broke the

silence, cursing the day

he was born.



"Why did not the earth

swallow him before he

was put to the breast?"



"Why should he be born

to see the light, why

was he given sight?"



"Oh, but the night fell

upon him, before the dawn

of morning light."



"Why did he not die,

coming from his mother's

womb,



why was he ever laid on

on his mother's knees?"



****



Then Jòb's friends drew

near with reproaches, "Jòb

you are at fault, if you



had not sinned,

these sufferings would not

be received with chastisement."



Jòb replied, "Lord, I don't

need enemies

with friends like these.

They accuse me of sinning,



bringing these calamities

upon me, accusing me day

and night."



"The distress of my mind

forces me to speak, their

arguments loath me."



"How long will they exhaust

me, time and time again

refute me?"

****



The Great Dissertation



This book of Jòb, spanning

over centuries, gives words

of comfort, to all those

suffering.

It is only normal, to

examine the conscious

when affliction visits.



The false comforters

spawn the accusations,

the very foundation of

truth and right.



****



A Child's Cry For Help



"The trauma has just been

too much, may the day be

cursed when I was born."



"I feel so hopeless and

despondent,

I am troubled and restless."



"My lamentations are weary

and I feel empty."



****



God's Unfathomable Wisdom



"My child, do you

not know, as soon as these

visitors appear, false



friends appear also,

questioning the reason for

suffering?"



"The great question since

time began."

"I understand child, but

have you read,

"there are three things



that are never satisfied,

four which never say,

"Enough?"



"the grave,

the barren womb,

the earth that is not



satisfied with water,

and fire that never

says, "Enough!" *



"You must be leery of

these false comforters,

claiming you have sinned,

that you have brought these

tragedies upon you,



saying, "you cannot arise

from your bed of anguish,

you will languish forever."



"Oh, know that my words are

written! They are inscribed

in a book!



They are engraved

on a rock, with an iron

pen and lead, forever!" **



"Who shut in the sea with

doors, when it burst forth

and issued from the womb,

when I wrapped it in a

blanket of cloud and

cradled it in fog,



in thick darkness with

its swaddling band, when I

said, this far you may come

but no further?"***



"For there is hope for a tree,

if it is cut down, that it

will sprout again, and its

tender shoots will not cease...



at the scent of water

it will bud and bring forth

branches like a plant."****



"In all these things, I

am in your life."





Jòb's Epilogue



When the Lord had finished

speaking to Jòb, He was

angry with his three friends,



"because you have not spoken

rightly of Me as Jòb has

done."



Then Jòb prayed for his

friends, and they repented

of their words.



God restored his fortunes,

doubling all his possessions,

giving him seven more sons

and three daughters.



****



The Child's Epilogue



And so you see, the

trials endured as a child

have had a purpose.



Though it appears from

the beginning of time,

the three comfortless

friends have visited



the child with doubt

and fear,

until its very life

is questioned.



But always, there has been

a fourth Friend sitting

quietly by, listening to



its cries, lifting up

prayers,

planting within a seed of

faith springing into life!

















Inspired by The Book of Jòb

With selection of verses listed.

*Book of Proverbs 30:15,16

**Jòb 19:23

****Jòb 14:1

The Fourth Friend



Elihu rides into town,

just before dawn of

morning light.



His horse pawing the

angry earth,

dust curls, as the

horse rears,

nostrils flaring,

neighing filling

the air.



Morning passes,

body glistening

in the sweat of

noonday sun.



Mane teased with

the breath of wind.



Sitting high in his

saddle, Elihu arrives,

comforting Jòb,



delivering him from

his three comfortless

friends.



He is his defender,

rebuking the enemy of

lies,



ever reminding him,

he has an Advocate from

above.

He is a true friend of Jòb,

the man who lives in the

Land of Uz.







Increments of Seven



They say good things

come in increments of

sevens.



I started writing seven

years ago this year,

after a calamitous

loss, then stopped for

a year.



That leaves six, making

one less of seven.



After tragedy, the body

seems to hold memories

sympathizing with the

mind.



Numbness is a safety

shield, dealing with

pain, for to deal with

it all at once is

overwhelming.

It takes time to grieve,

to gradually make the

decision to walk away,

letting go is not in our

timing.



Little things begin to

happen, giving a clue,

the mind and body are

slowly coming



together, shifting their

weight, holding each

other.



Little urges appear,

moving furniture

in the room where I

have dwelt, rearranging

the order, making room

for a few pictures on

the wall.



Gradually

pulling the drapes,

gently allowing light

to infuse the darkness,

from starless nights

and sunless days.



Whether it comes in

increments of seven,

is not for me to say,

just trusting it will

in time, happen!



Rapid Cycling



Leaning down to kiss me

goodbye,



a sense of abandonment

brought tears to my eyes.



One more cry, no room

for more,



in a split second, making

a decision,



jumping on my bicycle

pedaling fast,



cycling over dust and

debris,



pedaling with fury,

up hills and down valleys



rapid cycling now in my

mind.

Varnish



Browsing through an

antique store,

not really sure what

I am looking for,



an old wood bedstead

lay among ruins,

splintered and rough.



How many bodies has

it borne in the past,

with dreams of confusion,

tossing and turning

in delusion?



Children conceived,

bodies of the dead

for viewing.



I could cover its bruises

with varnish, glazing

its stains,



dress it up with sheets

and such, making it pretty.



But I think I will just

let it rest, after all,

with all the dreams and

stories it has borne,

it deserves it.



Canopy of Heaven



She had a silly quarrel

the other day,



running home with her

shovel and bucket, she

no longer plays.



They had such a good

time together, playing

and laughing.



Then something happened,

she doesn't remember what,

she blamed it on Him, He

was awestruck.



They had played in the

sandbox of time, as

He molded and formed

her, planting where

she should be born.



She ran and ran, she was

so mad, it was His fault

she was sure of that.



Now she has no playmate

and all alone,



her bucket is too heavy,

shovel full of holes,

everything she does

sifts through her hands.



Suddenly aware, it

is just too hot, the

spot where His canopy

had covered her is gone.



The poles have dropped,

the cloth has fallen.

There is no

protection to cover her

from the evil one.



At least this is what

she thinks,



little does she know,

He is waiting for her

to return to the

sandbox, and be

playmates again.





Dancing With God



He is waiting, the

night is restless, she

is lingering, not sure

where she is going.



In her dreams, there is

darkness, with a stairway

beckoning.



He is calling, she is

listening, holding His

hand,



resting her head upon

His shoulder, bruised

cheek upon His breast.



Among clouds floating in

space,

dancing among the stars,

slowly disappearing into

heaven's gates.





Prayer for Friends



When Jòb released his

remorse and

prayed for his friends,



looking to a power

greater than him,



all that had been taken

away was restored,



and he lived to a good

old age.



He had been tried and

tested, but never cursed

God.



In all this he did not

sin with his lips,

accepting all this.



In his many afflictions,

he arose tearing his



robe, falling to the

ground and worshiped

instead.



Naked he came from his

mother's womb and naked

he shall return again.



He trusted the promise

and never doubted,



committing his life to a

God, righteous and true.



Always doing for others

what they were unable to

do.



Looking to the maker

of earth, casting no

blame,



his example has helped

many to do the same.



























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