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“I can’t wait to go to bed tonight,” Rachel said, swinging their arms between them while she clutched Jacob’s hand in hers. Once again, she was walking him back to his apartment, even though he was sure he could find his way home now that he’d lived at the resort almost a week.
“Why is that, darling?” Over the course of the past few days he’d shared a meal with Rachel and Leah and Bilhah and Zilpah, taking the time each evening to learn more about them, their hopes and dreams, and wishes for their futures. Jacob knew if he was going to lead this little flock, he needed to know them.
“Because before I go to bed, I have a chance to pray.”
Jacob fought a chuckle. “You can pray any time of day. You don’t have to wait for bedtime.”
“Well, I know you always pray over our meal, but…” Rachel hesitated. “When I pray before bed, I’m on my knees, and I can talk to God as long as I want. At least, until I’m too tired, and then I climb into bed.”
A vision popped into Jacob’s head about the two of them praying together before climbing into bed. Their relationship was too early to talk seriously about marriage, but they could fulfill part of that vision now. “We could pray together… if you’d like.”
“Just me and you?” Her face lit up with hope.
“Yeah, on our knees. Holding hands.”
“I love holding your hands.” As if to confirm her statement, she gave his hand a little squeeze.
Jacob realized they were at the door to his apartment, and he pulled the key from his pocket. “Would you like to come in for a few minutes? Is that appropriate in your culture?”
“Probably not.” Rachel shrugged. “But I can’t think of a more righteous reason to ignore that rule.”
He unlocked the door and flicked on the light switch as they stepped inside. The spacious living room was modern and inviting, with a flat screen television and a balcony overlooking the courtyard. He left Rachel beside the door as he strode across the room and pulled the door to his bedroom shut, as if sending both of them the clear message that the bedroom was off limits. Some rules weren’t meant to be broken, and that was one of them.
After returning to the door, Jacob offered Rachel his hand, and she placed hers in his with a contented sigh, then followed him into the living room. He helped her to her knees, knelt in front of her, and clasped both of her hands in his.
“Rachel, my darling,” he said softly. “I don’t think I’ve ever prayed with someone before. Not like this.”
“I know that I never have,” she whispered back. “I don’t even know where to start.”
“Yes, you do,” he prodded. “You speak to God every night, don’t you?”
“Yes, but that’s by myself.” Her eyes were wide with panic.
“If you’re not ready for this, I understand.” Jacob gave both her hands a gentle squeeze. Just because he had a vision of them praying together didn’t mean she’d had that same vision. She’d probably never had a vision in her life.
“No, I mean, yes. I mean, I want to be ready.”
“Then just speak from your heart,” Jacob suggested. “Talk to God as if I’m not even here.”
“Okay.” She took a deep breath and closed her eyes.
As much as Jacob wanted to join her in prayer, he couldn’t bring himself to stop gazing at this beautiful woman kneeling before him. Her silky brown hair draped around her shoulders with the heaviness that only comes from healthy natural strands. He longed to hold a lock of her hair, allowing the softness to slide through his fingers. Instead, he just stared.
“Hello, God, it’s Rachel again. I guess you know that already, don’t you? I’m here with Jacob, your faithful servant.”
Jacob was taken aback by her calling him God’s faithful servant. He inwardly shrugged, sensing that wasn’t a bad way to describe himself.
“God, I have chosen to follow this good man, and I ask that you would guide him so that he will be able to guide me.”
Follow him? She said she had chosen to follow him. That was news to Jacob. He continued to listen as Rachel poured out her heart to God.
“I will never doubt Jacob’s leadership, God, but I’d love for you to provide me with a vision of what is to come. I promise to put my whole faith and trust in whatever you show me. I will follow Jacob as he follows you.”
With that, Rachel stopped talking and waited, presumably listening for the promptings of the Spirit, maybe even expecting to see an actual vision. Who was he to doubt God’s power in this matter? He waited, holding his breath almost, wondering what she was seeing or hearing.
Suddenly Rachel lifted her head and glared at Jacob in horror. Then she released his hands as if she’d been holding poisonous snakes and scrambled to get away from him, springing to her feet as fast as she could get away. When she finally looked back at Jacob as he remained on his knees, there were tears streaming down her face. The words she spat at him were filled with hurt and jealousy.
“You’re going to marry my sister.”
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5/5/2022 03:54:44 pm
Great chapter with a surprise ending. I hope Rachel gets over her anger soon. I feel for both of them. So sad since I know what happens in the Bible.
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