It was at the corner of Market and Eighth streets that it happened. While I waited for the traffic light to change, I was thinking of the other errands I needed to accomplish. Actually, I hadn't even looked toward the other person who was waiting to cross the street. When I glanced up, I heard, "Nell Mohney?"
I would have recognized that voice anywhere. Gail Tucker (not her real name) has the most resonant woman's voice I've ever heard. In 1975, she and her husband were members of a Sunday School class I taught at the time. One year later, his business transferred then to a Northern city.
Last week, when we accidentally ran into each other, Gail was in Chattanooga to visit her mother. We agreed to meet the following day for lunch. It was there that I verbalized the quotation that popped into my mind when I saw her.
"You look wonderful. Have you had a face lift?"
Laughing appreciatively she said, "Not a face lift, but a faith lift." Then she told me of the near destruction of her marriage and its restoration.
In the move to their new city, they had found their dream house. She is the one who insisted on buying it, though she and her husband knew it was beyond their means. Suddenly, they were catapulted into the social life of a partying, fast-moving neighborhood. It was at such a party several years later that Gail saw her husband look at a neighbor as if they were more than friendly neighbors. She felt nauseous and fearful.
After much thought and prayer, Gail confronted her husband, hoping against hope that she was wrong. She wasn't. After first denying, he then admitted the sordid affair. After lots of angry conversations, tears and prayers, they went to a Christian counselor. His first suggestion was to move out of the neighborhood, which they did. Then he guided them carefully back to their strong value system. It was that conscious living out of the Christian faith that allowed Gail to say, "I've had a faith lift."
Contact Nell Mohney at firstname.lastname@example.org.