"Now remember in all things, God works for the good
Of His people who love Him. Have you understood
Paul's epistle to Romans, and us?" asked the Pastor,
Unaware that Amelia had faced a disaster.
"There were times when I used to believe in that verse;
But they stopped when the casket was placed in the hearse,
And my husband was unceremoniously buried,"
Thought Amelia, recalling the day he was ferried.
He had thrown away chances for walks in the park,
Volunteered, without orders, to serve in Iraq,
In the latest of wars, while she slept alone, fearing
That he wouldn't return with his infantry cheering.
Worse than that, all her fears had come true, when a shell
Had exploded, and turned all her nights into hell.
Now she wanted to run to the pulpit and jostle
Her old pastor, for quoting an ancient apostle.
She retained self-control, in the usual melee,
Which competed for biscuits at church morning tea.
She stepped out to the garden, to find her son playing
With a newcomer, tall, with brown hair slightly greying.
The boy, Oliver, three years old had been withdrawn,
Since the loss of his father had left him forlorn.
Now a glow on his face, which had so often trembled,
Had appeared, while his toy car was slowly assembled.
"Are you new to this countryside?" she asked the man.
"Yes I am, from suburbia," Woody began,
"I moved house and changed churches, to no longer wrestle
With old problems, but maybe I wasn't successful."
"Him as well?" she considered. Did he find that text
From the sermon this morning a cause to be vexed,
As she had? Well she could not dismiss recollection
Of how Oliver had just escaped introspection.
When she went to the church car park, Oliver saw
That the man who had helped build his model before,
Was about to climb onto his large motor scooter.
And Amelia was wondering if he'd be a suitor.
With more purpose than he'd shown for months, the boy ran
Off to Woody, and said, "Motor bike!" like a fan,
Several times, until Woody could not have mistaken
How her infant's next interest began to awaken.
Woody said, "Hello, Oliver, would you now like,
Me to lift you, and you can sit up on the bike?"
The lad nodded, and soon had the chance to be steering,
While the centre stand stopped it from actually veering.
"He likes that!" said Amelia, and after more days
Of observing them playing, as she would just gaze
At the stranger, who'd made a fast friend (quite unwitting?),
She requested that he might assist, babysitting.
"Oh I can't," Woody said, "I'd be … busy." She thought
Without doubt, that she'd just for a brief second, caught
Looks of shock in his eyes, when she'd hinted at paying
Him to spend time with Oliver. What was he saying?
So she paid someone else the first week, and then prayed
That a real explanation would not be delayed.
The next week, she asked, "Was something wrong, when I wondered
If you'd mind him?" Would this make it worse? Had she blundered?
Hesitating, he told her he'd minded two boys
For a woman, divorced, who had used him, with ploys,
Claiming she couldn't date her divorced friend, unless he
Looked after her kids; but then things got quite messy.
Woody learned that she'd actually asked him to mind
Her own children, while really attempting the kind
Of home wrecking that broke up a marriage. The Christian
Inside Woody was not pleased to have that position.
She had used him, with lies to assist her attempt
At adultery, and thought that she would be exempt
From morality, if she could claim her achievement
In her parenting, mindless of causing bereavement.
When he'd cut off his help, and then severed all ties,
She had sullied his name with defamatory lies,
Which had ruined the trust that he'd spent some time earning
In his suburb. The locals found him quite concerning.
"I'm disgusted," Amelia replied, quite irate
At his suffering, "But I won't be out on a date.
I just have to work overtime. It's temporary,
And since Oliver likes you, your help's necessary."
Now she not only knew why he'd chosen to stall,
On assisting, and also responded to Paul
The apostle, reluctantly, now a real sceptic,
And hoped that the country might be antiseptic.
He agreed to come over. She soon would explain,
That young Oliver loved (most of all) his toy train
(His last gift from his father), with miniature greenery,
And some other components of toy model scenery.
When she got home from work, Woody said, "Could you drive
Me to something on Saturday? I can survive
Without payment, but my bike is unsafe on gravel.
And there's no other way I can access for travel."
"We'll bring picnic food we can enjoy while you're there,
And then drive you back home, so I've done my fair share
To repay you," Amelia replied, glad to savour
A more sociable way to return his huge favour.
When they got to the end of the gravel track road,
She was stunned at how, once again, Oliver glowed.
She'd been led, by surprise, to a large model station,
With some two foot high trains for some real recreation.
Woody paid for some rides, and they looked at the field,
Which, to anyone else would be properly concealed,
But was visible, once they had passed by some pine trees
On a steam train, adapted from old 1890s.
Woody also had picnic food, and spread his rug,
Where they still could enjoy every chug-a-chug-chug
Of the great model railway trains. Now she saw omens
Of the truth in her life of that passage from Romans.
They had each been each other's catharsis thus far,
And when she had invited him back in her car,
She put Oliver into his bed, near the landing.
Then she drew close to Woody, downstairs, while just standing.
She embraced him and thanked him and God, for their hurts,
Which had brought them together, then offered desserts.
He enjoyed her fine cooking, and then in the back room,
He then kissed sweet Amelia, thus filling a vacuum.
The demise of her husband, and Woody's disgrace
(Both permitted by God) brought this current embrace
To fruition. Now both back on track, they committed
That old Roman epistle to thoughts, where it fitted.