Ellen And Randall

Ellen was lonely. She had been that way since Steve passed away. She did the best she could, tried to be u beat and have a smile on her face, but it was hard. She saw other couples out and about, enjoying themselves. Inevitably a tear would come to her eye and she would look away.

Her best friend, Susan, would try to cheer her up but it was an uphill battle.

“Ellen, why don’t you come to church on Sunday? You need to get out of that big old house of yours,” she had asked many times.

Ellen knew she should go. Something deep inside her kept prodding her, pushing her to do so. She just didn’t feel like going out. Finally, she agreed to meet her at church the next Sunday.

She met Susan in the church foyer and they entered the sanctuary. It was like walking into another world. She felt loved, a love so strong she was astounded.

“What is this?” she whispered, “What am I feeling?”

Susan heard her whisper and answered, “He is here.”

“He who?” asked Ellen.

“The Holy Spirit, He comes all the time.”

“I’ve never felt anything like this before. I feel loved. It’s amazing!”

“Ellen, what you are feeling is God. He is love in the purest form. Let’s sit down. You haven’t seen anything yet.”

They found a place to sit, and Ellen was amazed by the number of people who approached with a smile and welcomed her to the service.

“What’s going on,” she thought, “Are these people for real?”

The praise and worship team took their places, the service was opened with prayer, and the most incredible music began. Ellen watched as members of the congregation rose to their feet, lifted their hands toward Heaven, and worshiped. She could see smiles on their faces. She glanced at Susan and saw that she was doing the same.

She watched a man, whom she assumed was the pastor, come to the podium, bow his head, and waited until the music stopped.

“Praise the Lord!” he shouted while holding his Bible up for everyone to see. I feel His presence. Can anybody else feel it? It appears in the form of love, total unconditional love. He is here, I know he is.”

Hands shot up all over the sanctuary in agreement. Ellen couldn’t help it, she lifted her hand high for all to see. She had felt the love pastor was talking about and had to agree with him.

“God is here for everyone. He’s here for the sick, the depressed, and the lonely. He knows that there is only one answer. Come to Him. Give Him your despair and your heartaches. Get up from your seats and come to the altar now. He is waiting for you. Please come.”

Ellen was an emotional wreck. Tears were streaming down her face. She had to go to the altar. It was as if she was the only person on Earth and had a mission to fulfill. Grabbing Susan’s hand, she rose from her seat and pulled Susan with her.

Ellen didn’t know what to do. As she neared the altar she began second-guessing herself. Susan realized it and led her to the end of the altar. Ellen noticed others kneeling and quickly did the same.

“Ellen, I’m right beside you. Here, hold my hand.”

Not knowing what to expect, she was a little frightened. The pastor saw them and came their way.

“Susan, who is your friend?” he asked.

“Pastor, this is my best friend, Ellen,” she answered.

“Ellen, we’re glad you’re here. I sense you have a need. May I ask what it is?” he asked.

She burst into tears, “I am so lonely. My husband passed away recently, and I’m all alone. We weren’t blessed with children, and the house is a constant reminder of him. I don’t know what to do. I feel such love here. It compelled me to come forth. But pastor, I’m afraid and I need to get past this fear. My grief has controlled my life, in fact, it has tried to destroy me. Is there a remedy for this?”

“Ellen, I can honestly say yes to your question. There is a remedy. Can I introduce you to the best friend you will ever need? Someone who will listen to all of your deepest wants and desires. Someone who will take away your pain and fill you with joy?”

She slowly nodded her head yes.

“Good. Ellen, his name is Jesus. Would you like to meet Him?”

Sobbing, she again nodded her head yes.

The pastor led her through the sinner’s prayer. She repented of her sins and asked Jesus into her heart. It was as if a ton of bricks had been lifted off her back. She had become a new creation.

“Now what do I do,” she wondered as they went back to their seats.

The pastor went back to the podium.

“We have a new sister in Christ. Ellen, will you please raise your hand? he asked.

Ellen sheepishly raised her hand and the congregation clapped their hands and shouted “Praise The Lord.”

The rest of the sermon was a blur. All she knew was that she felt good inside, different.

After running the gauntlet of well-wishers, she headed for her car. She couldn’t help but notice a man unlocking the door of the car parked beside hers. Glancing at him, she saw that he was tall and rather handsome. As she put her key in the lock, she heard a voice.


Turning towards the voice she saw that it was him.

“Oh, thank you.”

“Ellen? Is that correct?”

“Yes, my name is Ellen.”

“Hi, my name is Randall. Welcome to the church.”

“Thank You.”

“See you next Sunday?” he said while getting in his car.


All week long Susan talked about the church, the pastor, and what it had to offer.

“You know we have a singles ministry, don’t you?” she asked.

“I don’t think I’m ready for that,” answered Ellen.

“You never know. You might meet that special someone,” teased Susan.

“Stop it!” answered Ellen, “I’m not ready for a relationship!”

The next Sunday she met Susan in the foyer. She noticed Randall talking to the pastor.

“Susan, what can you tell me about the man talking to the pastor?”

“Oh! That’s Randall. He is a widower. His wife passed away almost three years ago. He owns an insurance agency. Lives in a beautiful home. As far as I know, they never had children. He is a very nice man. Gave his heart to the Lord right after she died. Why?”

“Just curious,” Ellen answered.

“What are you up to?” teased Susan.

Ellen ignored her. Needing to find a restroom, she headed down a hallway where she noticed a bulletin board. What caught her attention was the notice of the upcoming singles meeting. She saw that it was Tuesday evening, at 7 pm, in the Fellowship Hall. She saw that anyone attending was to bring finger food and that drinks would be provided.

She couldn’t get it off her mind, nor could she stop thinking about Randall. In a way it made her feel like she was betraying Steve. She also knew that he would expect her to go on with her life. She was torn between forgetting it and going. The more she thought about it the more excited she got. In fact, she felt like a silly schoolgirl.

Tuesday came and she made some brownies, got dressed, and went to the church. She saw his car in the parking lot. She pulled in, turned off the engine, and sat there.

“What am I doing?” she asked herself, “this is crazy!”

She got out of her car, grabbed the brownies, and muttered to herself, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

Entering the church, she found the Fellowship Hall. There was a sign-in sheet on a table by the door. As she was putting her name down she heard a voice calling her.

“Ellen, is that you?”

Looking up, she could see Randall coming her way. She smiled and turned to face him.

“Hello, Randall, yes, it’s me.”

Taking her by the arm, he said, “Come with me. I’ll introduce you to everyone.”

She met people of all ages. Was introduced to a woman named Joan who was in charge. They set up chairs in a big circle and she sat down. Randall made sure he sat beside her.

“Ellen, tell us about yourself,” asked Joan.

“Well, I’m a widow. My husband Steve passed away nine months ago. My best friend asked me to come to church. This past Sunday was my first time here. I didn’t know what to expect. I have never experienced love like I experienced when I walked through these doors. I gave my heart to the Lord because of it. Why am I here? I’m lonely. I miss Steve so much. I’m looking for a friend, someone I can talk to. It’s in God’s hands,” she answered.

“Ellen, thank you for sharing. We are sorry for your loss,” offered Joan.

After others shared the meeting was adjourned, and it was refreshment time. She filled a plate and sat down. A few people approached her and made small talk and then left her.

“Can I get you anything?”

She knew it was Randall. Shaking her head no, she answered, “No, I’m fine.”

“Ellen, I have a question.”

“Yes, what is it?”

“Would you have dinner with me? I know we just met and I don’t want it to sound like I’m hitting on you. I would like to get to know you,” he asked.

She had been hoping he would ask. She had been attracted to him the first time she saw him. She also didn’t want to make it too obvious she was interested.

“Randall, I don’t know. Like you said we just met. What do you have in mind?”

“Are you free tomorrow night?”

“I’ll have to check my calendar. Do you want my phone number?”

“Yes, please.”

She gave him her phone number, “Call me in an hour. I’ll let you know.”

Ellen knew she had nothing going on. She deliberately made it hard in order to see if he would call her.

She got home and an hour later the phone rang.

“Ellen, are we on for tomorrow night?”

“My calendar is clear so yes.”

“Good, perchance do you like seafood?”

“Love it.”

“Seven o’clock all right?”

“That will be fine.”

“Give me your address please.”

She did and then hung up. She was excited. She felt like a schoolgirl.

Susan called her the next day and Ellen told her.

“Way to go! You will make a lovely couple!”

“Hold on! We haven’t gone out yet!”

“Let me know how it goes! I want details!”



Ellen was nervous. The thought of dating again terrified her. “What do I do? How do I act?” she thought.

The doorbell rang promptly at seven. She opened the door to find Randall standing there with a bouquet of flowers in his hand.

“Thank you. They’re lovely she said while looking for a vase.

“I hoped you would like them.”

“Where are we going?” she asked.

“The Wharf. I hear the food is excellent.”

She had heard of The Wharf. She also knew it was quite expensive. They had never been able to eat there while Steve was alive.

Later, while sitting at their table, they talked. Taking turns, they talked about their deceased spouses, how much they missed them, and how lonely they both were.

“You know, if it wasn’t for the church I don’t know where I would be right now. I was at my lowest point and could see no way out. Just like you, I was invited to church. I also walked into a love I had never experienced before. It changed my life. I gave my heart to Jesus and he changed me. I’m still lonely and sometimes it’s hard to take. But I know that Jesus is in control,” quietly said Randall.

“I feel the same way. That big old house of mine gets to me. I see Steve everywhere. Coming to church was the best thing that ever happened to me. I am at peace. Jesus has shown me there is life after Steve’s death. The hardest thing is the loneliness,” she replied.

“Ellen, may I see you again?”

“Yes, I would like that,” she answered.

The next day she had to tell Susan all the details.

“Shall I start planning the wedding?” she teased.


“I’m just trying to be a blessing!” she laughed.

Ellen and Randall quickly became an item. Everyone at the church could see it. They we inseparable, constantly together, laughing, joking, and as happy as they could be. Church members were placing bets on how long it would be.

One night Ellen lay in bed and prayed.

“Heavenly Father, is Randall the one? Have you placed him in my life? I love him, but that isn’t enough. I want your blessing. If he isn’t for me then please show me.”

Unbeknownst to her, across town, Randall was doing the same thing.

They were supposed to go out to eat the following night. Randall picked her up, and they went back to The Wharf. They were seated by the roaring fireplace, ate a wonderful meal, and sat there staring at each other. Both knew they had something to say but were afraid to start. Finally, Randall spoke.

“Ellen, I believe I heard from God last night during my prayer time. Ellen, I love you. Love you with all of my heart. But it takes more than that. I had to know if He approved. I had to know if He has placed us together. As I prayed last night I got the answer. It’s …!”

“Wait a minute Randall. I did the same thing last night. I also prayed about us. I, too needed to know if God placed us together. I love you. Love you with all my heart. I too received my answer!”

They looked at each other, smiled, and simultaneously said, “Yes!!!”

Randall took a ring box from his coat pocket, knelt in front of her, and asked, “Ellen, will you marry me?”

“Yes, I would love to marry you!”

They kissed and left to spread the news. Susan was ecstatic and began planning the wedding.

It was one of the nicest weddings ever held at the church. It was beautiful. The crowning glory of the ceremony was when the pastor pronounced them man and wife. At that exact moment, a beam of sunlight burst through an overhead window and encased them in its glow. They both looked upward and shouted together.

“Thank you, Jesus!!!!”

September 8, 2021