Lena peeks her head into Jamal’s study and sees him working at his desk, probably prepping a Sunday school lesson.
Oh, good. I thought I’d check on you since you’ve been in here most of the day. I brought you some coffee and a snack. (Lena)
What would I do without you? (Jamal)
Lena smiles as she hands over the coffee and plate of doughnuts. Then she takes a seat opposite her husband.
Glad y’all are on speaking terms again. When was the last time you talked to her? (Jamal)
She texts from time to time, but it’s been months since I actually talked to her. You know people don’t bother picking up the phone nowadays. (Lena)
True. How is she? (Jamal)
She sounded okay. She’s “modeling” in another music video. She says she’s coming here after she leaves Miami. And she’s looking for work in Atlanta. She thought I might have some ideas about where to stay. (Lena)
What did you tell her? (Jamal)
I told her I’d do some looking around for her. (Lena)
The girls will be happy to see her again. (Jamal)
Yep, they will, which is why she can visit, but she can’t stay. They’re at an impressionable age, and I don’t think she’s the best role model them. (Lena)
So she hasn’t changed much since her last visit, then? (Jamal)
Nope, still the same old Cynthia- cussing, drinking, partying, and sleeping with whatever man or woman has her attention for the time being. And heaven knows what else! (Lena)
Just promise me you’ll avoid another falling out. Don’t browbeat her with another hellfire and damnation speech…please. (Jamal)
Don’t worry I won’t start another fight. I’ve accepted that I’m never going to win her over that way. (Lena)
Oh? What’s on your mind? (Jamal)
I know that if you feel the need to involve yourself, then there must be a good reason. Go on. (Jamal)
Nora confided in Monica and me, so I’ll need you to keep what I'm about to tell you between us... (Jamal)
Jamal looks concerned.
That’s a relief. (Jamal)
It seems that Nora’s husband may be addicted to pornography. (Lena)
Well Pastor Moore and I have counseled close to a dozen guys with the same issue. Did you suggest counseling? (Jamal)
Of course, but Nora doesn’t think Kirk will agree to it. (Lena)
That’s too bad. We can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. (Jamal)
Well, I don’t want to put him on the spot. That could drive him away, which is the opposite of what we want. (Jamal)
Lena slouches in the chair, exasperated.
Mm hmm, Pastor and I take turns leading the meetings. But I don’t see what that… (Jamal)
Maybe you could talk to Pastor about adding this issue to your list of hot topics. Clearly it’s a growing problem if you’ve had to counsel a dozen men. (Lena)
That’s not a bad idea at all. In fact, it’s a good one. But I don’t see how that will help Kirk when he doesn’t usually attend the men’s fellowship meetings. (Jamal)
We just have to think of a way to get him to those meetings. I’m confident that after attending a few meetings, he would feel prompted to seek help. (Lena)
It doesn’t hurt to try, but bear in mind that we can’t focus our meetings solely on this topic. I’d probably avoid it altogether at the first meeting with Kirk present. Otherwise, we risk making him feel like he’s been set up. (Jamal)
I understand. Now we just need to figure out a way to get Kirk to the next meeting. (Lena)
Thanks for reading!