Bobbie Jo Morrell is a mountain woman, poet, writer, leather crafter, rustic furniture builder, cat owner, technical writer, website designer. She says, “Colorado’s Front Range, with the smell of pine trees in the cool air of morning, is my home.” Her blog address:


The Morning After

My eyes opened to the dull February dawn, and I knew that something had happened. Yes, margaritas and nachos at Lost and Found. I looked over the edge of the loft and saw the garnet cross glittering blood-red on my desk down below.

Christian. Follower of Jesus. How odd.

A memory of the previous night’s sense of peace washed over me, the friendly smiles of  Trina and the other women, Chris’ exuberant bear hug and rich laughter over margaritas. I flipped over again and gazed at the cracked white ceiling.

“Now what?” a small voice seemed to whisper in the back of my mind. “Now what are you going to do?”

“What do you mean?” the front of my mind asked back, with a nervous tremor.

“What are you going to do now? Now that you’ve actually become a follower of Christ? All that peace and love stuff is nice, isn’t it? But now you have to get out of bed and go out to classes and face Christine and your other friends. What are you going to tell your drinking buddies? Are you gonna just go on as you have been?”

“Shit,” I muttered, my forehead creasing.

“Remember a few weeks ago, when Christine broke her ankle?”

“What about that?” I squirmed around under the blankets uncomfortably.

“When she came home in pain and wearing a cast, you were drunk off your ass. You wanted to be there for her, to help her, right?”

“And I couldn’t even see straight.”

My head sagged in the remembered sense of failure. That image of the hogback ridge arose in my mind’s eye, the cold at the top, the darkness at either side.

Last night I had chosen the darkness of hope and seen it fade away in light as fog dissolves in the sun. Now I saw that I was free to choose again: a rocky path that led on beyond my ability to see towards more hope, or a shortcut back over to the old familiar darkness again.

What might be asked of me on that rocky path? What painfully difficult things might I have to do?

The whisper came again. “So. Now what? Are you going to follow this Jesus guy and see where he can take you? Or do you just want to go back to sleep in the darkness?”

What the hell did I have to lose, anyway?

I flung off the blankets and slid down the ladder of the loft.

“Let’s go, Jesus, and see what happens.”


On Saint Patrick’s day I gathered with Christine and a handful of friends, including Tom and his girlfriend, and Pastor Manske baptized me in the large stone dimness of Memorial Lutheran Church. He had me lean over the little bowl of water on a stand, and three times he dipped his hand into it and  drew a cross on my forehead with his finger.

“…in the Name of the Father…and the Son…and the Holy Spirit…”


I felt like the cross glowed with light from my forehead. Our small group shared hugs all round, then went to Great Plains Sauce and Dough for pizza. Five hours later, after pizza, after hanging out joyfully with Christine, when I was alone in my room, I could still feel the cool burn of the cross drawn on my forehead. I was marked—invisibly, indelibly, irrevocably.

story by bobbie jo morrell, all rights reserved

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