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|Format: DRM Free ePub|
Vendor: WestBow Press
Publication Date: 2012
North and east they trekked to a place seen only once before...It was completely dark when the headlights caught a simple Department of Transportation sign, along a rural highway, that read “Borough of Colsonburg.”
“We’re in Colsonburg, kids,” Ginny cheered over her shoulder, exhausted but relieved. The children had, ironically, all fallen asleep.
* * * * * * *
Pete’s prayer was not eloquent or well-crafted but it was from his heart and he meant every word of it—even more than he was able to say in words. It got kind of quiet and finally both looked up at each other. They stayed quiet for a few more moments.
Happy birthday, Peter,” Pastor Dan finally greeted him.
Huh?” Pete wondered out loud.
“Today, right now, you’ve been born—again. Happy birthday.”
“Wow, I guess so.” Pete let a slight grin escape along with a nod….
Pete sat on that rock and watched the water go by. He thought how he somehow actually finally felt clean and fresh like that pure water. Everything looked the same and he was otherwise just Pete Archer but he also knew he was different now and that his life would be changed. Already it felt as if a gigantic weight had been lifted from him and indeed it had been. He prayed a little more, just letting his thoughts and feelings about it all go up to God. But eventually he had to leave. Walking back up the path everything was the same but at the same time everything was different.
* * * * * *
…but Ginny stayed seated, her head dropped, tears falling all the way to the floor. Then a warm presence was sensed on the pew beside her and a gentle hand was felt running across the backs of her shoulders and resting on her left arm. Joanie’s voice was heard whispering straight into Ginny’s right ear, “I’ll go with you if you want me to.”
Ginny simply nodded and the two stood up in exact formation and made their way down the aisle to kneel at the rail. Immediately they were joined by Meredith Holt and Holly Corbin. Joanie’s hand never departed from Ginny’s arm for even a fraction of a second. Rev. Lilly came down and knelt opposite the rail from the two ladies and inquired how he could pray for Ginny.
Speaking in only half sentences, split by sobs and gasps, Ginny poured out the horror story of the last months, one tissue after another being plucked from the box always there at the ready.
“Oh sister,” even Rev. Lilly was touched, “you have come to the right place today!”
…Ginny cried all over again when she stood and witnessed the gathering of friends also standing up behind where she had been. She also let a smile escape as she embraced Joanie, a sister in so many ways except biologically. Many other hugs were shared and the whole box of tissues was consumed. Only now did the congregation begin to depart.
Beth was napping when her cell phone woke her that afternoon. The display said, “Mom.”
“Hey,” she started cheerfully through a yawn.
“You got a few minutes, babe?” her mom asked.
“You bet,” Beth promised.
Ginny related the whole account…Beth listened in stunned silence, tears coming down her cheeks.
Satisfied her mother was done, she half-sobbed, half-laughed , “that’s wonderful, Mom….”
…Just before leaving for the evening worship service, Beth’s phone rang again. This time the display said “Sis.” Patty and Beth talked and laughed and cried and thanked God together long enough that Beth missed the service.
* * * * *
…Randy, the senior member of the officerless crew said, “Let’s go.”
“County, Engine 5-1 responding with three,” Pete called on the radio and they joined the race to Colsonburg, sirens wailing.
The radio was alive with reports from officers and orders to the many pieces of apparatus pouring into the borough…The Colsonburg Fire Auxiliary members brought coffee and sandwiches to all the firefighters with bread, meat, and cheese donated by several store owners in the borough.
* * * * *
Pete stood next to her; he looked down at her and watched her for a moment. She was laughing with the rest, her smile wide and glowing. She looked up at him as she laughed and he smiled down at her. It was good to see her again and to see her so full of joy, despite everything she had been through. In his mind he traveled back to that horrid March day in Lewistown when she was so broken and lost; the contrast, what God had done, was so evident.
The experience of seeing her that way also reminded him of just how far he had come since that life-altering August afternoon almost four and a half years ago. He had never been the same since.
…He simply looked at her and smiled as he said, “Happy New Year!”
“Happy New Year to you, Pete,” she reciprocated, smiling up at him
* * * * * *
“Good night,” he affirmed back over his shoulder. “See you tomorrow evening,” he added.
“See you then,” she agreed before shutting the door behind her.
After sitting on that step for a moment more, Pete stood up and walked to his truck. Once again he thanked God for everything He was doing in all their lives