No Stones Cast
| After all the doctors, counselors and case workers left, Jason, Abby, Jamison and Sariah gathered around their fragile sister in the Lord and carried her to Jesus, united as one. When she finally fell asleep, the others left and found an empty corner, where they frantically whispered to one another.
"Let's go into my office," Sariah suggested. When they were all safely inside, she could no longer stop the tears.
"Look at what that child has been through!" Jason was torn: he wanted to make that man pay for what he had done to Jason's baby girl, but at the same time, he wanted to comfort the sweet, sensetive Sariah, the woman he was falling for.
"I just can't believe this," Jamison murmured, with a blank expression. Now that Abby was not required to act, she too, allowed herself to cry.
"Did she say that person was with her mother? I just can't understand what would make a person do this!" she raged.
"Oh, my heart just breaks for her," Sariah whispered. Abby collected herself and sat up straight as she said, "We need to get the police in on this."
Jason stared straight ahead, but inside, he was seething.
"He'll be sorry he ever touched my little girl. I'm going to find him and..."
"Count me in!" Jamison said, equally angry.
"Stop!" The command was issued softly, but firmly. Sariah continued, "We can't act out in anger. That will only get us in trouble. We're all emotionally charged right now, and I think we need to find various places where we can regroup before we meet here. We need to be able to support Autumn through this, but we can't be strong without first spending some time with God."
"You're right," Jason said quietly, as the others stood to leave.
Jamison went to the hospital cafeteria to get a milkshake. Chocolate was supposed to be a Band-Aid; he knew that wasn't true, but he wanted it anyway. The thoughts floated around his brain, like the straw amidst the chocolate cream. How could Autumn possibly think they would judge her? The circumstances she found herself in certainly were not her fault. Jamison would do anything he could to show Autumn that he still loved her just the same, perhaps even more so.
Abby went to the hospital chapel. She was glad it was empty on this bleak afternoon. Thunder rolled outside, and the trees swayed in the wind. A storm is coming, she thought, knowing the storm in nature was nothing compared to the one in her heart and the hearts of all who cared for Autumn.
"Lord, how could You let this happen? I have no idea what You're doing here, but God...oh God, help her through the pain!" Abby cried out in anguish. She took comfort in the fact that, although God wasn't visible, He was right there with her. He was speaking comfort to Sariah, Jamison, Jason and herself. He was holding His broken child, Autumn, and whispering His assurances of love to her heart. Abby knew all this was true, so why did she still feel so alone? If she felt that way...she couldn't imagine how Autumn was feeling.
Jason sprinted through the parking lot to his car. He jumped in and drove away from the hospital, to the north side of town. He prayed as he went, asking God to give him wisdom, to guide his words and steps. He wanted to kill that monster, but he knew that wasn't what God would want. He drove to that run-down building, sure that was where he would find Lynne and that evil piece of...
Jason pounded on the door continuously. He heard the windows rattle as he banged away.
"Shut up, you..." That was followed by a string of expletives that wouldn't be fit for a worm. Finally, Lynne flung the door open, and it banged off the door jamb with a resounding crash. She swore again as she dropped the ever-present beer bottle, which shattered at Jason's feet.
"Who are you?" she asked, then didn't give him time to answer. "Clean up this mess!" she screamed.
"So," Jason began slowly, trying to control his own rising anger, "where is the coward who would destroy my daughter, whatever the cancer has left behind?"
The fog in Lynne's mind began to discipate, and she realized what was going on.
"Jason?" she slurred.
"Yeah, so answer my question!" he boomed. The racket brought a man stumbling from the bedroom.
"What's--" he started to ask.
"You tell me what's going on!" Jason pushed past Lynne and charged into that filthy hole she called her home. The man looked at him quizically for a second, then he seemed to understand that this wasn't just a friendly jaunt through his apartment.
"So...um?" he slurred, as Jason towered above him.
"Are you the one?" Jason said, pointing his index finger into the man's face.
"You're the evil monster who touched my daughter?"
Lynne couldn't believe what was happening. There were any number of guys who could have done anything to Autumn...oh, what was Jason rambling on about now?
"What?" she asked.
"You know exactly what I'm talking about! She saw you and a man...before she was raped, Lynne. You can be sure that we'll get a restraining order against you and all your druggie friends...and as for you, sir, you won't get away with this! I know exactly who you are, and by the end of the night, all the police in Apple Valley will, too. Have fun in jail!" Jason raced out the door, dodging bullets from the man's gun as he went.
Sariah stayed in her office with the lights off. She folded her arms upon the desk and rested her head on them. She tried to quiet her thoughts, so God could speak for her to hear. "Oh, God!" she whispered. "Why didn't You protect her? You could have! You surely could have!" God seemed oddly silent, and she just had to remember that He was not silent. His heart was breaking for His daughter, too, but He had allowed this evil for a reason. Sometimes Sariah just didn't understand God, and that was when she had to trust Him more than ever. "I love her as if she was my own. I'd give my life to take on her pain, both physical and emotional. Lord, let me be as a healing balm...let me be the mother she never had...restore her, Lord." She ceased praying aloud when she saw Jason peeking in through the window. "Help me speak comfort to him, too." she whispered, as she went to open the door.
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