admissions and explanations

he spent thirty days in jail.

he called her first when he got home.

caller id showed his name on her phone when it rang.

curled up in a ball crying, she let it go to voice mail.

she trembled as she listened to his message. then she was relieved.

he sounded normal. he begged her not to call the police. he just wanted to see her.

she called him back.

they arranged to meet. there was still love. there was still commitment.

they met the next evening at a park.

he rode up to her car on his bicycle.

her heart leaped when she saw him. he looked alive again. he looked good.

they cried as they embraced.

some tears were for sorrow, some for regret, some for loneliness.

after the embrace, she studied him.

his head was shaved. he was thinner.

she touched his left cheek with her right hand.

then it began to pour out of him. he was sorry for what he put her through.

in his darkest moments, he’d had little to no strength to resist the demons.

they told him he would not sleep without the little pink pills.

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photo credit: pixabay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

each night, they fed him the same lie. the stronghold grew stronger.

each night, he went out to get the little pink pills.

sometimes he bought them. sometimes he stole them.

he got caught at one place. they banned him entry for a year.

he swallowed the little pink pills every night.

every night, he took more of them. twenty, thirty, fifty, eighty. he lost count.

he knew they were trying to kill him. they almost succeeded.

those little pink pills were never meant for sleep. they were only for allergies.

he had swallowed almost enough to die in the bed next to her.

one more night, and it might have been the end. he knew that. he said it.

he knew papa god saved his life by sending him to jail.

mercy saved his beloved son and daughter.

they wept together as he told the stories.

little pink pills laced with witchcraft have killed many.

they would not kill him.

he found little pink pills for months. they were hidden in secret places.

they were in the kitchen. they were in the bathroom. they were in the closets, they were in compartments in the car.

he destroyed them as he found them.

and he never took them again.

(copyright 2016 jane doe)

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mercy

picking up every shattered piece seemed impossible.

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photo credit: pixabay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

where to begin. so many questions. uncertainty. fear.

god. he knew what was needed.

he had the plan before she knew she needed one.

worship was needed. worship was first. worship would carry her through this storm.

god sent a gift. a friend with concert tickets. worship concert tickets.

that friend showed up on time. they went. they worshipped.

god was still good, still on the throne. he still loved her. he still loved him

then came the grand jury. then came reduced charges. 30 days. restraining order.

then came feelings. anger. betrayal. loneliness. irritation.

why was the sentence so short?

why did she have to be the one to move?

and god help her. she missed him, that man who was really in there.

god. he showed her. mercy triumphs over judgment.

her heart shifted. the question came. what would she want for herself?

mercy.

he called her after 30 days in jail.

he broke the restraining order.

she went lower in humility. ‘father?’ she asked.

‘mercy,’ god said.

she did not turn him in.

mercy.

Definitions of mercy:

a: compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one’s power; also : lenient or compassionate treatment <begged for mercy>

Source: Meriam-Webster Online Dictionary

b: compassion for the miserable. Its object is misery. By the atoning sacrifice of Christ a way is open for the exercise of mercy towards the sons of men, in harmony with the demands of truth and righteousness ( Genesis 19:19 ; Exodus 20:6 ; Exodus 34:6 Exodus 34:7 ; Psalms 85:10 ; Psalms 86:15 Psalms 86:16 ). In Christ mercy and truth meet together. Mercy is also a Christian grace ( Matthew 5:7 ; 18:33-35 ).

Source: Easton’s Bible Dictionary

(copyright 2016 jane doe)

 

the aftermath

she sat in starbucks resting after giving her statement to the police.

out the window, she saw several officers drive away.

he was handcuffed in the back of their car.

it was over. he was gone.

relief washed over. she inhaled deep breaths.

my god, how had they arrived in this place?

ugh. the bank next door was on lock down. could it get worse?

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photo credit: pixabay

she finished with the police. charges would be filed. serious charges.

she worked the rest of that day. it was a good distraction.

in her office, out loud, she tearfully proclaimed god would restore, somehow, some way.

he had to. he must. there were promises.

at home, the apartment seemed smaller, darker.

she walked the dog, and ate some dinner.

those twenty minutes played over and over again in her mind.

the tears flowed, the sobs came.

she asked god what to do. he said, “forgive.”

there was a movie for that. she watched, curled up in a ball crying.

he was safe now. no more nightly trips. the bars would protect him.

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photo credit: pixabay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

he would not die but live.

she would live, too.

(copyright 2016 jane doe)

 

twenty minutes

twenty minutes can seem a lifetime.

that morning, he was in a rage, either still or again. it didn’t matter.

he drove her to work. she went into her office.

he sped away, tires screeching.

then he called her cell phone. she ignored it.

he called the office phone. once, twice, multiple times harassing her.

he was coming back and demanded she come outside.

not wanting to create a scene in her work, she agreed.

when she went to see what he wanted, he commanded her to get in the car.

she got in the car. with the door barely closed, he drove away.

clearly, what was going on with him had escalated to a new, extreme level.

in a matter of seconds, he had driven the car back onto the highway.

her attempts to escape the car were futile.

each time she tried, he reached across her body and held her back, pulling the door shut.

she screamed at him to let her out; he continued to threaten her.

he turned off the highway on to a side road with less traffic, less people to see, less people to help.

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photo credit n. leblanc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

he had kidnapped her.

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photo credit n. leblanc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

at one point, she realized the screaming she heard was her own voice.

how would she escape? she had to hear.

she quit screaming, going deep to the well of peace within.

she recalled jesus’ words.  “no harm will come to you.”

he became quieter, too.

then, he revealed his need; it was money.

he drove the car to the bank. she was to get money for him.

hands shaking, she walked up to the atm.

to her horror, it was not over yet.

he appeared behind her to see her bank balance.

she quickly took her card back without taking cash out.

he grabbed her hand, bending her fingers backwards.

she pulled away, walking backwards until she was in front of the café windows.

the police gathered there almost daily.

she looked to the right through the windows for them. they were there.

tears streaming down her cheeks, she motioned with her hand for them to come to her.

she mouthed the words, “help me!” to them.

in a moment, it was over.

half of the officers took her to safety inside. the other half arrested him.

in that moment, mercy and grace had come to save not only her life, but his, as well.

(copyright 2016 jane doe)

 

the dark room and the darkroom

 

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photo credit: pixabay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

this place was a dark room, and a darkroom.

she was afraid of the dark as a child.

now, it was the world she lived in.

she knew he wasn’t the enemy.

she knew where the trouble came from.

his demons liked the dark room, the isolation.

she knew what corners they lived in.

they shrank back when she walked by.

she knew jesus was here, too.

he lived in her heart.

spirit brought her verses as she prayed in tongues.

“no weapon formed against you will prosper.”

“greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.”

“he is delivered out of the hand of the enemy by the blood of jesus.”

now was no time to quit.

in her weakness, he was forte.

light was developing in the dark room.

(copyright 2016 jane doe)