Christmas had come and gone and I still hadn’t replied to Nesbit. His story hung over me like a cold mist. Last night, at my mother’s New Year’s party, she had asked me about him and I hadn’t known what to tell her.
Sitting down on my couch, I gaze at the tree I have yet to take down. What do I say to him? If his story is true, then God saved him but condemned Chris, my sweet, good, brave, and honest Chris, to die. If it’s not true, then everything I grew up believing is still a lie.
The tree sparkles in the dark, my eyes falling on the angel hidden in the branches just below the star. Each beat of my heart aches more than the last. My tears come whether I want them to or not.
“If you’re there,” I say, to God, or maybe to the air, “then why? I believed in you for my whole life. I went to church and sat through so many boring services. I tithed. I prayed. I read my bible. I even celebrated the birth of your son when others told me he doesn’t exist. The least you owe me is an answer.” I roll my eyes at my own stupidity.
My computer dings from the kitchen table.
Frowning, I glance from the tree to the kitchen and back again. I tiptoe up to the laptop and peek around. At the top of my inbox is an email from Nesbit.
Goosebumps speckle my arms.
I set down and scan his simple message of a Skype handle and a request to put a face with my name.
Before I’ve even realized what I’m doing I’ve logged into Skype and sent him a friend request. Why am I doing this?
Suddenly the screen flashes with an incoming video call and I roll up my sleeves. My heart pumping hard.
A grainy image of a square jaw, blue eyes, and a gleaming smile slowly clears.
“You never responded to my last email. Did you get it?”
My mouth goes dry. “What sort of a God would save you and kill my husband? Are you really that perfect?”
Bringing up his hands, he folds them in front of his mouth.
I smack the screen, thinking the computer froze when I see him begin to shake his head.
“Why did my best friend die and I survive when we were only a few feet apart? My flesh wants to answer that question more than anything, but I don’t sit high enough to judge that. I can’t answer your question either. But I know what it feels like to ask it. I don’t deserve to be here any more than either of them.”
“Then why are you?”
He puts his lips to his folded hands, and even through the fuzzy connection I can see the moisture on his cheeks. “The only answer I can give is that God is love.”
I shove the computer away, jumping from my seat like I’d sat on a hot coal. “Love? Who does He love if He allows the murder innocents?”
“You.” His voice breaks. “You and countless other people I’ve met that lost someone. All of the people you will meet. As much as it hurt to see what happened to my friend that pain has helped me understand and connect with people I never would have been able to otherwise. Those who might have been left alone in their darkness without anyone if I hadn’t been walked through that same darkness.”
“Why aren’t you angry?”
“I know my friend believed in Jesus, so I know where he is. He was the one who lead me in a prayer to accept Jesus as my savior. It took me time to remember that but when I did it helped a lot.”
“And do you know where my husband is?”
“Did he believe?”
“Then you know where he is.”
I begin to shake from head to toe. “Why couldn’t He do it some other way? Why couldn’t He just keep everyone from hurting like this?”
“Cain killed Able because he wanted to. God gives each man and woman free will and if they want to use that to inflict pain on another then that’s their God given right. It’s not what He wants, but He allows it because it would be going against the nature of who He is to revoke the choices He’s given us.”
“So, because He loves me, my husband was murdered?”
“No, because He loves you, His son was.”
Springing forward, I slam the computer shut.
Thank you all so much for reading! Sorry this post if a week late but the holidays, and time with loved ones, came first. I hope each of you had a wonderful Christmas and an AMAZING New Year. Have a Question you’d like to ask these Characters? Leave it in a comment below and I’ll happily add it to my next chraracter interview.