The smallest words have the biggest meanings.
I thought of that after I’d faced a confused Abby later that night. I’d finally worked up the nerve to ask her what I was certain would become ‘the fatal question’. “You never did answer, Abby. You’ve stood there, you’ve flustered and babbled a bit, but you didn’t answer my question. Have you ever done what they keep saying in Sunday school and accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior?”
Abby huffed. “That’s not really the point, Jess. I wouldn’t mind having someone controlling the chaos, the way the youth leader keeps saying we’re afraid of having someone in charge. That’s not the point, so don’t start unloading that on me.”
“What is it then? Can I help? I mean, what’s stopping you, if you want Jesus to be your Lord?” At this point, she wasn’t the only one confused.
She sat down next to me on her bed. “You already understand, though. And if it didn’t stop you, I guess you’d be the one with the answers, huh?”
I nodded and waited silently. My heart was racing, and I made a mental note to send Chad a final text so he couldn’t read about how grateful I was that he beat back all the nerves to talk to me. That was sarcasm.
Abby took a deep breath. “Jess, our dad sucks. You know that. But he thinks he’s perfect. He’s in jail awaiting sentencing, and he is perfectly convinced of his innocence.” I knew where she was going with it, and she probably saw that. Her eyes dropped to her lap and watched her hands wring each other for a moment until, as if on impulse, she jerked herself up to meet my eyes with her pain filled eyes as she spat out the sentence through the tears that hadn’t formed yet.
“If I were to do all they said, and get an eternal friend and guide and know the person in control, I’d have to be adopted into God’s family. If my dad was a total jerk, but he thinks he’s perfect, why do I want to get an eternal, all-powerful father who has convinced billions of people over the centuries of his so-called perfection?”
I took a deep breath. “What’s the alternative? I mean, I haven’t been destroyed, all the people at youth group are so much happier than you, what’s to lose?”
“What about Chad? He was a Christian. That didn’t stop him from getting taken across the country when he didn’t want to.”
“I don’t know, Abby. Part of knowing the person in control is trusting that he’s doing it right. After all, like you said, he’s all-powerful. It’s not like we can change what he’s doing. That’s not an option, so we’re left with two: we can fight pointlessly, or we can trust him and wait to see the beautiful outcome.” I had no idea where those words came from, but they seemed to fit perfectly in this conversation. I sent up a silent prayer of thanks, which was a habit our youth leader had challenged us to make last month.
“Jess, why did you trust him?” Abby asked.
“Trust who? God, Chad, Dad?” I winced at the last two, but I didn’t know which she was talking about.
She rolled her eyes. “I know you didn’t trust Dad, so I wouldn’t ask that. Why did you choose to trust God?”
I thought for a moment. What point had it been where I decided to trust God? “I guess, because we’re already reliant on him for everything,” I started, “it was easy to build on that and trust him for larger things when I realized that he was already really in control of them anyway. I mean, if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have oxygen right now, we could spin out of orbit and crash into the sun, but that’s not the situation. Do you see what I mean?”
“That’s, uh, something to think about,” Abby said slowly.
“Actually, Abby,” I cut in suddenly, “it happened when I realized that he wasn’t lying.” I waited for that to sink in. To me, not her. It amazed me every time I thought about it. “He wasn’t lying, so I could trust him. Now, if you want me to leave, I’m going to bed, but I want to ask you a question first.”
“Nothing’s stopped you yet tonight,” Abby said sarcastically.
“Abby, what are you afraid will happen if you let go of the twig holding you on the cliff of sin and drop into God’s arms?”
When she didn’t answer, I left her room quietly, got ready for bed, and prayed hard for her until I fell asleep thinking how much hinged on trust, and what a small word it was in comparison.
*NOTE: All characters and events portrayed in this story are purely fictitious. Any resemblance to actual people or events is entirely coincidental.*
Next part next Thursday! Suggestions, names for various characters, or other questions, comments, or concerns can be left below, or you can e-mail me at the address on my contact page.
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