The coolness of an early Spring mist fell on Julie’s shoulders as she made her way back toward her dorm room. She pulled her hood up and slung her book-bag over a shoulder. She had been to mid-week services at the campus chapel, a tiny historic building located adjacent to the towering structures of the college. Several students passed her on their ways to the library or other places on campus. She joyfully strolled along, humming the chapel’s final praise hymn. Finals started two days earlier, and albeit for take home test she was finished for the semester.
Julie stepped off the curb and suddenly her feet seemed to fly into the air. She tried to scream but the oxygen catapulted out of her lungs as she hit the street. Almost instantly her book-bag was ripped from her shoulder, and then she was alone. She managed to lift her head and cry out, “help me!” Pain shot through her chest and arm and blood filled her mouth.
“I’ll get someone,” shouted a distant voice. Then running steps followed.
She could feel someone over her. “Hey, I saw that, are you hurt?”
Julie only coughed, and then suddenly there was quiet.
Bright lights woke her and she squinted to see the source.
A nurse leaned toward Julie. “Okay honey, I think you’ll live.” There was a joking sound in her voice. “In the words of the rescue squad who brought you in, ‘you got rolled.’”
Julie blinked but her head was spinning. “Where am I?”
“Honey, you are in the emergency room at University Hospital.”
“Don’t worry, we just want to take a look at yer head, and make sure there is no lose parts.” The nurse laughed and tucked in the sheet. “You’ve got some bruises and scrapes, but nothing too terrible, but the doc wants to give you a good check over.”
Julie tried to think. “I need to call my dad.”
“I heard the orderly say that someone at the college contacted your parents. However, if you feel up to it, there is a nice young chaplain here who wants to speak to you. But, I will only let him stay a couple of minutes.”
Pastor Williams stuck his head through the curtains, and snickered, “that would be me.” He walked up to her bedside, “Julie, can we chat for a minute or two?”
Just seeing his face made her feel better. “Sure.”
Williams pulled a chair up next to the bed. “The provost is upset about what happened to you. Unfortunately, you’re not the first victim, but he said you would be the last.”
Julie painfully turned her head toward the chaplain. “What do you mean?”
“Well, according to him, he wants the college to institute a ‘we care’ program which has many parts. First, the provost is going to the board of governors and pushing to have more lighting put in; but importantly, he wants student government to come up with an escort program. It’s going to take a lot of planning.”
“Will anything really get done?” Julie blinked as a pain went through her arm.
Williams put his hand on Julie’s. “It will with the right people involved, someone who cares; someone like you. The provost suggested you for the student coordinator and I agree. ”
“I, I, uh, don’t know.”
“Well, when you get out of here he would like you to meet with him and talk about it. I think he’s serious.” Williams squeezed her fingers. “What happened to you is bad, but think of all the good that can come of it. Imagine the other kids who wouldn’t get hurt if a program was working. Think about it, you don’t have to answer now.”
“Okay, I’ll consider it.” Even a deep breath stung.
Williams stood and opened a small Bible. “Looks like Jeremiah knew you would be here. Listen to this, Jeremiah 30:17, ‘I will restore health to thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord.’”
“Fit’s doesn’t it?” Julie tried to smile.
“I think, with the Lord’s help, you are going to be fine. And, I expect to see you in Chapel next Wednesday.” He grinned and squeezed her fingers again. “Let’s have a word of prayer then I am going to go out and wait for your parents, they should be here any time now.”
“I feel better already.”
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