Meghan stood as if frozen to the wet grass under her feet. Raindrops plinked as they hit the metallic roof of her rental car. She wondered if she should get her umbrella, but the rain felt good, cleansing almost.
With a deep breath she moved one foot in front of the other never moving her eyes from her destination. When her wet canvas shoes touched the edge of the rain soaked dirt pile, she breathed deep again.
The earthy smell of dirt assaulted her nose and she felt the bile rising. Despair threatened to claim her. Her reaction surprised her. Countless hours and God knew how many dollars had been spent so she could stand here today. Yet at this moment, none of it made any difference.
She could still hear the angry footsteps above her head and feel the dust falling on her face as she hid in the tiny crawl space under their house. She could feel the chill of the dirt under her body and sense the blackness all around her. She could still relate to that frightened, abused little girl.
“Oh, God, you have to do something. I so desperately want to be free!” She reached down and grabbed a clump of the muddy earth. “How can I forgive this evil man? How can you restore all that he has stolen?” She threw the mud with all her strength at the tombstone ahead of her.
Images came to her of her door opening at night and the reek of his body odor and alcohol filling her nose as his hot breath was on her face.
She dropped to her knees with fists raised and began beating at the dirt pile. Tears of rage poured down her rain soaked face and dropped to the mud. Pain and anger exploded inside of her.
“You were supposed to protect me! Why did you hurt me? Why? Oh, Daddy, why?” She looked to the tombstone as if expecting it to speak.
Meghan leaned back on her heels, hugging her knees, and just rocked in silence. Her eyes never leaving the cold, wet stone.
William J. Pruit
b. Aug. 2, 1947
d. Oct. 3, 2005
“Heavenly Father,” Meghan began to pray. “I need you to know how lost I feel right now. I need to speak out my pain to you. I need to tell you how devastated I felt when the one that should have protected me hurt me. I need to tell you how terrified I felt when I couldn’t find any safe place. I need to tell you how I lost all trust when I was violated, lied to, disregarded. I still can’t fully trust even you! I am so angry that you did not step in! Where were you?” Meghan paused and shook her fist at the sky filled with clouds. “Answer me!” she gritted between her teeth.
Rain poured down on her upturned face. With eyes closed tight and lips pursed in anger, Meghan waited, just as she had waited for years.
A picture came to her mind. She saw a man, gentle looking and kind. He was standing behind a wall with his hand reaching over it. She saw tears in his eyes and they were pouring down his cheeks. Just out of his reach was a man with a child. The child looked frightened and was reaching for the hand of the kind man, but the other man was holding her back.
Without hesitation she spoke out loud the words that came to mind, “It was his sin.” God had always been there, weeping for her. But God had also given each of us the privilege of choice. It was her father’s choices, his sin and not hers, that had kept her from protection. God hadn’t failed. Someday her father would have to give an account for all his wickedness.
“No more.” Meghan jumped as those words settled so deep in her mind, she wondered if they had audibly been spoken. She knew without a doubt that God was telling her the pain would be no more. Somehow she knew her account had been settled.
Meghan stood and let the cleansing rain wash over her entire body. She opened her arms and held them out in a symbol of the release she now felt. For the first time in her life, she felt the freedom to truly revel in and receive the true love of her perfect Heavenly Father.
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