Resurrection 72Posted: February 5, 2017
This is a chapter of the book I am writing for NaNoWriMo. If you want to read it from the start, click here for the chapter index.
J.W. was still struggling for breath, his eyes painfully swollen shut, when the CO pulled him to his feet. Tears streamed down his face, both from the spray and from the emotion.
“You shoulda let him have your tray. You got a lot to learn, Fish.” The COs words came out of the sightless darkness. “Still, I gotta give it to ya, you’re scrappy.”
J.W. was pushed along. He heard the sound of a metal door being unlocked. He was pushed inside and stumbled, falling forward. With his hands bound behind his back, his face smashed to the concrete. It hurt more than the one punch Harriman was able to land.
The pain overwhelmed him and he could feel the metallic taste of vomit rise in the back of his mouth. Rolling to his side, he wretched on the floor.
He heard the door clam behind him, the clang of the lock being set and the slot in the door open. “Stand up and back to the door so I can uncuff you.”
J.W. still seared with disorienting pain. He did not move.
“Get up, mother fucker, if I have to come back in there, you’ll regret it.”
J.W. struggled first to his knees and then stood, almost falling again as he backed toward what he thought was the door. His eyes were still unavailable. He backed up to a wall.
“Move to your right, shit head.”
Feeling the wall with his fingers, he moved right until he felt the doorframe and then the slot. He placed his hands through.
“I knew you were trouble, you son’a bitch.” said the faceless CO as he uncuffed him.
As soon as the cuffs were removed, J.W. immediately reached for his eyes. The tears had washed some of the spray away and he was able to breath more easily. He fell to his knees, then to the floor in a fetal huddle. His tears were now more emotion than pepper spray.
“Lord, please God help me.” was the only prayer his mind could form, and he kept repeating it under his breath in the darkness as he sobbed. He spent the next hour in an emotional haze, praying, crying.
After an hour he was spent, he lay there, still motionless on the floor, but quiet. Another hour passed in silence. He eyes stung less and the swelling had subsided. He could see some light under the door, but the room was dark. His head hurt. His hands ached.
The fragment of light at least allowed him to see the toilet and sink. He pulled himself up and moved there. He turned on the cold water and realized just how painful and swollen his hands were. He winced as he turned on the water.
He cleaned off the pepper spray by splashing cold water into his face. The coolness allowed his eyes to finally stop burning. Through the tiny light, he could see the bunk. He moved over to it and sat.
He began to think about all that had transpired over the last several days. Tom. Tom was dead? How could Tom be dead. What will happen to Rachel and the girls. How was this possible?
How could they think he would kill anyone? Is Suze OK? How is Claire?
He wondered what Suze had been told, if she were safe. He wondered what the congregation thought. He bowed his head.
Lord, I know you have a plan for me, but I am completely out of hope. Please Lord, help me see your hand. Give me hope. Show me something to help me get through this. Help Suze. Help Mom and Dad. Protect them all. Please, God, protect me.
Lord, I’m scared. I don’t understand. You promised you would always be with us, protect us. You know I have been wholehearted in my ministry. I would do anything you ask, no matter the personal cost. Please God, give me hope. Somehow let me know you’re in control. Somehow give me some hope.
The pain, the grief, the fear left J.W. without courage. It tested his faith in ways nothing ever had before.
My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? Why so far from saving me?
The opening words of Psalm 22 were heartfelt today as he spoke them. They were words Jesus also spoke from the cross. A plea for understanding, for help, for hope.
Praying the words, however, reminded J.W. the Psalm doesn’t end there. It goes on. He had memorized it years before and it came back to him now:
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.
3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the one Israel praises.
4 In you our ancestors put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
5 To you they cried out and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
J.W. found this comforting. If Jesus felt this way yet God was still in control, still had a plan, then God still had a plan for him as well. It gave him a tinge of hope as he prayed.
Lord, thank you for bringing this to mind. You are enthroned as the Holy One and I put my trust in you. You have not denied me nor my loved ones. When Moses, David, Paul put their trust in you, they were never put to shame.
I can rely on you. Thank you Lord for being with me.
The prayer brought him comfort, despite the pain and grief.
J.W. spread himself on the bed and collapsed into an exhausted sleep.