As she slept, she dreamed.
She was in her car trying to get somewhere. But there was road construction everywhere and she kept running into detours. No matter how long she drove, she never got any closer to her destination. Frustrated she had decided to ignore the next detour sign but woke up before she could do so.
The first thing she noticed were the shadows in her room. Oh no, she thought. How long did I sleep? She picked up her phone to check the time. It was almost dinner time! Well, I guess the decision has been made for me. There’s no way I can go now. It’s too late. Not wanting to interrupt his dinner, she decided to visit Pastor Toby another day. But then she heard that tiny voice whisper “come” again to her heart.
Responding, she took a deep breath and summoned every bit of strength she had, and headed to the front door.
Where are you going?
She was going to go to the church. She needed to know the truth. And she wanted to be loved for a few more minutes, even if it was only by a stranger. She need to be with Pastor Toby and his son.
But what if they turn you away? No one likes visitors when they’re eating.
If they turn her away, she wouldn’t be any worse off than she was right now. And if they didn’t turn her away, she would finally know the truth.
Determined not to be side tracked again, she walked the few blocks to the church. At this hour, there weren’t as many people on the street. I guess they’re all eating dinner somewhere, she thought. She remembered the last time she walked down this sidewalk. She was still limping a little from her fall, but the redness in her leg gone.
Actually, she was surprised to realize, her leg had healed while she had been with the pastor. Strange that she hadn’t noticed that until now.
She got to the church without incident this time and entered through the unlocked doors. She crossed the foyer and went straight to the doorway leading to the pastor’s living quarters and knocked on the door.
Before her hand could drop away from it, the door opened. Pastor Toby smiled warmly at her.
“Welcome back! We’ve been waiting for you!”
He opened the door wide and motioned for her to enter. “I need to finish some preparations in the kitchen but you can walk on back to the garden. You’ll find my son there. I’ll join you as soon as I can.”
Nodding, she walked across the room and out the back door. Jude saw her as soon as she stepped outside and opened his arms wide to her.
“You’re here!” he exclaimed. “I’m so glad! I really enjoyed our last visit and was hoping you’d be back.”
“You did? I was afraid you were only being nice last time.”
“It’s more than that. You are valuable and special. We take great delight in you.”
She looked uncertainly at him. “Valuable? I’m nobody. Why would you take delight in someone like me?”
“Someday you’ll understand. Right now, let’s just take a walk. I know you’ve been studying hard and am tired. Let me refresh you.”
Smiling, she said, “Can we go to the lake? I have some more questions to ask.”