Sammy heard such sad, pitiful whimpering. She had been about to take the next exit.
God had been merciful to her and disarmed Dan completely. She wasn’t about to take chances. She had done a roundabout turn when she heard Dan’s pitiful cries.
She didn’t have to ask. She knew in her heart that somehow God still cared about the horrible Dan and in that moment, He was asking her to show compassion. Well, one thing was certain. She didn’t deserve the grace he had shown her either.
She stooped within reach of Dan. God knew she was still frightened of the guy. Still, if God said to show compassion, she intended to do so without questions.
“I was about six years old and Liz was just eight.” Dan seemed a million years away but Sammy listened with everything in her.
“Mum was working on most days then and since we couldn’t afford a sitter, Dad stayed home until mum got back, then he would resume his night shift. I thought that was pretty cool. Dad used to let me sit and watch cartoons, I wouldn’t move a muscle if I had tv on. Dad knew that.” Dan whimpered.
Sammy was trying not to breathe, it seemed this confession, wherever it was leading was important and the key to the puzzle.
“I don’t know how long it went on but I used to hear screams and laughter. Then one day, the tv went off. I was six but I knew the light bill hadn’t been paid. So I started yelling Dad! In the stillness that followed, I heard the most frightful screams mixed with sick laughter. It terrified me. I walked all the way to the basement where the sound was coming from. It was Dad, doing sick things to Liz with his personal terrier in attendance. I screamed and it must have stunned my dad. Next thing, I saw Liz run and miss a step. She fell hard against the concrete and wouldn’t wake up.”
Dan shook under the weight of his confession. I mourned for the innocent child who had to see such evil.
” I had nightmares for days but dad was never more than a foot from me. It was like he was scared of me telling. He and mum eventually separated, she couldn’t deal with the grief of losing her baby. Mum was never the same. She loved me and provided my needs but the light had gone out of her eyes. At first dad came all the time but I used to whimper so much that mum asked him to stay away. She never asked and I never told. Maybe she knew.”
Scared as she was of the teenage Dan, the little Dan made Sammy so sad.
“I know you’re scared of me now Sammy. That was all it took. The imagination of what I am capable of. I never did anything to those girls but they were terrified of what they imagined I could do. I was gonna laugh at you like my dad and probably scare you witless but then you began praying and something snapped on my inside. My dad shot himself in his apartment a month later. I’m terrified, I can’t sleep at night cause once I close my eyes the shadows come back.”
“Why Dan?” Sammy asked the question he hadn’t answered.
“I needed to understand what drove my dad. Liz was his baby too. Why? I guess he was sick and now I am as well.”
“Maybe Dan but it’s not the end of the road for you. I’m sure God can give you a second chance if you would ask and accept his grace.”
“Do you really think so Sammy? Do I still get a chance to redeem myself?” Dan knew he would do anything, give anything to trade the hell he’d been living since he was six.
“No Dan. You can’t redeem yourself. Jesus redeems you.” Sammy said with a smile.
“Really Sammy? I want, no I need that grace. I would do anything.” Dan said, the tears rolling down his face.
Sammy had a huge smile. “God doesn’t need us to work something out. He wants us to Be Surrendered.”