Dsc 0263


United States

Child of God
Marine sister
English Country Dancer
Dessert enthusiast
Wind Chaser
Volleyball devotee
Movie quoter
Tea drinker
Cat lover

Message from Writer

' "Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken, nor My covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD.' ~ Isaiah 54:10

Proud USMC sister!


"Most people never meet their heroes;
I grew up with mine." ♥

“And the one good thing about being down here, is that we’ll save on funeral expenses.” ~ Puddleglum (The Silver Chair)

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~ John F. Kennedy

How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. ~ Winnie the Pooh


The Point of Decision - 2

May 30, 2017


The Point of Decision

Pene lay stomach-down on her tall bed, listlessly fingering the pink tassels on her new purse. Her mind had not been at rest since Vernik’s execution. The servant’s resolute face remained always at the forefront of her thoughts. It angered her. There had been no rest since Vernik was imprisoned. She haunted Pene’s dreams.
Clenching her fist, the purse landed in a crumpled heap on the floor. Pene’s eyes blackened with anger, her vision grew fuzzy. “She’s dead!” She screamed at the top of her lungs. “I squashed her like the little bug she was!” Picking up her mirror, she smashed it on the floor, then fell to her knees, weeping quietly.
A servant peeped through the door, asking timidly, “Are you alright, miss?”
“Go away!” Pene yelled at the frightened girl, who fled immediately. And Pene was once again left to her rage.


Carefully, slowly, with pen in hand, Yedka continued to copy the manuscript. After Vernik’s execution, he needed something to keep him busy. Her last words rang fondly, and convicting, in his memory: “Don’t stop spreading Jesus’s love.”
“I promise.” He whispered into the air. The candle flame sputtered, reminding Yedka that he needed to replace it. Another hour of slow transcribing transpired before he put the pen aside. His eyes hurt, and his right hand was sore after many late hours of writing. His companion at the silversmith always asked why he hurried off after work.
“Writing.” He answered truthfully, as he ran off. Michena scolded him for his lack of concern for his heath, and he apologized as he rubbed his scrunched, sore hand. But he felt the only way to keep himself out of grief was to throw himself into work. Any work.
The morning of Vernik’s arrest, he had made a thin, small circlet of silver, then would have asked to court her. When he learned of her sentence, he asked God to pardon her. When God seemed unresponsive, Yedka got bitter. He went to see Vernik in prison, and God gave him peace.
After her execution, he tossed the ring into a drawer in order to forget. Forget his feelings. His hopes. Yedka knew he had to move on. But how could he make that transition?


Pene tried eating her favorite thing in the entire world: cinnamon rolls. Then she tried shopping. But nothing could get rid of the memory of the peace in Vernik’s eyes.
A foreign word to a dead city. These thoughts and more penetrated her mind. Creating a deeper void in her heart. Her mother suggested counciling. Her father, a trip, before he turned back to the document he was working on. Pene masked her feelings by treating the servants worse, and getting into more such mischief. Eventually, it got so bad that one night, she and her best friend, Mandilie, decided to rob one of the local stores down the road. On the night before, they brought everything they needed, to Pene’s room, and went over the plan.
“Okay, so we both don the masks, and run into the store. You hold the gun on the teller, and tell him to hand over all the money in the register. I make sure that anyone else who’s there is tied up and locked somewhere secure. Then once you have the money in the bag, we grab items off the shelves, and kinda mess the place up a little. Got it?” Mandilie recapped.
“Got it.” They high-fived.


The next night, it was eleven PM, and they slunk to the front of the store. The bright green sign announced that they had arrived at Lidey’s Shoppe. Pene took a slow breath of nerves and anticipation, nodded to Mandilie, then secured her mask.
The summer night air had a surprising chill, giving her goosebumps. A sliver of moon shone coldy down on them from between dark, gray clouds. After a moment, they dashed into the store. The bell over the door jingled when it opened. The cashier, a young woman with dark brown hair, smiled at them before realizing that they were wearing masks. Pene realized with a start that the girl resembled Vernik. Then she shook her head, trying to shove the thought away. “Give me all the money in the register. Don’t trip any alarms.”
The confused cashier fumbled at the lock, staring in shock at the small pistol which Pene had taken from her father’s desk. “Quickly!” Pene yelled, glancing over her shoulder. Mandilie was no where to be seen. Probably in the back of the store. Pene hoped, having a sudden loss of trust in her friend.
Then, when Mandilie ran up to Pene, a door to her left opened, startling Pene, and a BANG resounded through the building. Pene gazed in utter horror at the finger encircled around the trigger of the gun. The cashier was crumpled on the floor.

The events in those few minutes played over and over in Pene’s mind. Swirling around in foggy surrealism. I killed a person. These life-changing words would not leave Pene alone. After walking a stunned Mandilie to her house, Pene mindlessly wandered around. Not exactly sure where she was going.
Just stumbling in a thick smog of desperation. There was no feeling of the cashier, the person, who had been shot. Only hope that Pene wouldn’t get in trouble. I killed a human being, and all I’m thinking about is myself. My sad, lonely existence. “What’s wrong with me?” She whispered to herself, straying off the road, and onto a quiet pathway. It was 1:00 in the morning, and no one was about. Pene wandered in the near-darkness in a state of meditation. “What am I doing?” She asked the warm air. “I did something against what I thought I always stood for. What I believed in.”
She let the statement hang, listening to the emptiness of the words. Of her emptiness. You didn’t mean to shoot her. A voice said. That doesn’t erase it. You also stole. This came from her heart. Deep inside the void.
Where there was still love for mankind. A love which had sunk to the very bottom of its existence. Almost to the end of extinction. But it was still not flicked out. Pene fell to her knees on the dirt pathway. Sobs overwhelming her in a strong wave of emotion.
“Are you alright?” A soft, concerned voice asked. Pene whirled her tear-streaked face to the young man standing a few feet away. The darkness swallowed up most of his features. She wiped her eyes, and unsteadily rose. Taking a deep breath, she replied. “I’m fine. Thanks.” But her eyes filled up again, making her statement untrue.
“Are you sure? Do you need me to take you home?” His words were still gentle and comforting.
“No, it’s okay. But thanks.” Pene tried to smile, but her chin quivered, and she looked at her hands.
“Well, alright. Just let me know if you need anything.” He smiled, then walked away. Pene almost called for him to come back, but some stubborn pride made her refrain. She stood there, rocking back and forth in the middle of the path, until a sliver of light appeared on the horizon.


As Yedka walked away from the young woman, he thought that he recognized her from somewhere. And that night, he sent a little prayer heavenward for her peace of mind.


The next morning, news was all over that two young women with black masks robbed a store the night before, killing the cashier. Pene acted like nothing was wrong, and messaged Mandilie that it would be best if they not meet up for a while until after it cleared up.
While she was walking the next morning, Pene paused by the store, where a crowd of citizens crowded around the front. The captain of police was giving a statement on the steps. “ . . . we will do all in our power to bring these two thoughtless criminals to justice.” The crowd cheered. Pene ducked out of hearing. A lump of guilt building up in her heart.


Yedka had heard by his co-worker that one of the Christians in the group had been killed. His thoughts strayed to the girl in the park. Why was she there? He shook his head. No, I don’t think she could’ve done it. Or could she?


Pene’s tutor had a moment of silence for the murdered girl. Her name turned out to be Alyssn Wesh, who had worked at the little store for two weeks. She brought life and love wherever she went, and never made an enemy. Throughout the day, Pene’s lump grew bigger and more solid.
Clouds were billowing as Pene watched them from her bedroom window that afternoon. Everyone remarked on the strange summer weather. By the next week, everyone had forgotten about the murdered girl. Except for her family, fellow Christians, and Pene.


The Christians held a “Celebration of Life” service, to share memories of Alyssn, and to celebrate her life. Everyone in the group attended, and had an amusing or thoughtful story to tell.
“She always brought me flowers when I was sick.” One said.
“Alyssn would always be forgetting where she put things. When she finally remembered where it was, it was usually in her pocket or her hand.” Said another.
Chuckles and tears announced the short, yet joy-filled life of Alyssn Wesh. The meeting place was filled with colorful flowers, brought by the members. A small dessert reception followed.
“She’s singing with the angels in heaven right now.” Yedka said towards the end of the service. And laughing with Vernik. He thought silently. He turned to hide the tears that glistened in his eyes.


“We need to go NOW!” An urging voice whispered behind Pene. But before answering, she refaced the teller, her mind made up. The young woman quivered in fear. Her skin was pale. Pene hardened her mind, and deadened her heart. She pulled the trigger.
Pene awoke from her nightmare, heart beating rapidly. Her mind still foggy with sleep. Gaining her bearings, Pene swung her legs over the edge of the bed. The curtains around her window were still. There was no cooling breeze tonight. The sweet scent of Fanté made her go to the window. The bushes which held this small, purple flower surrounded the house. Creating a second wall. The moon made shadows of the metal gate.
Pene felt trapped inside her own prison. A prison with both mental and physical bars. She grew faint, and fell to her knees. Everything in her felt longing. Longing for something to fill the void which she had created for herself. Deep inside she knew it.
Thunder erupted outside, and two seconds later, a bright, white flash filled the sky. The lightning storm continued for two hours, getting farther and farther away as the world changed to morning. The clouds cleared away, and the sunrise was a beautiful mixture of gold and pink. Pene watched it emptily. She felt dead inside.
That afternoon, she discovered a trellis on the backside of the house. A voice inside told her to climb it, to see where it led. It turned out that it went all the way to the top-most part of the roof. Up there it was flat and barren. Dry branches and leaves were scattered about, creating a messy picture. She walked to the front edge, and looked out over the city. It was breathtaking. The people and buildings looked tiny from up there.
The wind blew softly, tickling her face with its laughter. Yet there was still no peace in her heart. Suddenly, a dark thought grew in her mind. First, as an idea. Then a possibility. Then a reality.
“Why not?” Pene whispered, her head spun at the thought. Was she actually considering it? She’d always heard of other people doing it, and thought it was wrong.
It’s not wrong for you to do it. It’ll make you feel better. The guilt will be gone. Everyone else will be better off because of it. That same soothing voice told her. Pene leaned forward.


Jaday ran outside to fetch some water from the well. Glancing up at the hot sun, she noticed a small figure at the top of the house. Squinting her eyes to get a better look, she realized with a gasp that it was Pene. Dropping the pail of water, she dashed to below where her mistress’ daughter stood. “Miss Pene!” She yelled.
The figure jumped, having not noticed the servant below, looking up at her. She slowly blinked.
“Don’t move!” Jaday held her hand up. “I’ll get someone to help!”
Pene didn’t reply. Jaday started to leave, but something held her back. What was she doing up there? Suicide. Her hand flew to her mouth at the thought. Miss Pene? Why would she do that?
But her question had already been answered. Vernik. “Miss Pene! You need to come down!” Jaday spoke again.
Pene didn’t answer.
“Miss Pene!” Still no reply.
Biting her lip, Jaday tried to think of what to do. If she ran inside to get help, Pene might jump. If she stayed, then Pene might still jump. What should she do? Just talk to her. Her mind tried telling her that Pene had had her best friend killed. Why should I help her? Because that’s what Jesus would do. Taking a deep breath, Jaday began talking. “Miss Pene! How did you get up there? Maybe I can help you get down.”
“Okay, try something else.” Jaday muttered. “Don’t you know it’s almost dinner time?”


Pene was hearing the words spoken from the servant, but wasn’t quite comprehending them. Her mind had gone dead. Dinner. The word echoed, bouncing around, getting smaller and quieter as it disappeared.
“Can you hear me?”
Hear me. Hear me. Hear me. I can’t do this alone. Yes you can. No I can’t. I need someone to help me. Help me. Pene’s wills collided, causing an inner struggle. She gazed up at the blue sky. What was beyond that never-ending sky? The galaxy. What lay beyond that never-ending galaxy? More galaxies and planets. What lay beyond those? Was it just an endless expanse of emptiness? Or . . . could there be something else. Something that wasn’t in her geography books. Something behind everything else. Behind the existence of everything. Could there?


Jaday had screamed herself hoarse. She was out of ideas. Pene remained unresponsive. Why hasn’t anyone heard me and come to help? She wondered. God heard. She smiled, closing her eyes. “LORD, could you please help Miss Pene? Give her peace of mind, and hope. Please show her Your love.”
Peace filled her every core. Jaday felt a warm quiet surround her soul, which had nothing to do with the weather. It was of the Holy Spirit.


Pene’s thoughts strayed to Vernik. Peace had filled her eyes. That’s what I want. Pene’s breath came in quick gasps. Tears ran down her cheeks. Was that the answer? Whatever it was that those Christians had which set them apart from everyone else. What was behind it? Who was behind it? “How can I find them?” Pene whispered. She looked down at Jaday. The servant obviously noticed the connection, and yelled. “Can you get down by the way you got up?”
She nodded in reply. Her senses were numb. She slowly turned, and walked back across the roof. Taking hold of the rungs on the trellis, she climbed down. Jaday was there when she got to the ground. She was beaming, and murmuring under her breath. Her eyes were filled with joy.
Pene gazed at her happiness. All the servant had done was save her mistress. Why did she do it? What did she have to gain? “What’s your name?” She asked quietly.
The servant seemed surprised by the question. “Jaday, miss.”
“Jaday.” The word felt sweet on her tongue. “Do you know where I could find a Christian?”


Jaday didn’t reply for a long while. She soberly surveyed her mistress. Emptiness clouded her eyes. Go ahead. Don’t be afraid to tell others about Me. “Yes. I am one of them.”


Pene’s eyes changed. A small spark lighted them up. “Why are you so happy? What is your secret?”
Jaday smiled inwardly at her mistress’ first question. The same question she had asked Vernik. “It’s Jesus. He created the world, then came to earth, died on a cross for our sins, even though we are His enemies, then rose again to prove that He is the only true God. Since I’ve accepted Him as my Savior, He gave me peace.”
Peace. “Tell me more?” Pene asked eagerly. “How can I accept Him too?”
Is this possible? Jaday wondered happily. She smiled big. “Let me tell you.”


At the next Christian meeting, Yedka heard the coded knock on the door. Upon opening it, he realized with a shock that the girl he had seen crying on the path was peeking out from behind Jaday. “Please come in.” He said, stunned, closing the door behind them.
“This is Pene.” Jaday said, smiling. She exchanged looks with the nervous girl beside her.
“Hello.” Pene almost whispered. How can these people accept me for what I’ve done to them?
“Hello, Pene. We’re happy to have you.” Yedka said.
He glanced over at Michena, and noticed the troubled look on her face. After he had spoken from the Word of God, Michena approached him.
“Yedka.” She said under her breath, and glanced over her shoulder. Yedka wondered at the woman’s apparent nervous state.
“Do you know who Pene is?”
“No. I just assumed she was a friend of Jaday. I trust her not to bring someone who would exploit us.” He replied.
Michena’s eyes flicked for a moment in doubt. “Pene is the daughter of a wealthy business man on the far end of town.” She paused before continuing. “She’s the one who had Vernik arrested.”
The statement sunk deep in Yedka’s heart. Vernik’s murderer. He could barely breathe. Why LORD? Why is she here? Why did Jaday bring her? I thought I was on the road to recovery. Why did you let the memories come back? These questions filled his mind. Talk with Jaday. He walked away from Michena, and to Jaday, who sat talking quietly with Pene. Ignoring the new girl, Yedka asked Jaday to talk with him in the corner for a moment.
Pene visibly paled. Her eyes were panicked, and darted to Jaday.
“Alright. We’ll be right back.” Jaday patted her hand, and went with Yedka.
He waited a moment before asking her his question. “Why did you bring Pene? Didn’t you know she is Vernik’s murderer.” His words were bitter.
“Lower your voice.” Jaday cautioned, her eyes flicked to Pene. “I brought Pene here because she became a Christian yesterday, and she wanted to learn more about our, her faith.”
“She’s a Christian? Why? To have us arrested too?”
“No! She wanted to know what made me so joyful inside. It’s the same thing I first wanted to know when I met Vernik.” She smiled, remembering.
Vernik. He shook his head. “But you didn’t have anyone arrested. She,” he gestured to Pene, “did.”
“You know better than that.” Jaday scolded. “All of us were enemies of God. He died for everyone. Including Pene. It doesn’t matter what we’ve done. Vernik was my friend too. But I think she would’ve forgiven Pene. You saw how peaceful she was when she learned of her sentence. Do you think she could’ve been that peaceful if she hadn’t forgiven Pene?” Jaday looked into his eyes. Something in them agreed with what she had said.
“I know. You’re right.” Yedka slowly responded, looking at Pene for a moment. “It’s going to take me a while longer to forgive her. But if God hadn’t forgiven me for what I’ve done, then I’d still be where I was. Wallowing in my loneliness. Thank you for reminding of that truth.” He sighed, and slowly walked up to Pene.
“Welcome to the family.”



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