Chapter Eighty Three
Rita rushed into the chapel in panic. “Oh sorry. You seen Ted?”
Pastor Herb and Reggie set their plans down and looked at her upset face in alarm. “How long has he been gone?”
Rita paced back and forth, twisting her lip. “Don’t know, really. “I thought he was here or with the guys but…, I know he’s alarmed over something…, somethin ‘bout a storm an’ destruction, but he couldn’t explain his feeling for it…, now he’s gone. It’s got to him pretty bad ’gain.”
Reggie folded his hands in concentration. “Never seen a man so intense as Ted. Good thing though, his visions and what, huh.” Just the kind of visionary that I need in my business groups. With his vision and grasp of the essentials and my financing, why we could,,,
Pastor Herb stood up and stretched. “Guess these reports can wait. With the roads closed off, he’ll be somewhere on campus. I’ll help you look.” He folded the papers away from him and stood up as his chair squealed in protest. He looked back down at Reggie with concern. “You know, you’re right ’bout this project being too big for us. It’ll pull us away from our main mission here. You need a break as much as I do? We can help Rita look ’round.”
Reggie slipped the papers back into his briefcase. “Do me good to get some air. You bet.”
Herb and Reggie fanned out from the church, now as alarmed as Rita. Rita stood by the church door. What is it Lord? What’s going on? She looked around the church yard. Where would I go if I was Ted? She followed the side of the building around to the back and down the slope toward the edge of the bluff. Nothin’ back here. Might as well check the lookout.
She back traced her steps and came out by the lookout. There you are. Shame on you, letting us get all upset. She felt her face flush as she followed the worn path toward Ted. What’s up here? He’s farther down the edge, where that outcrop of rocks jut out.
She deliberately kicked some pebbles so Ted knew she was coming, but he didn’t stir. That’s odd. Nah, for Ted, if he’s in vision, it isn’t odd at all. She sat down next to him but he still didn’t move or even look up. That’s it, now I’m spooked. “Ted, it’s me. What’s goin’ on? You got us scared.”
Ted shrugged his shoulders and moaned. “So discouraged. Don’t know what to do.”
Rita twisted her lip. Ha, Rita to the rescue. Ol’ moody guy. Didn’t know you had such highs and lows. She leaned over into him. “Well, you got me, an’ God, and right now, a bunch of the guys lookin’ for ya. What’s up that made you come down here alone and so sad?”
Ted shrugged. “You mad at me?”
That made her stop. This is serious. “Okay, I’ll back off here and wait with you. Let me know when you’re ready an’ I’ll be the good listener.” She leaned back away from him, pulled her knees up and hunched up in a ball, waiting…
Ted didn’t move, just sunk lower if that was possible.
Rita jumped when she heard men running above and behind her. She unraveled her legs and scurried up the path to intercept the team. “Ssshhh…, sorry guys, yeah, Ted’s down there…, um. I think this is one for just Ted and me. Sorry for the worry. Something’s really got hold of him. What’s that? You bet, right now prayer might be the only thing that’ll help.”
She took her time getting back to Ted. This is deep God, Can feel it now too. Real deep, to the baring of the soul. She mumbled an off tune, something that came to her. Be thou my Spirit, Oh Lord, most divine. Hold me Lord, ’til I am thine…
She sat down next to Ted, careful to leave his space, and waited…, and waited…
Finally he mumbled and pointed toward the horizon. “Somethin’s comin’. So horrible, can’t describe…”
Rita waited. That’s it? Somethin’s coming? Must be more. And waited…, and waited…
Rita jerked back when she realized she’d dozed off. Ted! She gasped to see Ted still hunkered down in silence and the peach light of late evening covering the bluff.
Rita leaned closer as Ted mumbled more. “It’s too much for me to bear. The comin’ storm, an’ now a personal attack on the way, an’ still, hundreds of wounded and hurting in Tent City. When will we have a moment without some tragedy coming over us, you know. It ever, you know, get to you like this, or…, am I way wrong and out on my own?”
She hesitated, exploring her own weakness. “No, Ted. You’re not alone. Too often I have to admit my doubts and fears, then I look to you, ’cause you always seem so strong and sure…”
He shook his head and pointed toward the sunset. “It’s coming, don’t know how to explain it, but a storm is coming that’ll take out this nation, to…, to, make it stop. That’s it, to stop this nation in its tracks. Man, oh man, an’ we’re not close to bein’ ready. Got to talk to Reggie, like right away.”
Rita leaned into Ted in response. “I’m afraid too. After what Carrie said. A plan to take us all out and real soon. Why? What’ve we done that’s so bad to draw such a level of hate?”
Ted stirred at her outburst. “Thanks, you helped me reach conclusion here. See, it ain’t ’bout us. It’s the Light. Darkness hates the light, you know, ’cause the Light reveals the truth and lets people see the darkness for what it is.” He put down his hands onto the hard rock and shifted his legs under him and groaned. “Guess I sat here too long, kinda stiff.”
She smiled at his awkward disclosure. He stumbled a bit and leaned on her hand for support. “Yeah, way too long. I see what I need to do and you can help.”
She pulled around to look into his eyes. “Not so sad anymore? How can you change so fast?”
He shrugged. “’Cause of you!”