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Posts Tagged ‘religion’

blessings

Abba, things are looking pretty bleak right now.  It feels as if we are going backward not forward in this trial.  How much longer will this go on?

Even though I am truly discouraged, I know that you want me to fully trust you and to give praise no matter how I feel.  So, please help me to see the little blessings that you provide each day and help me to learn to be joyful and content even when things are uncertain.

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…continuation…

Adi awoke with a start as the guard ran his beat stick across the bars creating a loud clanging sound. “Eat your breakfast, girl. You meet with your lawyer in one hour.” He shouted, shoving a covered plate under the bars.

Tiptoeing across the cold cement floor, Adi knelt beside the covered plastic plate and peered inside. She grimaced as she stared at the already cold, tasteless scrambled eggs and rancid fruit. She shoved the plate away and retreated back into the security of her bed. Fear washed over her causing her small frame to tremble, but as she stared at the colorless wall a memory brought a flash of hope. Rasha had bribed and intimidated the witnesses and the jury when Snake had been caught and tried a few years ago. Because the court couldn’t get any witnesses to speak up, Snake was set free. Maybe Rasha will do the same for her since she was his best drug dealer. When the guard returned, he found Adi still curled up blankly staring at the wall with a small hopeful smile.

“Get up, girl. It’s time to go.” He said roughly as he unlocked the cell door.

The next several hours passed quickly. As if in a dream, Adi listened to her lawyer drone on about the proper courtroom etiquettes, changed into the clothes he had brought her, and faced the barrage of cameras and reporters as she stepped into the heavily guarded truck that would transport her to the courtroom.

“Rasha’s going to come for me. You’ll see.” Adi quietly stated to the guard sitting next to her. The officer just stared straight ahead as if Adi weren’t even there. Adi hung her head as the feelings of fear fled and in its place a hope took hold.

As the van pulled up to the courthouse, Adi could hear the commotion before seeing it. The back door flew open and several officers reached towards her pulling her out of the vehicle. Reporters were shouting questions while jostling one another in an attempt to get close to Adi.

“Adi, do you think that your father will show up and attempt a rescue?” One reporter had succeeded in breaking through the crowd.

Looking at the microphone that had been shoved close to her face, Adi confidently stated, “He’ll help me one way or another.”

“But do you think he’ll show up?” the reporter insisted, even though the police pushed Adi forward.

Once inside, she was ushered into the crowded courtroom. Angry glares and hushed whispers followed her as she walked down the aisle to the front. Unwilling that any should see her sudden fear, Adi kept her head down. She wished that her hair was a little longer so it would shield her from the stares. Three men looked up from their quiet conversation as Adi passed by.

“Adi, I’m here,” Joshua whispered. “Have faith.”

Adi turned her head slightly in the direction of the whisper. Did someone actually talk to her? Have faith? She shook her head. She must have imagined it she concluded as she slid into the chair that was waiting for her.

“All rise for the Honorable Judge Wilson!” an authoritative voice called out, silencing the crowd.

Everyone stood as Judge Wilson entered and took her seat behind the great mahogany desk. “Court is now in session. Be seated,” the silver haired woman said as if in a rush.

Adi studied the hard set line of the judge’s mouth and the cold icy blue eyes that glared at her. There was definitely no hope to receive any amount of compassion from the judge. Her reputation for showing no mercy matched her physical uptight demeanor. Adi’s stomach twisted into a nauseating knot.

The prosecutor strutted back and forth in front of the jury as he eloquently gave his opening statement. “And I will prove that Adi, the daughter of the drug lord, Rasha, is guilty of drug running and theft!” He finished with a flourish, dramatically pointing a finger at Adi, causing her to cringe.

“Step-daughter,” Adi mumbled.

“Hmm? You say something?” her attorney looked pointedly at her.

“Nothing,” she muttered through gritted teeth.

Time passed painfully slowly, while Adi listened to the mounting evidence that seemed to prove her guilt. Each witness appeared confident and almost gleeful in their statements to the court. Why didn’t Rasha bribe the witnesses? He’s done it before when those who worked for him got caught. Why not for me? A horrifying thought clawed at her mind, What if he’s abandoned me?

It was about three in the afternoon when the prosecutor announced that there were no more witnesses. Adi looked expectantly at her lawyer who had hardly said a word the entire time. He slowly stood up, buttoned his suit, and cleared his throat, “How can the defense argue when the proof of her guilt is so clear? All I can do is to plead for the court’s mercy to take into consideration that she is just a young woman who has been forced by her father to commit these crimes. Hers was one of survival, not of malicious intent.” He sat down and thumbed through his leather folder, unaware that Adi stared at him in horror.

“The court will take a recess until the jury reaches its decision,” the black robed judge declared as she pounded her gavel.

“Want to grab a bite to eat?” Adi heard a female’s voice behind her.

“No, this won’t take long. The jury will be back in no time. It’s not hard to see that she’s guilty.” A male voice snickered in response.

Thirty minutes later, a man stuck his head in the guarded room where Adi anxiously waited with her lawyer. “Jury’s back,” he informed the courtroom, and then quickly was gone.

Adi’s face turned to an ashen color as despair replaced the hope that she once had. Slowly, she stood to her feet, wishing that her legs would give way and she could pass out into nothingness. Then she could avoid what was about to happen, but they didn’t, and the lawyer was motioning for her to move.

The atmosphere of the courtroom was filled with morbid anticipation. People were chattering and laughing. Their lives were going to move on while Adi’s life was going to miserably change, and no one seemed to care. Adi slumped down into her seat trying to choke back the sobs as she realized that she deserved everything she was now getting.

“All rise for the Honorable Judge Wilson!” The bailiff belowed once again bringing order to the courtroom.

The Judge hastily walked in and began speaking before even sitting down, “Has the jury reached a decision?”

The foreman rose from his position in the jurors’ box, “Yes, your Honor, we have.”

The Judge’s eyes narrowed as she stared at Adi, “Will the prisoner please rise?” It was more of a command than a request.

Trembling, Adi stood to her feet with her lawyer next to her. “Proceed,” the Judge nodded her head to the juror.

The foreman straightened, cleared his throat, and with all formality pronounced, “The members of the jury find Adi guilty on the charges of drug running and the theft of twenty thousand dollars as well as the theft of a certain pink gown.”

The Judge’s icy cold stare settled back on Adi, “This court finds you guilty on the charges of drug dealing and theft. I hereby sentence you to seven years of hard labor in Soteria’s Women’s Prison with no chance of parole!”

A murmur of approval rippled throughout the crowd causing the judge to pound her gavel. Adi’s knees buckled causing her to fall back into her chair. Soteria’s Women’s Prison! Hard labor! She had heard horror stories of the place. Most women sentenced there never came out, and if they did, they were never in their right minds! Stories had circulated about food deprivation, beatings, rats, and diseases. This was a death sentence! Adi closed her eyes as she choked back the hysteria that threatened to overwhelm her.

…to be continued

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…..continuation….Part 2

“You failed to get my money?” the man bellowed in rage. He raised his hand and sent a stinging blow across the cowering girl’s face.

Adi threw her hands up in protection, but it was to no avail for her stepfather was no small man. What he lacked in height, he made up for in bulk. He was like a rotund bull dog with a loud demanding bark. He used his mass to intimidate those who ran drugs for him. They all learned rather quickly that if they returned without collecting his money, it would not go well for them. And if they had a moment of stupidity and withheld a portion of his money, he would find out and most likely send them to their graves in a cement block. He was the most feared drug lord in the city. Now the weight of his full wrath was turned upon his stepdaughter, Adi, for not collecting the full amount of money that was owed him. The only reason he allowed her to live was that she had a way of eventually collecting his money especially after putting the fear of God in her. He also had the feeling that someday he would profit greatly from her.

“I ought to kill you right now, you stupid fool!” he screamed as he sent another smack to her head. By now Adi sat crouched in the corner, covering her head with her arms. As he raised his beefy fist again, a man with a snake tattoo on his neck, walked into the room.

“Rasha, there’s a problem. The Dragon’s leader was just found shot through the head, and they think it’s you. They’re rallying and might be coming this way.” The young bony man nervously shifted from one foot to another, hoping that Vincent wouldn’t change the course of the blow his way for daring to interrupt him during his vicious discipline.

With a frustrated growl, Rasha lowered his hand and pointed a finger at Adi, “You better get my money before the week is over, or you’ll think that today’s beating was a walk in the park.” With that final threat, he moved out the door shouting orders to those that were lingering around.

Adi sat there shivering and shaking with fear. Her head and face were throbbing from the abuse. Is this all there is to life? As the cold fingers of fear gripped her heart, she stared at the white powdery mound on the table. All I would have to do is to overdose and then I could escape this life. But escape to where? Darkness? Nothingness? Or Something else? She didn’t know what she feared more, living life as it was or being absorbed into nothingness, not even a memory. Hopelessness enveloped her, tearing at her, suffocating her as sobs shook her whole body.

Hours past, or maybe it was only minutes, Adi wasn’t sure, but as she continued to stare at the tempting white powder, a plan began to form in her mind, a plan that gave her hope.

************************************************************

“Where are we going, sir?” Thomas respectfully asked Matthew.

“We are going to a formal dinner. All the elite of Soteria will be there.”

“Do they know that we are coming?”

“They should. We’ve sent them enough letters letting them know that we are coming and what our intentions are. Hopefully, they didn’t ignore them.” Matthew turned to stare out the small window of the Gulfstream lost in deep thought.

Thomas silently watched Matthew. Something was amiss and it was obvious that Matthew was not going to clue him in. Sensing the unspoken questions, Matthew returned his attention to Thomas and smiled, “I know you have many questions, Thomas, but you are here to observe and learn. All will be revealed in time. The best thing you can do is to sit back and rest. I have a feeling that this will be our last few moments of relaxation for awhile.” Without another word, Matthew laid his head back against the seat and closed his eyes. With a sigh of resignation, Thomas followed suit, but his mind would not relax with all the unanswered questions that consumed him..

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“This is where we are going to make camp for the night!” the Father proudly pointed toward the deep cave.

“Is it safe?” the son puffed out his question as he bent over to catch his breath.

“Of course it is! Would I lead you into something dangerous?” exasperated the Father marched into the cave leading them into the deep recesses of it. “It’s the perfect place to protect us from the wind and weather outside. We can be warm in here. Take your packs off and start setting up. I’ll be right back.” With a lightness to his steps and a whistle on his lips, the Father disappeared around the corner.

“Father seems really happy. Something’s up.” sighing wearily, the son dropped his pack from his aching shoulders and slumped to the ground.

“Well, he did say that we were almost at the end of the journey, maybe he’s feeling relieved.” his older sister responded as she unrolled her sleeping gear.

Father once more returned with his arms filled with firewood. “We are going to have ourselves the warmest fire tonight!” Continuing to whistle, he began carving out a pit in which to build the fire.

The youngest daughter crinkled up her nose as she watched her dad, “I’m confused. Where do you get all this stuff, Dad?”

He chuckled, “I told you. I’ve done this trek many times. I know what we need, when we need it, and where we need it. I make sure that everything is in place so that when we need the supplies, they are there and not before. You kids have nothing to fear. For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Touched by her Father’s deep love and sense of responsibility, the young girl attempted to show her gratitude, “Thanks, Dad, you’re the best. I guess I’ll never quite understand how you provided all this, but I guess it’s not for me to understand but to just be content and thankful that you are taking care of us.”

“Yes, hon, my ways are not your ways.” with a laugh the Father reached over and tousled her hair.

Soon the fire was blazing forth heat driving out the cold from the cave. Comfy sleeping bags were rolled out in a welcoming sight to weary bodies. The coffee began its singing as it percolated over the fire while the simmering freeze dried beef stroganoff sent a delicious aroma through the air. Everything seemed so surreal as the campers quietly laughed and talked. The night was almost perfect….

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