Catching up with the regulars
Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.
It was a typical Wednesday morning in the Fuller house, and Adam was the first up, so he thought, to give Rachel a much deserved lie in.
But to his surprise Grace was already up making breakfast.
‘What’s this then?’ Adam asked grace surprised to see her up at this hour.
‘What’s what’ Grace replies with a smug look written all over her face.
‘You’re up before seven, that’s not like you unless you’re going for a run, have you already been, and why wasn’t I invited’.
‘Calm down dad, and I haven’t been for a run, I need to get to the ‘Home’ today my college lecturer is coming to see the gardens as part of my degree course’.
Grace had developed a keen love of gardening after becoming good friends with Joe the gardener at the ‘Home’.
Joe’s story was that he’d had made a full recovery from prostate cancer and had recommitted his life to God. But unfortunately to Grace had died peacefully in his sleep.
And after his death five years ago she decided upon to continue his work at the home on a part time basis whilst doing her degree course in agriculture and landscape design degree at the cities university and she was good at it.
After all she was the only one doing the course whilst doing the job professionally and she was one of the leading students in her class.
‘So how’s it going Grace’ Adam asked with a little trepidation and nervousness in his voice.
‘It’s fine, well the work is, I’m a little nervous about today, you see dad some of my class mates are coming as well, and you know’.
I’m just a little scared of what they might think, that’s all’.
‘Grace it will be fine, they all know the reason why you’re doing what you’ve done and what got you into your love of gardening and agriculture’.
‘Yes dad they all know, I’m still worried though’.
‘Come here you’ Adam grabbed his precious Grace into his arms and gave her a big hug and squeezed her tightly and said. ‘You have got nothing to worry about’.
‘Ok, thanks dad’
The pair sat down for their breakfast the usual muesli and fresh natural yogurt, and decaffeinated coffee.
‘Grace how about a nice 5 miler later so we can catch up on your day’.
Grace looked up from her cereal bowl and said with a smile on her face. ‘Yes a run would be great dad’.
Within the next hour Rachel had got up and thanked Adam for her lie in and then questioned him on the subject of Grace’s presentation at the ‘Home’ later, and all was well.
‘I was so nervous for Grace I had a rough night’s sleep last night, really appreciate the lie in though’.
Rachel was to meet up with Jane, Paul’s wife and Lorraine Jason’s wife that morning for a Pastoral meeting and plan the progression of the ever expanding church community.
Adams day consisted of their mid-week golf game with Paul and the new boy to the sport Jason, who after all these years had finally relented to start up playing the crazy sport.
But after their play time they had the more serious task of their new Pastor starting later in the week and the three were very excited about the prospect of introducing the fifth Pastor.
The church was amazing now and was a thousand strong and still growing the new church building was vast and could seat 1 thousand 500 easily.
Shortly after the ‘surrender’ of Slayem and Deygar the former M.D. council the Council of Reference had turned out to be still active, but had gone underground for security reasons.
But in the short of it had invested in several companies they had collected millions over the years from churches donations just to support the Council and it turned out to be multiple millions and one of the many companies was a company called Sunrise a legal firm that dealt with, of all things, the personal fortune of a Mr D Greyer of Greyer Industries.
A letter and a visit later from the oldest member of the M.D. Council Mr George Gregor who was now 103 years old gave the church a portfolio worth over 4.8 million pounds and built the new church building and community hub that had been well established being fully finished now for the past 14 years.
It was an exciting time for the church and had taken on a national and global ministry, impacting churches and places of worship from around the world.
The church still held a small irregular communication from the M.D. council on the basis of security but Adam even questioned the need for a Council.
The Council had approached Adam to be the new chairperson for the M.D. council of Reference being still a rather sprightly man at 46 years of age.
But Adam held firm on the real need for a Council and declined their offer saying ‘why after Slayem was surrendered by them, what possible threat could there be’.
Adam was committed to the church but was polite to say to the council if there was ever a need again he may step into the role, if there was ever a need’.
‘So are you taking Zach to school then or shall I’ Rachel asked the daydreaming Adam busy watching the morning squirrels running along the edge of the fence panels in the back garden.
‘Yes, yes Rachel I’ll take Zach, it will be a pleasure’.
Like he had envisioned the couple had, had a son 15 years ago Zachariah, and he was an amazing young man frighteningly intelligent and was the top of his class in most things, but he excelled in sports, much to the pleasure of his proud father.
Adam always encouraged him in all things he did but the one thing Adam loved more than anything was that he could take part in the sports, he had loved, the pair would spend hour’s mountain biking, hiking and running, they all enjoyed that.
Adam was moved by where the family were at that moment and was contented with his lot in life. He gave Rachel a huge hug and Zach walked into the kitchen to find mom and dad hugging again.
‘Cut it out you pair, young person present’.
‘I’m sorry son if this upsets you, but I do love your mother, and I love you and Grace and I’m just glad that we can all enjoy this time together’.
‘Ok dad, don’t get all mushy, it’s breakfast time’.
Adam had every right to happy and contented but there was no way he could tell his son the real reason for their appreciation for life and the fruits of it. After all the family’s father was the one responsible for the freedoms that the city enjoyed, but couldn’t ever tell anyone about it, he was very much the secret hero.
Once Zach had grabbed his breakfast he soon realised what was going to happen when his dad took him to school he quickly rushed to the window to confirm the state of the weather and shouted a grateful ‘Yes’ whilst simultaneously punching the air with his own brand of gratitude.
Adam knew exactly what had brought that outburst on, the prospect of going in Adam’s latest toy, a Caterham R300 Super light in black. It was the replacement vehicle for Adam’s aging M3 BMW, he had sold it to a collector 6 years ago to a German gentleman who saw it on the internet and within a few days secured it and flew over from Munich and has he said, ‘to take it back home’ in a very think German accent.
Zach thought the ‘Cat’ was amazing, he thought of it as something from a batman movie and loved going to school in it, he loved to see his friends at school think his dad was still cool, and not going through a mid-life crisis like some of the parents had whispered at the school gates on numerous occasions.
Rachel interrupted proceedings with her own brand of common sense: ‘oh you’re not taken him in that thing are you; it can wake the dead, it’s so noisy’.
‘Yes Rachel, Zach loves it, and so do I, and anyway I need it for work’. Adam winked his eye, Rachel knowing exactly what he meant by ‘needing it for work’.
Adam had sold the MV Augusta motor bike in favour for something safer and four wheeled, and anyway, he wasn’t about to risk his life riding round on a bike, when life was well worth living now that any threat had been eradicated long ago.
Adam pulled the car out of the garage and Zach slipped in, grinning from ear to ear at the prospect of being in the ‘Cat’.
Rachel looked on has the pair reversed out of the driveway, Zach waved the best he could when Adam floored the accelerator and the shear noise of the beast set of a flew car alarms off has it past.
Rachel cringed with shame but at the same time envied the pair has they went about their day.
Later that morning Adam and Paul were in the golf club’s lounge having a quite coffee and a chat. Jason was in golf club’s shop eyeing up some tasty golf clubs and a bag that was far too expensive, but the hopeful Pastor dreamed on.
Paul was anxious and Adam could tell, the small talk was driving Adam crazy and wished he would get to the point real soon.
‘Adam can I speak to you’ Adam breathed a sigh of relief and waited for what was really on Paul’s heart.
‘Course you can, I thought that’s what the whole idea of playing this crazy game in the first place, so-we-could-bond’.
Paul felt relaxed enough to speak and just hoped Jason would be long enough in the shop drooling over stuff he simply couldn’t afford.
‘I need to speak to you’ Adam sat bold upright to give him his full attention and readied himself, remembering not to interrupt him when in full flow.
‘You’ve known me now, what, for twenty years or more’.
Adam quickly calculated the time in his head ‘been going since I was 19 so that makes it 27 years to be precise’ but he wasn’t going to correct him, Adam could sense a deep concern in Paul’s heart so let him continue uninterrupted.
‘So with that to consider, do you think I’m has well a man than my father was’’.
Adam waited, giving him enough time and ignored the bad grammar just long enough so if he wanted to add more he could.
But the silence was painful, so Adam thought quickly.
‘Paul your father was, and is a great man, and he was rewarded in full for his faithfulness. He is in glory now and he worked hard for it even though God gives it freely’.
Adam leans in towards Paul and grabs his shoulder. ‘You are the image of your father; you too are a great man’.
‘You have nothing to worry about Paul, or should I say ‘Milo junior’.
Paul was grateful and was overwhelmed with the emotion of what Adam had said; But Adam could sense a greater need than just encouragement.
Paul brushed it aside and moved on, but he still had that look of a worried man, Jason approached full of excitement at the thought of those new Golf clubs.
Adam needed more time with Paul, to fish out what exactly was troubling Paul.
He tried to be diplomatic about it and told Jason to give them a moment whilst they talked something through.
Jason was quick to acknowledge the mood of the situation and quickly gave himself an excuse to leave them, trying not to be obvious about the whole thing.
Adam had to be clear their time together was getting fewer due to the ever demands of the busy church they only had these few fleeting moments to get to the bottom of it with Paul, so Adam went the tough love route and gave it to him straight.
‘Just what is the problem Paul, you are an amazing man of God what more can I say to help you’.
Paul paused for a moment looking rather dishevelled and starring into his lap, he rolled his thumbs and then looked up and then gazed into Adam’s eyes.
Adam could clearly see Paul’s eyes filling up as he gathered his thoughts but Adam kept a tight lip and chose not to speak.
Paul gathered himself sat up straight then began to talk, be it nervously at first.
‘Lately God has been speaking to me, well I hope its God, or not, I don’t know. Well anyway I’m having real trouble discerning it; that explains the confusion to who is speaking to me’.
‘So what’s on your mind Paul’ Adam was so careful not to knock Paul of his new found confidence to speak, so spoke in quite tones and making sure to maintain good eye contact at all times.
‘I just can’t escape this thought from my mind; I have woken up in a cold sweat during the night being careful not to wake Jane with the burden, I tried to watch TV but my mind races and races’.
Adam then becomes uncomfortable and starts moving around his eyes shift from Paul’s gaze and then the pair of them wonders what exactly is going on.
Paul notices Adam his having trouble. ‘What is it?’
Adam allows himself to continue. ‘At those moments do you start dreaming like it is real’. Paul confirms with a nod and a wave of his hand to continue.
‘I too am having trouble sleeping and have also gone downstairs so not to disturb Rachel, I watch mindless TV programmes nothing to taxing on the mind late at night, stupid house development D.I.Y nonsense and then, I’m in church…… I’m sat second row from the front at the end of the isle with a single leg stretched out has I normally do, and you have asked the church to bow their heads in prayer.
But something tells me not to and I gaze around for a moment and notice a man walking down the centre isle very quickly with great purpose and authority. He his clean shaven and very well dressed in expensive looking clothes and he is reaching behind his back to retrieve and gun tucked into the back of his trousers.
I move quickly and confront him before he shoots you at point blank range I grab the Glock 34 semi-automatic pistol and turn it on the man covering the hammer stopping the weapon firing; then I bring the man down to the floor and then you open one eye to see the commotion before your eyes. Then others start to see and people start to scream and the situation gets out of hand the congregation panic then people are clambering over one another to get out, ‘I scream out don’t move’ people stop in their tracks unaware I’m telling the armed man ‘not to move’.
Then it is like all running in slow motion the man is looking at me, the gun is under the man’s chin and his finger is still on the trigger with my hand wrapped around his, with a single finger holding back the hammer stopping the weapon from going off. His gaze meets mine full on, with a smug confidence that is frightening me to my core.
The armed man speaks ‘pull the trigger I am ready to die’.
Adam his sat on the man with his knees firmly on his chest holding the weapon he starts to feel the armed man’s grip loosen on the gun and Adam quickly moves in removing the weapon fully from him Adam quickly presses the magazine release button dropping the 16 round magazine to the carpet, he soon remembers the remaining bullet still in the guns chamber. Then I put the weapon back under the man’s chin and say this.
‘I could shoot you right now, but unfortunately my eternity with my God would be compromised, but you think that your eternity is better if I pull this trigger, don’t you, well do you’.
Then the man’s smugness gets so unbearable then he reaches out and grabs my hand, and pulls the trigger with my finger…. ‘Then I wake up in a cold sweat’
Paul was motionless his voice broke finally under the immense pressure of it all, and says, ‘ditto’.