This is the final part of the post, What would you have me do?
Margaret screamed and dropped the bowl of food she had been holding.
Her mother-in-law, Isaiah’s mother rushed into the kitchen, “What happened?” she asked.
“Isaiah, Isaiah, Isaiah…” Margaret continued to mutter her husband’s name as though she were doing a chant.
She clutched her chest, swaying like a leaf driven by the wind, and tears that she did not try to stop streamed down her face.
When she saw that her mother-in-law was carrying her daughter, she reached for her child, sunk her face into the head of the visibly confused child, and howled.
Her mother-in-law immediately dropped to her knees beside her and began to scream, “Jesus, Jesus, I will not die childless. You will bring my son back to me. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Help me, please! Jesus. Jesus. Jesus….”
Hearing the commotion, Jonah, Isaiah’s father, ran in thinking there had been an accident. No hot oil or water was spilled. No one was running out to get raw eggs to pour over a burn. The stove had even been turned off. But no one was answering his enquiry as to what all the turmoil was for. Also, his dinner was all over the floor.
His daughter-in-law was rocking her child, and his wife was shouting, “Isaiah, you will not die in Jesus’ name. You will live to declare the works of the Lord, in Jesus’ name”.
He shook his head and left the kitchen.
He would let them worry about fixing something else for him to eat, and then he would demand an explanation… after they calmed down.
The officer in charge signaled for the boys to stop advancing.
Almost immediately, there was shooting from the militants’ side. The soldiers replied.
Caught in a crossfire, the officer sized up the situation and told them to run back to the truck from which they had just disembarked.
Isaiah dropped to his knees, looked to heaven and said, “If You save me, I would serve You for the rest of my life”.
Charms and amulets laid strewn around him, along with the bodies of those who had had them on only minutes earlier.
As bullets whizzed past him from all corners, Isaiah laid down and clutched the New Testament Bible that had been in his front pocket and said, “Prove to me that You are real and I will serve You for the rest of my life”.
Finally, the shooting stopped.
In the distance, he could see the truck that had brought them parked.
Knowing that they had been ordered to return to the truck, he approached it cautiously, looking around to see if he was alone.
Dismembered body parts and human organs greeted him. Some hands, cut off, were still holding on to the charms and amulets they had trusted in.
Isaiah sunk to the ground, buried his face in the cup of his elbow and cried.
He knew most of the boys, his friends. He had grown up with them.
They all had hopes and aspirations.
In the midst of gruesome hardship, most of them had managed to keep hope and faith alive.
They believed that better days would come.
He cried even harder when he realized that most of the mothers of these boys would not meet their sons in heaven because they had not put their faith in Jesus Christ.
He got up, put the Bible back in his pocket, looked and said, “Thank You. Now, what would You have me do, Lord?”