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Click here to read Part 2.
"Daddy, did God kill Lily?"
"Aaron, why do you say such a thing?" He urgently searched his young son's face.
"Whenever Mama is sad, she talks about how God took our baby away."
"God did not kill your sister. She just died. She was sick. That's all there is to it."
"You should tell Mama that. Then she might like God again."
"That's ridiculous. Your mama loves God. How can you think that?"
"She won't sing the song. She said never again."
"That's enough of this talk," John decided, feeling uncomfortable. "Go play outside for awhile. The fresh air will be good for you."
"But, Daddy, I don't..."
Aaron walked outside and sulked on the front step. Now everybody is mad at me, he thought. He rested his elbows on his knees, his head in his hands, discovering an ant hill between his feet. Could Mama be right, he wondered. Could it be that Jesus doesn't really care? Does He look down on us like these ants? He wrinkled his nose, squinted his eyes and lifted his right foot slowly. With a grunt, he brought his foot down hard, smashing the hill. Then he stood and jumped up and down on it. As he did so, the chickens began making noise which gave him a new idea.
"What d'ya think of this?" Aaron mumbled. He threw a rock at a hen who moved just in time to get out of its way.
"Aw, man." Aaron slapped his leg, picked up another rock and heaved it. This time he missed the pen entirely. Breathing heavier, he picked up a handful of rocks and hurled them with all his might. The squawks assured him he made contact. As he was picking up another handful, a car pulled into the driveway.
"Whoa, give them a break, Bucko," the woman called out as she got out of her car. "What are you doing?"
"Stupid chickens," Aaron grumbled.
"Come here, give me a hug." The woman stepped in front of him, blocking his shot, and opened her arms wide.
"Hi, Aunt Jean." He dropped his ammunition and snuggled into her body. She held him long enough for a tear to spill onto his cheek.
Come back tomorrow for Part 4.
Photo Credit: PentaxFanatiK