Another strange dream left Sienna with difficulty sleeping.
This wasn’t a dream about the shooting, but something that had happened before, long before, something she had nearly wiped out of her memory.
Why Lord is this happening to me now, why am I remembering this? I thought those days were behind me. I thought I had put that all behind me.
How does someone ever put something like that behind them?
Sienna wheeled herself over to her desk, and fired up her laptop, staring at the website that brought back everything.
Lord I am staring at the man who molested me, who raped me.
She remembered very little about what actually happened, but looking at this man’s face, took her back to the fact it had happened.
Being raped, being molested had been worse than being shot, far worse.
Somehow she had made it through that though, and she had made it through this.
God is certainly with me.
Sienna was strong, but she understood that like everyone she had her breaking points. Some things she just could not wrap her mind around, like why someone would want to hurt a child.
I remember so little about that time Lord, but I remember a dress, a pink and white Easter dress, with white patent leather shoes, and an old fashioned Easter hat, because I had insisted on dressing like Mom had as a little girl, and I remember pictures, tons of pictures.
The light from Sienna’s room must have waken her, because before long, she made her way into Sienna’s room.
“Sienna are you okay? Why are you up?” Kelsea asked, looking at the picture her sister was looking at, and not saying anything.
Kelsea knew too, had it happened to her?
Sienna nodded her head.
“Why, why is he being allowed to do that?”
“I don’t know Kels…”
All Sienna did know was this man had to be stopped. Sienna could not let someone else get hurt the way she had been. She could remember little about what actually had happened, but she did know that she could not allow this monster to continue to hurt children.
Lord he has to be stopped he can’t be allowed to keep hurting children. The police heard my reports, but they couldn’t stop him, what if this keeps happening.
Sienna saw the look on Kelsea’s face.
“You remember don’t you?”
“Yeah, you don’t?”
“I know something happened, but I have no memory of what.”
“He was a friend of Dad’s getting his studio going, Dad wanted to give him our business, we trusted him, we all did, he was like an uncle to us. Mom and Dad stepped out for a few minutes, and then it happened.”
Sienna didn’t have to ask what happened, even without remembering she knew. Perhaps somewhere deep down she remembered, and had blocked it out.
“I thought being shot was the worst thing that ever happened to me. I was wrong, what happened years ago was worse, far worse.”
“I’m sorry Sienna, I wish you had never come across that picture.”
“If I hadn’t Kelsea, then we wouldn’t know we wouldn’t be able to warn others.”
“I think we need to tell Mom.”
Sienna and Kelsea’s father had left long ago, and at first they hadn’t understood why, but they did now.
He had blamed himself for what had happened to them, he knew, and after he found out, he wanted to kill the man, a few months after the man was arrested. He couldn’t let go of the guilt for what had happened, and for a long time Sienna and Kelsea could not forgive their Father, for leaving the family when they needed him most. They understood more now, but they wondered how their Father was doing, why he didn’t try contacting them.
Sienna and Kelsea would have so much to tell them, but truth be told if they did find him they were not sure how they would react. They weren’t sure how he would react to Sienna in a wheelchair now, a victim of a gunshot wound. Would he blame himself for that too, and leave once again, because he felt guilty.
“I think we need to get our minds on something else, at least for the moment.” Sienna said, grabbing the Bible off her desk.
Sienna’s Bible fell open to Romans 15 and the words spoke to both hers and Kelsea’s heart.
1 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2 Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. 3 For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.”[a] 4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6 so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. 8 For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews[b] on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed 9 and, moreover, that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written:
“Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles;
I will sing the praises of your name.”[c]
10 Again, it says,
“Rejoice, you Gentiles, with his people.”[d]
11 And again,
“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles;
let all the peoples extol him.”[e]
12 And again, Isaiah says,
“The Root of Jesse will spring up,
one who will arise to rule over the nations;
in him the Gentiles will hope.”[f]
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Paul the Minister to the Gentiles
14 I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another. 15 Yet I have written you quite boldly on some points to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. He gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
17 Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. 18 I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done— 19 by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ. 20 It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation. 21 Rather, as it is written:
“Those who were not told about him will see,
and those who have not heard will understand.”[g]
22 This is why I have often been hindered from coming to you.
Paul’s Plan to Visit Rome
23 But now that there is no more place for me to work in these regions, and since I have been longing for many years to visit you, 24 I plan to do so when I go to Spain. I hope to see you while passing through and to have you assist me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while. 25 Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the Lord’s people there. 26 For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the Lord’s people in Jerusalem. 27 They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings. 28 So after I have completed this task and have made sure that they have received this contribution, I will go to Spain and visit you on the way. 29 I know that when I come to you, I will come in the full measure of the blessing of Christ.
30 I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. 31 Pray that I may be kept safe from the unbelievers in Judea and that the contribution I take to Jerusalem may be favorably received by the Lord’s people there, 32 so that I may come to you with joy, by God’s will, and in your company be refreshed. 33 The God of peace be with you all. Amen.
Sienna began to understand why her sister had been acting the way she had been shot. It had nothing to do with Sienna herself, but it had to do with the fact that she was remembering things that she long ago thought she had buried, and she was feeling guilty. Although she was the younger sister, she felt like she needed to protect Sienna. She felt that she had failed her.
Hadn’t they been through enough before Sienna was shot, before she was told she would never walk again.
Why was Sienna taking her injury better than her sister, if Sienna didn’t blame her, why did Kelsea keep blaming herself?
“Thank you Sienna.”
“For what Kelsea?”
“For reminding me that despite all the madness, God is still here, and we need to take time to look at what we have instead of focus on what we lost.”
“Oh, you’re welcome Kels…You know that in all of this, the one constant is the Lord, he has never left us, no matter how bad things got, he has only wanted to reach out to us.”
“I know that now, not sure I knew that then.”
“I know Kels…I guess we all learn and grow at our own pace, and some of us are forced to grow up faster than others.”
“I am sorry you had to endure what happened to us as kids, and being shot.”
“You know what being shot, wasn’t the harder of the two, I was shot by someone I didn’t know, not by someone we thought we could trust. And though I am in this chair, it is just not the same as what was done to us as kids.”
“I know Sienna, no child should ever have to go through that.”
Finally Kelsea made her way back to her room, and Sienna went back to bed, thankful that she had mastered the task of getting in and out of bed on her own. She had done that early on, because she was going to be as independent as possible. It may take her twice as much effort to do things, but if she could do them she was going to, and she was going to do what she thought was right and turn this man in, but would anyone listen?
Lord I hope I am not setting up myself for hurt once more.