Episode 35 (Finale Episode)
“Well, hello, Denise. How are you, tonight?” Roger asked
playfully, as the car returned to the dirt road.
“I’m just fine, Roger. How are you,” Denise responded,
laughing. “You know, I thought you lived in town all this
time. I didn’t know you had bought this farm. That’s really a
“Bought? Did you say I bought it? I wish! Actually, I lucked
out and got a chance to lease it. But it is a nice place.
Hopefully, I can buy it someday.”
Papa asked, interrupting the conversation, “Got any new
calves yet? They’re about due, aren’t they, Roger?”
“Yeah, I got a new one this morning, a little Angus bull. Got
four more due sometime this month.” Roger answered.
“That’s neat, Roger, can I see the calf sometime?” Denise
“Hey, you, back there! I’ve got some calves and you haven’t
even stepped out the door to see them!” Papa reminded
“That’s not fair. Papa! Your calves are half grown and
they’re not cute like newborns!” Denise defended herself.
Nana was laughing continuously at this friendly bantering.
But, the conversation eventually lulled, and Denise’s mind
began to wander.
This would be a strange weekend, she thought. Mom and
Dad wouldn’t be home this weekend, after all. And it would
be her first weekend without Jon to think of, and plan for.
Life would never again be ‘normal’. Jon would be coming
home on weekends, but not coming to see her. It would be
really strange. She hadn’t changed her mind about Jon, but
still, it would be strange seeing him in town on weekends,
and not being with him.
And what was it going to be like when Mom and Dad did
come home? If Nana was right, and they had changed their
minds about the Lord, then things were really gonna be
strange! But, good, she concluded. Perhaps, then, they
wouldn’t be disappointed about her decision to follow
Christ. She could hardly believe so much had happened
since they left for Europe-it had only been five weeks!
She had found out about her ‘real’ mother, and loved her,
and met her ‘real’ cousin, whom she immediately liked very
much, and believed they would probably be great friends.
Of course, Denise hadn’t shared this story with anyone.
Perhaps, if she prayed about it…
Denise hadn’t seen Amanda, Jon’s little sister much lately,
but she did miss her. Maybe, during the week, when Jon
was gone, she could still spend some time with her. She
wondered if breaking up with Jon would affect his parents’
feelings toward her. Hopefully they would still like her,
especially, since they were good friends with Mom and
Interrupting her thoughts, Nana asked Denise how things
were with Joanie today.
“I still haven’t gone to meet and visit with her. I have
continued to pray for her, though.” Nana explained.
Denise leaned forward in her seat to answer Nana. “She’s
probably going home tomorrow. She’s out of traction and
the physical therapist is teaching her to use crutches. Her
niece from Colorado came down to stay with her for a
while after she goes home. I met her today, and she’s really
nice. I got Joanie’s address and phone number. We’ve
agreed to stay in touch,” Denise said, wondering what Nana
would think if she knew the rest of the story.
“That’s good. It sounds like everything has worked out well
for her. Look! There’s the ball park! It sure is crowded.”
Nana continued, changing the subject.
They just had time to get seated on the bleachers when the
game started. Todd’s team was up to bat first, and Roger,
Papa, Nana and Denise joined the crowd in cheering.
The team was playing good, with two runs already in when
Todd’s turn came to bat. The tension was mounting! And he
Yelling, “it’s OK, Todd”, his family responded as if he had
done great, anyway. “Better luck next time around!” Denise
heard others calling to her little brother, too.
The visiting team soon had their turn outfield. Todd was
playing first base, and it was soon plain to see he knew his
job. And he was hustling!
Roger and Papa left for the concession stand during the
second inning, returning with a lot of goodies to munch on.
Then it was Todd’s turn to bat again. This time, he got a
good hit at the second ball thrown, but by the time he got
to first base, they had it! He was out, again, but the runner
on third base got home, so it was not a total loss. The
score so far was 10-3, in Todd’s team’s favor.
The next inning went even better for the team. Todd got
three players out on first base, ending that round, then, up
to bat again. This time, Todd hit a good ball, getting to
second base before his ball was secured. The game
continued and the tension mounted during the fifth inning,
when the opposing team scored four runs! The hour and
half game ended with a score of 10-7, Todd’s team’s favor!
Everyone in the stands were going crazy, Denise noted
happily. And she was one of them. She was so proud of her
little brother. It was a real shame that Mom and Dad
couldn’t have been here for the game.
They sought out Todd immediately, pounding him on the
back, telling him he played a good game. After
congratulating the players, finding, and visiting briefly with
Grandma and Grandpa Whitaker, they began the trip home.
The engine purred along in the darkness, as Roger leaned
toward Denise. “How are things with your boyfriend,” he
asked quietly. “Needed any rescuing lately?” He smiled,
jokingly, but in the dim light of the car, Denise could see
him watching her closely.
“No. And you won’t have to worry about that, anymore,
Roger. I broke up with Jon, Sunday, right after church. ”
“Really? How do you feel about that, now, Denise? You
seemed to really care for him.”
“I thought I did, Roger, but I found out that the love I had
for Jon was a selfish kind of love. I enjoyed his attention,
and he made me feel good. But, it doesn’t compare at all
to the love and security that I’ve found in the Lord! I’ve
never been happier, Roger! And, though I wish it could have
been different, I know that Jon and I just couldn’t have
made it over the long haul! But, I know now that my
Heavenly Father knows what I need, and I believe that He
has someone better for me.
“I’m so glad, Denise! Your grandparents and I have been
praying for you a long time. He has sure answered our
prayers! I’m very proud of you”, Roger said, the sincerity
showing in his eyes. “And isn’t it wonderful that your parents
have come to the Lord! That’s quite a miracle, from what I
understand. But, you know, our God doesn’t just work with
individuals, he works in families!”
“Yeah, it really is fantastic. I was really worried about how
they would accept ‘the new me’. But, I guess there’s gonna
be a lot of changes around our house, for all of us!”
Denise remembered all the times she had sat, and listened
to Roger teaching Sunday School lessons. And the time he
rescued her after Jon had pushed her out of the car,
leaving her in the middle of nowhere. She remembered the
time her patient had died, and Roger comforted her. And
the times he had spent praying with her, and the recent
Bible studies. The Lord had used him to help her, to try to
reach her many times. He hadn’t been there every time she
needed help, but God had.
Her God, her Lord! He had loved her even when she wasn’t
walking with him, wasn’t trusting Him, didn’t even believe in
Him, but He had been there all the time. What a love! A love
that would never hurt her, or leave her. A love that would
“Roger,” Denise said softly, as she gently layed her hand on
his, “thank you. Because of you, I’ve found the love I was
looking for. I’ve finally found what really counts! A love from
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