As a child, Christmas decorations made her sick with excitement. Now they made her sick for those gone missing since the lock-down. They showed up in little boxes the home projected onto a screen, but she knew they were impersonators. She watched, but refused to speak to those teary-eyed strangers. Her own family was naturally cheerful, even boisterous. “Lord, where are they?” Every day she recited their names, rolling them in her mouth like hard candy. Every day there was less of them to remember. But Christmas came. Her heart burned. There was a Light to investigate in the heavens.
“What are you thinking?” Avram asks me gently as we walk in the shadows of the old city. “’O, Jerusalem, Jerusalem!’”1 I quote. “Why so much suffering, Avram, the blood that has flowed across the centuries into this day?” “Our hands bear that guilt.” “And sickness, earthquakes, floods?” “Do you wonder nature suffers as part of the judgment on us?” “The curse!” I snort. Avram speaks quietly. “The Maker of the Universe has not left us without blessings, of which He is the foremost, or redemption, because of His love.” “I only see hatred.” “Then that is all you will find.”
1Luke 13:34 — “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!“
Psalm 69:32 When the humble see it they will be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive. Acts 17:26-27 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us ….
Lena rummaged through her backpack behind him. “Do we have to do this?”
Eli snorted impatiently at his best friend. “Don’t you want to know why kids from this school have gone missing? Mr. Drobkoni’s gotta be a vampire. I’ll stay here. You keep a lookout. Whistle when you see him coming.”
“Right-oh,” Lena said. “Here.”
Eli held the mirror so he could see over his shoulder.
Lena had already left.
She’s fast, he thought.
“What’s that?” asked Lena behind him.
He turned around quickly. “The dead travel fast,” he said, suddenly pale.