We are full of sin, but the Saviour bids us lift our eyes to him, and as we gaze upon his streaming wounds, each drop of blood, as it falls, cries, “It is finished; I have made an end of sin; I have brought in everlasting righteousness.” ~ Spurgeon
The enemy of our soul knows how the truth can often be more powerful than a lie. I had been a fool – a pathetic naive, immature, and immoral fool – and I was about to be reminded.
My heart pounded and the palms of my hands began to sweat as I fidgeted in my seat. What kind of person doesn’t learn from mistakes and puts herself in harms way – again and again? My mind raced with accusatory thoughts.
As each prospective juror submitted to the judge’s questioning, the more uncomfortable I became. Though I had initially been annoyed at being chosen, I had walked into the courtroom curious about the jury selection process and confident that I would make a good juror. Now I felt as though I was on trial and about to be humbled before a courtroom of strangers when I had to explain those “crimes against (my) person.”
I’d been a teenager the first time – a senior in high school, and a ward clerk on the night shift at the hospital on weekends. Shortly after eleven o’clock one cold January night, my boyfriend Greg offered to pick me up from work. I didn’t have a car and my parents were having a party. It would make things easier on my parents if Greg brought me home. Our intentions were good, but as we pulled into my driveway and realized that most of the guests were still at the party, we made the foolish decision to drive to a grove a couple of miles away to be alone.
Just minutes after Greg drove his car down the dirt road and stopped along a row of orange trees, glass shards flew across the dashboard and onto our laps. The driver’s side window had been smashed, and a stranger in dark clothing stood before us. “I have a gun,” his voice muffled by the stocking that covered his dark face. He demanded our wallets and jewelry, and we trembled in the cold night air as we gave him what he had asked for, hoping he would then leave us alone. Instead he began hitting Greg in the head through the window. More than once Greg fell across the console and against my chest. With one arm momentarily holding the man at bay, he started the car and pressed the accelerator to the floor.
I managed to get to my feet and hobbled a short distance before the attacker caught up with me, knocking me to the ground. My memory of the next few minutes is sketchy. I remember that he demanded that I get up and go with him,, and that I pleaded with him to leave me alone, but he grabbed my hair, forcing me to stand, and I screamed. I remember hearing footsteps and a whirling sound and thinking that there must be more attackers coming. And somehow I managed to escape his grip, run away and find myself standing alone in the middle of a two-lane highway.
The whirling and footsteps in the distance had been Greg. He had been beaten with a crowbar and was lying in the dirt, drifting in and out of consciousness, when he heard me scream. Clearing his head, he stood, picked up a a long cable he found partially buried in the sand and whirled it in the air as he ran in the direction of my scream. As I approached the car that had stopped on the highway, Greg appeared at the edge of the road, bleeding from his wounds, still holding the cable. We had been rescued, and our assailant was finally gone.
Police were called, a report was filed, but our attacker got away. No arrest. No trial. No resolution.
We had escaped with our lives, but I was left with crippling emotional wounds that would affect nearly every decision I would make for years to come. Controlled by fear, I was terrified of being alone, and foolishly thought that any company was better than no company at all.