Suddenly, Christine was tapped on the shoulder. She sat up and was surprised to see the nurse at her side.
“He made it through,” she said, “And he wishes to see you again.”
A fresh burst of tears, this time thankful tears, rushed upon her and Christine only nodded. She followed the nurse to room thirty-two and hurried to Charlie’s side. He lay on his stomach, his head turned to one side. His face looked full of pain as Christine sat down in a chair near him.
“Charlie?” She spoke, her voice trembling.
He opened his eyes, and, upon seeing her, smiled through his pain. “I live!” He exclaimed weakly. “And now I shall do as I have said.”
Christine wiped her eyes and nodded. “I am sure you will, Charlie, by God’s grace. But tell me, what has the doctor said of your recovery?”
“He has told me I must remain here for up to two weeks until they are sure of my recovery. Then I may go home and must remain in bed for several more weeks until I am completely healed. But then, if the Lord sees fit, I will be able to walk and move as normal.”
“Praise the Lord!” Christine exclaimed. “Charlie, what am I to do with the letter?”
“Open it, if you will, and read it. Then I will dictate to you a post script.”
Christine unfolded the letter and read the short note.
Dear Father, Mother, William, Sarah, Joy, Timmy, and Ben,
I am dictating this letter as I am unable to move. I have had a fatal fall and am about to enter surgery, the only hope of my survival. But the doctor doubts I will survive the surgery. In the event of my death, this note has been delivered to you. I love you all and am forever grateful for all the godly instruction you have taught me.
Your son and brother,
Christine sniffed back tears. “It’s a very lovely note. But what would you like me to add to it?”
“Write this: Praise God! I survived. I will be home within two weeks time. Charlie.”
Christine wrote hurriedly and folded the note again.
“Now, if you will mail that for me, I would be most appreciative.” Charlie closed his eyes and winced.
“Is the pain so bad?” Christine asked.
Charlie nodded. “Yes, it is almost unbearable, yet when I think of all Christ went through for me, it is nothing to speak of. I can endure it. The doctor has given me some medicine, but it has not helped much.”
“I am sorry,” was all Christine could say. She then suddenly remembered that Mr. Brady was waiting for her. “Charlie, I must be going. My driver is waiting for me.”
Charlie opened his eyes and looked up at her. “Thank you for coming, Christine. It brought me much joy to see you again. Perhaps we shall meet up when we both get back to Grandstone.”
Christine nodded. “Yes, and I would love for my family to meet you. Good bye.”
With a last smile, Christine left the room and made her way out of the hospital. Crossing the road, she entered the library. It was not large and so did not take her long to find her driver sitting in a chair, a magazine in his hand.
“Ah, you’re back!” He said as he stood. “Let’s get going before we miss our supper.” Minutes later they were in the carriage and on their way back to the academy.
“So,” Mr. Brady began. “Did he make it through?”
“Oh, yes!” Christine almost burst out. Everything was sinking in now and she felt much emotion overcome her. “He survived, and praise God for it! He had written a letter to his family that he asked me to deliver in case of his death. But he dictated a post script and asked me to mail it instead. He seemed so happy and grateful to the Lord for his goodness and wisdom, despite the terrible pain. The doctor said he must remain in the hospital for up to two weeks before he goes home. Then he will need to be in bed for a few more weeks. But he is so cheerful about it all, it is quite something to talk to him.”
Mr. Brady sat quietly and nodded. “I’m very glad the poor chap lives on. Seems like there’s more work the Lord has for him, don’t you think?”
“I suppose so,” Christine answered quietly. “Yes, there must be, or why would God have let him live? I wonder what he will become.”
“Oh, well, I don’t think he’ll be someone very special, you see. I wouldn’t be surprised if he never became more than who he is now. But you see, God uses people in small ways as well as big ones. Perhaps he lived just to say an encouraging word to his neighbor back at home. Or perhaps he’ll lead someone to the Savior in years to come. I don’t think God looks down on small things. Sometimes its the small things that matters most anyway.”
These words got Christine thinking. She knew that Charlie had been an encouragement to herself since they had met. He had provoked her to love and good works. Perhaps there were others whom he needed to encourage and uplift.
As the carriage pulled into the drive of the academy, Christine remembered the important note she held. “Mr. Brady, would you mind delivering this note for me? It is already addressed and stamped. I’m afraid I won’t be able to go out again and I think I can trust you.”
Mr. Brady nodded. “Yes you can, to be sure. I’ll take the letter and mail it this evening.” Taking the letter, he placed it carefully in his jacket pocket.
The carriage rolled to a stop and Mr. Brady jumped out to help Christine down. As she reached the ground, words tumbled out before she could think.
“Mr. Brady, do you think it is silly or foolish to love someone you have met only twice and know little about?” She bit her lip as she waited for his reply.
Mr. Brady leaned against the carriage side and smiled down at Christine. “Well, I believe in love at first sight. It’s not for everyone, mind you, but it does happen. In fact, it was so with me and my wife. I met her at church one Sunday and spoke to her for only a few minutes. But I could’ve wagered she’d be the girl I’d marry. So I wouldn’t say it’s silly or foolish, but I would say you’d best not let yourself get attached. Like you said, you know little about him. What you do know may be quite something. But only time will tell. Pray about it. God does all things for a purpose, you know. But it’d be best if you don’t think of him much. Now,” he said. “You’d best get inside and get your supper before it’s gone.”
“Thank you, Mr. Brady,” Christine smiled. “I’ll remember what you said.”
To be continued next week…