God had given Ronald Newton everything he had ever wanted in life. He had a wonderful wife, two beautiful kids, a nice home, and a job any man would be proud of: the pastor at Ranchero Baptist. Every morning started with a prayer to God asking Him to bless his family during the day. Each night ended with another prayer to God thanking Him for the safety of his family. Day in and day out, year after year, he followed this routine like clockwork. His life always followed the path of God. In times of trouble, he looked to God for guidance. Last week trouble struck on Saturday evening. He had been at the church all day preparing a sermon for Sunday worship when he got the call. The news of his family’s death found him collapsed on the floor. His family had been out at a church function that evening and was struck by an oncoming vehicle on their way home. His wife and kids were crushed to death as their minivan rolled repeatedly. Anguish and betrayal coursed through Ronald’s veins. He was a faithful servant of God and could not comprehend how He would allow such a travesty to occur to his family. On Friday night, he found himself on the top level of a parking garage, driven to the edge of sanity and contemplating suicide. From the corner of his eye, he spots a woman standing on top of the railing. He watches her, as she seems to be praying to God. Driven by curiosity, he walks toward her. She glances his way and he sees the resolve in her eyes. The weight upon his shoulders lifts as he finds himself compelled to talk this woman out of jumping. After what seems an eternity, he finds the right words to bring her down from the railing. As she turns to get down, she slips and falls. He reaches over and catches her by the wrists just in time. He works with desperation and determination, slowly pulling her back to safety. She clings to him for a few moments and thanks him for saving her. He asks her what had happened in her life that made her want to die. She explains to him that the previous Saturday night she had been out partying with her friends and had a few too many drinks. She left the party, drove drunk, and killed a mother and two kids. Nausea and rage fill every fiber of Ronald as the realization of what she said strikes home. She was the one who had taken his life away. She was the one responsible for his falling out with God. Without a word, without another moment of thought, he grabbed her, threw her over the railing, and watched as she struck the ground headfirst. He had reacted so quick that she was stunned and never even let out a scream. Blood pooled around her broken body. “My God!” he cried. “What have I done?” His heart pounded in his chest like a piston firing in a formula one car as the engine revs. His whole body trembled as the knowledge of the situation beat down on him. Nausea crushed his stomach with its viselike grip and he began dry heaving uncontrollably. Tears burst from his tear ducts like pouring rain. He knew he had gone too far and there was no point of return for him. With a final prayer to God, he pulled himself onto the railing. The ground swam below him. The noise of the night was completely drowned out by the pounding of his heart. He closed his eyes, spread his arms out like a bird spreads its wings, and let himself go, counting as the wind rushed through his hair…1…2…3…silence.
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