Captain Lee has a huge spiritual and emotional breakthrough after his frightening visions, and shares with his support group ... meanwhile, a "secret admirer" has left Mrs. Thornton VIP tickets to a concert, and her cousin Mrs. Bell talks her into committing to going...
To get totally caught up on The Posture of Innocence, here are the prologue, day 1, day 2, day 3, day 3.5, day 4, day 4.5, day 5, day 5.5, day 6, day 7, day 7.5, day 8, day 9, day 9.5, day 10, day 10.5, day 11, day 11.5, day 12, day 12.5, day 13, day 13.5, day 14, day 15, day 16, day 16.5, day 17, day 18, day 19, day 19.5, day 20, day 20.5, day 21, day 22, day 22.5, day 23, day 23.5, day 24, day 24.5, day 25, day 25.5, day 26, day 26.5, day 27, day 27.5, day 28, day 28.5, day 29, day 29.5, day 30, day 30.5, day 31, day 31.5, day 32, day 32.5, day 33, day 33.5, day 34, day 34.5, day 35, day 35.5, day 36, day 36.5, day 37, day 37.5, day 38, day 38.5, day 39, day 39.5, and day 40!
Captain Lee went home – it took all his discipline not to rush, to run, until he hit those stairs in his building, and then he ran up all four flights in order to get behind his door. He went and set his alarm for 45 minutes, and then went to his bedroom and to his knees.
“Lord, I confessed my sin of being a murderer of my own kindred in my heart decades ago, and You have led me to let go of the hurt and the anger in my heart that I felt when all of my mother's family rejected my wife and rejoiced publicly over her death, and even of my desire for vindication that had crept up upon me again. I thank You that you have brought me to the place that I, seeing that Your mighty hand of judgment is at last about to fall upon them and the others attached to this poison tree, can pray that You will temper Your judgment with mercy. I know some of the people that are involved in this thing have to be reprobate, and some of them are in my family, but I do not know which is which nor it is it my place to know … I do know it is not Your will that any should perish … Father, please, mercy, in Christ's precious name, upon these whom I once swore in my sinful rage that I would never raise a finger to help ...”
And so, by name, from his grandmother Selene Slocum-Lofton outward, Captain Lee uttered the names of those he had disowned and who had disowned him, in fervent prayer for their salvation through the terrible events that were surely to come …when the alarm rang he rose and got dressed but remained in prayer, and then hit the road, headed to Roanoke, and remained in prayer, names and faces coming to mind that he had banished for years. He arrived and found a parking place ten minutes before the event, and finished it all … and found that the compassion of the Lord, flowing through him, also rested in him, a person no better, but who now wanted for others what he had for himself... and suddenly he realized: he was healed of the wounds that he no longer had to nurse, and dress, and cover, for the scarring was gone and the love and compassion of God could at last have free course in him.
Captain and Mrs. Hamilton drove up at 7:05, running a little late, and saw Captain Lee getting out of his car – gaunt, drawn, but still somehow glowing – and heading inside.
“Harry must be having further breakthroughs,” Mrs. Hamilton said, “but he is riding close to the line.”
“That's Harry,” Captain Hamilton said. “Good thing they have plenty of snacks here.”
Captain Lee, back in his manifestation as a colonel in the veteran's group, did not take a single snack, maintaining the self-controlled decorum required as the highest-ranking group member beside Colonel John Parker, group leader. Generally, Colonel Lee did not have a great deal to say, although he was responsive to Colonel Parker's efforts to draw him out. Largely, he quietly listened and learned, and this day was no exception except that he found it hard to focus. Colonel Parker “caught” him, and invited him to share.
“I apologize for my lack of attention,” he said. “I had a flashback today to a terrible incident in my cadet years with members of my family, an incident that has some bearing on a case I am working on – some of the same people are involved. I have Major Hamilton (Captain Hamilton in Army Reserve terms) to thank for preparing me to see the connection and to separate old patterns of feeling and thought from present realities and my duties. It still fell to me to make the proper decisions, and by the grace of God, I have. It was a great struggle, and I was just through it as I came here, but I am through it. I am reeling from the battle, but God granted me the victory.”
Colonel Parker beamed.
“The fact that you could take all that on, and still get here, and get here victorious, and can talk lucidly about all of it, shows that you are making great progress, Colonel Lee. You are extremely high-functioning with your PTSD, but there is a difference between being extremely high-functioning and addressing and putting an end to certain patterns. It sounds like you achieved closure.”
“I did. It is one thing to know that you can, at any time, mow down your enemies or live proud of the fact that they deserve it and you do not do it. It is an entirely different thing when you can see your supposed enemies for what they are, and pray for them, and leave them in God's hands, and be free. By God's grace, I am now free and have closure.”
Major Hamilton knew about his cousin's attempt to burn out his mother's family... he leaned into his wife from relief.
“Wonderful,” Colonel Parker said. “Keep doing what you are doing spiritually, Colonel – it seems to be making the difference.”
After the meeting, many men came and shook Colonel Lee's hand and thanked him for sharing and said how it had helped them. After all that, Major Hamilton came and embraced his cousin, and then sighed.
“Permission to speak freely, sir,” he said, respecting the protocol of the ranked environment they were in.
“Colonel Lee, will you please go over to the snack table and feed yourself before you fall out like a fool and die?”
Colonel Lee laughed.
“Forever my finest adjutant, looking out for his commander – good old Ham!”
After eating, and then bidding his cousins the Hamiltons goodbye as they went out for their weekly date in Roanoke, Colonel-turned-Captain Lee returned to his car, took out his mandolin, went down to the walk by the Roanoke River, found a bench under a lamp, and played from sunset until the moon and stars had been out for hours. He had forgotten to close his mandolin case, and so people filled it with money as he played on, filling the locale with beautiful music until he was finally ready to go home. He was surprised by the money, but took it back to Big Loft with him and put it in the mail slot of the Church in the Midst of Life before going to his apartment, changing, showering, and going quickly to a sound, deep sleep.
Meanwhile in Big Loft, Mrs. Thornton and Mrs. Bell had been pondering a little mystery of their own...
“Well, I don't know where they came from, but the event sounds like fun – two tickets to see Tricolor Sounds at Club Birdsong on Wednesday,” Mrs. Thornton said to Mrs. Bell.
“Tricolor Sounds is a string band, and a good one,” Mrs. Bell said. “In the divorce settlement I made sure to get those CDs – oh, they can get down! A guitar, a banjo, a mandolin – a Native, Black, and a White man working together. They are making a comeback because one of their members died a little while ago – they must have replaced their White man!”
“Well, it starts at 7:00, so we'll get home early enough,” Mrs. Thornton said.
“Oh, Maggie, live a little – you do food for the Church in the Midst of Life on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoon, so you don't need to worry about having to stay up Wednesday night to get done. Let it be seven to 11 – you would still get enough rest to be at work on Thursday!”
“Margie, the stress is really bad right now.”
“Which is why you need to go out and have a good time! Maybe it was Commissioner Scott trying to get you something nice – these VIP tickets cover a lot of drinks, so if you have lemonade, you're set!”
Somebody had gotten Mrs. Thornton two VIP tickets to the relaunch of Tricolor Sounds, and Mrs. Bell talked her into going ... .