be her friend, if she would let him. He gulped in a deep breath of the evening air and flopped into Pop’s wooden rocking chair. It smelled as if rain was coming, and with the oppressing heat they’d been having lately, the land could surely use a good dousing. A short time later, a streak of lightning shot across the sky, followed by a thunderous roar that shook the whole house. “Jah, a summer storm’s definitely coming,” he murmured. “Guess I’d best be getting to bed, or I’ll be tempted to sit out here and watch it all night.” Noah had enjoyed watching thunderstorms ever since he was a boy. Something fascinated him about the way lightning zigzagged across the sky as the rain pelted the earth. It made Noah realize the awesomeness of God’s power. Everything on earth was under the Master’s hand, and Noah never ceased to marvel at the majesty of it all. He rose from his chair just as the rain started to fall. It fell lightly at first but soon began to pummel the ground. He gazed up at the dismal, gray sky. “Keep us all safe this night, Lord.” Faith shuddered and pulled the sides of her pillow around her ears as she tried to drown out the sound of the storm brewing outside her bedroom window. She’d been afraid of storms since
You’re right that God could have prevented Mindy’s death,” Fannie said with tears in her eyes. “He could let us go through life protected from every horrible thing that could hurt us.” “Then why doesn’t He?” “I don’t know all of God’s ways, but I do know that whenever He allows bad things to happen to His people, He can take those things and use them for good.” Fannie slipped her arm around Hannah’s shoulder. “But we have to decide to let it work for our good and not allow bitterness and resentment to take over. We can choose to let God help us with the hurts and disappointments we must face.” Hannah’s throat felt so clogged, she couldn’t speak. What Fannie said, she’d heard before from one of the ministers in their church. But letting go of her hurt wouldn’t bring Mindy back, and besides, she didn’t think she could do it. Hannah felt the need to hold on to something—even if it was the hurt and bitterness she harbored against Timothy. As though sensing Hannah’s confusion and inability to let go of her pain, Fannie said, “The only way you’ll ever rise above your grief is to forgive my son. Bitterness and resentment will hurt you more in the long run, and when you do the right thing, Hannah, God will give you His peace. Won’t you please return to Kentucky and try to work things out with Timothy?” Hannah looked away, tears clouding her vision. “I just can’t.” Fannie sat for several minutes; then she finally rose to her feet. “I pray that you’ll change your mind about that, for your sake, as well as my son’s.” She moved toward the porch steps but halted and turned to look at Hannah. “Oh, before I go, I thought you might like to know that Suzanne had a baby boy last night. They named him Abraham, and I guess they’re planning to call him Abe for short.” It took all that Hannah had within her, but she forced herself to say she was glad for Suzanne and Titus. Inside, however, just hearing about Suzanne’s baby made her hurt even more. It was one more painful reminder that Hannah no longer had any children to hold and to love. “We’ll be going to Kentucky to see the boppli in a month or so. Maybe you’d like to go along,” Fannie said. Hannah shook her head. A wave of nausea came over her, and she thought she might lose her breakfast. “I don’t mean to be rude, but I’m not feeling so well, and I need to lie down.” Before Fannie could respond, Hannah jumped up and rushed into the house.