Chap. 26 A Living Miracle

Fr. Rothschild called Greg in the afternoon to let him know that Mike and Iris Price had been arrested and were now in the custody of the police. Iris had confessed to attempted murder and to vandalizing St. Anne's Church. Relief filled Greg at the news. The priest asked how Henrick was doing. Greg told him that he was weak, but that he was okay and being given the treatment and medicine he needed. Over the phone, Greg asked, "May I take off the rest of this week? I need to just spend time with Henrick while he gets better for a change."

"Of course," Monsignor answered sympathetically. "Take off all the days you need to. I'm so glad your boy is alright. And I want to let you know that all of us here in the parish are praying a special novena for Henrick."

"Thank you."

A couple of police officers arrived at the hospital to ask Greg questions. The man told them all he knew. Since Henrick was still recovering, he was spared from interrogation.

The next day came, and Henrick was much better. He seemed less lethargic and more full of life. The nurses had removed the nasal cannula, but they continued to monitor his respiration and heart rate. The doctor said that Henrick's blood oxygen levels were back to normal. Greg marveled at his son's rapid recovery.

In the afternoon, there was a knock on Henrick's room door. Greg opened it to reveal Sr. Mariam. The nun was smiling cheerfully and held a large plastic bag in her hand.

"Why, Sr. Mariam! It's nice to see you. Come on in." Greg ushered the woman inside.

Henrick sat up straighter in bed. "Hi, Sister," he said shyly.

"Oh, Henrick, how are you?" Sr. Mariam asked. Her voice was soft with compassion.

"I'm doing okay," the teenager told her.

"Yeah, he's bounced back pretty fast." Greg smiled down fondly at his son.

"So glad to hear it." Sr. Mariam sat down on a chair next to Henrick's bed. "I've brought you some Halloween treats to enjoy." The nun handed the bag to Henrick.

The teen opened it and immediately a pleased smile spread over his face. "Oh, wow. Look at all this, Dad!"

Greg chuckled. It felt good to be able to laugh. "It's probably gonna last you a good three or four weeks, I'd say."

Henrick looked in Sr. Mariam's direction. "Thank you."

"You are so welcome."

Greg and Sr. Mariam talked by the window while the boy looked at and sorted his candy.

"How's the parish?" asked Greg.

"Rocked to its core," Sr. Mariam sighed. "But we'll be alright. I just would've never have guessed that the new priest…Well, it's just really a shock. The hardest part is letting all the people know. Everyone's so confused. But what his…daughter did to Henrick has really shaken them. I…I'm upset, to be honest. Things like that just don't happen around here." The nun turned her head to glance at Henrick. He was sitting against his pillows, now examining the get-well card she had slipped in with the treats. A touched expression came over Sr. Mariam's creased face. "That young man is a living miracle," she breathed.

Her words stirred something within Greg. Like a flash of lightning, it dawned on him that God had been at work.

God had been at work that terrible Halloween night.

True, the Evil One had been at work to an extreme extent. Yet God had intervened and ultimately triumphed. His divine plan had not willed that Henrick die. Though demons had possessed that house, angels had been present in the room where Henrick was locked in the casket.

You are good. Oh, God, You are good. Emotions enveloped Greg, a feeling of thanksgiving filling him. In the midst of the darkness, God had shown him that He was still there. You…You didn't take my son from me. Thank You that I have him back and that he's okay. He's okay. Help me trust You. You've felt all my pain and confusion with me. I refuse to hide from You any longer. With his prayer, Greg felt as if a weight was lifted from his chest. Sweetness and peace filled him, stilling the restlessness.

That evening in the hospital, Henrick partook of a 3 Musketeers bar. He chomped it hungrily. "Mmm, this is really good."

Greg smiled. It filled his heart with hope to see Henrick's healthy appetite.

Henrick raised his eyes to him. "Hey, why don't you have some, Dad?"

"Oh, no, no, I'm fine. You enjoy it."

Henrick's brow puckered, but he kept chewing. After a moment, he glanced at his father again with a grin. "Halloween in the hospital," he said.

Greg gently tousled the teenager's tawny hair.