Journey Into the Deep (Chapter Seven, page 1 of 5)

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Strength of the Sea

I ambled up the gangway from my cabin, Bible in hand. The Celestia's Prize had taken a beating, but the damage was largely cosmetic. She still ran well and hadn't sprung any major leaks. It hurt though to see the paint scraped off her and her railing and salvage equipment all mangled up.

My abilities to mount a salvage operation were next to nothing, because of how much of my equipment had either been washed overboard or was damaged beyond repair. I had gotten the impression though that our purpose here wasn't for salvaging Confederate gold off of the seafloor.

I stepped up to the railing beside Christina. She had been silent for two days now. When she wasn't sleeping she was here at this spot where her Aunt had been ripped away from her.

She glanced at me from her bruised eyes and then at the Bible in my hand. She stared at it for a moment before looking back out to sea.

I wasn't going to preach at her, but I was going to extend an invitation to her. I extended the Bible out to her, "Would you like to learn more about what you're Aunt believed in and perhaps find some hope and closure for yourself as well?"

She stared at the sea a moment longer before nodding her head as I saw her start to cry again. I pulled her to me and held her for a long moment.

I set her back a little from me and said, "Christina I wish I could take your pain away, but I can't. There is One who can though. I encourage you to build a relationship with God and let Him heal and comfort you. Don't be like me and run away from the answer for years on end piling up bitterness."

I left her then confident that she would pursue faith for herself. Even in death Serena was an individual worth being like and I could see that determination in Christina's eyes. I prayed for her the rest of the day hoping that in the moment of loss that she would get it right where I hadn't. It had been a mistake that had cost me seven years of my life.

Christina sat down with her back against the forward cabin. She looked at the Bible in her hands, which she hadn't opened yet. A shadow fell across her, but she knew who it was without looking up. It was Big Jim.

He found her two or three times a day always to do the same thing. The big man got down to his knees and tenderly took her shoe off and pushed her pants leg up to reveal the ugly swollen bruise that encompassed her ankle and lower calf muscle.

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