The Disappearance (part 2 – A short story by Mark Brady)

“Officer Dawson, our daughter is missing!” cried Joanna when the police arrived. Scott showed Officer Dawson and Officer Johnson into the living room.

“I’m so sorry, Joanna. I assure you we will do all we can,” Dawson replied after hugging her.

They looked around while filling out their forms for a missing person. They even looked up in the attic. They asked if they could have a recent photo of Tamera. They also asked if she had any enemies.

While in Tamera’s room, Johnson asked, “Are these clothes lying on the bed what she normally slept in?” They hadn’t even noticed them while they were searching for her.

“Yes, they are, but her normal daytime clothes are also here.” No one knew what to make of that.

The officers left to put out an “APB” and start the search.

“What do we do now,” asked Joanna, looking at her husband

“The officers asked us to stay here in case she shows back up. And I have a sermon to finish up.”

“You still going to preach tomorrow?” inquired Joanna. “How?”

“I don’t know, but I feel as though I have to show the congregation how we are to handle real-world struggles, and you don’t handle them by hiding. Speaking of hiding, have you seen Luke?”

They went into the kitchen and found him eating the abandoned breakfast.

“What? I was hungry!” exclaimed Luke.

***

Scott entered his study and shut the door. It was a warm, comfortable feeling place with all of the natural wood walls. He sat in his desk chair and reached for his sermon notes. The words were difficult to read through watery eyes.

“God, why is this happening? Where is my daughter? What happened to her? Help me, Heavenly Father, because I don’t know what to do, and help me, God. Give me strength for my family and my church.”

His phone rang. Caller ID displayed, “Darcy.”

“Hello.” Trying to hide the shake in his voice while wiping tears away.

“Oh my goodness! I just heard. What happened?”

“How did you hear already?”

“Officer Dawson is married to Julie, and she told Susan, who is friends with Kelly, who does my hair. I was in her shop this morning when she got the news. I am so sorry. What can I do? Organize a search party?”

“That’s not a bad idea. It couldn’t hurt.”

“I’ll get on it.”

***

Sunday Morning

“This is not a typical Sunday morning. First, let me say “Thank you” to everyone who showed up yesterday to search for my daughter, Tamera. I think the whole town showed up.” He tried to muster up a chuckle. “Joanna told me I didn’t have to preach this morning, but I feel I do, if not for anyone else, me. The message is about “faith.” More importantly, how to keep your faith when times are rough. I’m glad God directed me to prepare this message this week. He knew I would need it.

When you have more questions than answers, you lean into God more than ever. You continue to believe what you know about him. And speaking of that, get to know the characteristics of God before you go through a trial, not in the midst of one. You continue to trust that his thoughts and ways are higher than ours.”

Pastor Scott shared the event’s details, but most in attendance had already heard, with it being a small town. Most of the women and a few of the men wiped their eyes in compassion. After the service, everyone in attendance felt the need to love on their pastor and his family by waiting their turn to hug them. To find some words to encourage and support the family. Doing what a church is designed to do.

***

The rest of the day dragged by for Scott and the family. Scott asked if anyone wanted to talk about what they were feeling, but only a few words were expressed. They all found a comfortable place to curl up and stare into space, eventually falling asleep because the night before it alluded them. They all drifted off, thinking the same things, “What happened to Tamera? Where in the world is she? Did someone take her?

***

“Car 57. Please see the lady at 422 Oneida Street concerning a missing person.”

…To be continued…

Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

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