Flumes Vol. 5: Issue 1, Summer 2020 - Page 21

Her husband closes his eye and takes a deep breath. “Amen.” Her son’s hand wriggles free. Her daughter rescues her glasses from the clutches of gravity just in time.

“Let’s eat,” her husband says with a smile that Sara knows is forced.

Sara glares at herself in the mirror as she brushes her teeth and tries to remember the last time she didn’t look so tired. The bags under her eyes are darker than ever before. Her worry lines have turned into worry canyons. She could practically kill for a vacation or even just a few hours to herself, but instead she has to be up at 0400 for another mission—one in which she very likely will kill.

“I’m worried about you.”

Sara spits into the sink. “There’s nothing to worry about.”

“But there is.”

She looks at her husband standing in the doorway. There’s a sadness in his eyes. He wants to understand, but he knows he can’t.

“God never gives us more than we can handle.”

“Do you realize how stupid that sounds?” If she weren’t so exhausted, she might have regretted saying it the way she had. “That line made sense when we were stressing about exams in college. It made sense to tell ourselves that when Jackson got the flu and the babysitter called out sick.” She shakes her head. “That’s a different world than the one I’m living in.”

“Sara.” He reaches out to her, but she pushes past him into the bedroom. She changes into sweats and a t-shirt and crawls into bed.

“God is bigger than my world or your world.” Her husband sits on the edge of the bed and touches her shoulder. “He’s with you when you’re in that cockpit. He’s with you on every single mission.”

“And he’s with me when I kill seven people with one pull of the trigger?” Her voice is shaking. A tear that she didn’t even realize had formed rolls down the side of her cheek. “You’re telling me God thinks I can handle that?”

He takes a deep breath. Sara knows he’s praying for guidance, for the right thing to say. But there’s nothing he can say, so instead he lifts a hand to wipe the tear away. Sara rolls over, turning her back to him.

“It’s going to be okay,” he says, his voice as warm as it was at the dinner table, as warm as it is every night that she comes home shaken. “You can’t lose faith, Sara. This is temporary. It’s a valley in your journey, the valley of the shadow of death.” He touches her shoulder. “But you shall fear no evil, Sara. For God is with you. His rod and his staff...”

“They comfort me,” Sara says. Mechanically, she recites the rest of the Psalm with her husband. She feels a tear rolling down her other cheek as they say their amens. In her mind, though, she’s already back inside that cockpit.

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