Morning dawned bright and early on the bayou for Anna. As had become the norm over the last few days, as soon as she awakened she heard Samu-el outside singing his lyrical song. It must be a song of nature, she reasoned to herself, because he’s always outside when he sings it.
She didn’t really try to hear or understand the words, but the melody had a way of comforting her and making her feel well at the same time. No wonder that dead squirrel jumped right out of his hands onto the tree branch the other day. I almost feel like I could jump up out of this bed.
But as she tried to move her injured leg, the pain immediately returned, causing her to almost faint. Somehow Samu-el seemed to be immediately inside the room with her.
“My Anna, do you need assistance?” he asked her.
“Your song made me feel like I could just get up and walk around, but my leg quickly reminded me why that’s still not such a good idea,” she grimaced.
“Healing takes time, my child, but not too much longer. Samu-el prays that you will be up and walking soon.”
“I thought you once told me you don’t predict the future,” she reminded him.
“Samu-el does not predict the future. My prayers are a request, not a prediction. Your Father knows the future, and He alone knows when you are ready to walk. While you are in Samu-el’s care, I will see to your needs, and pray for your healing.”
“Thank you. You are doing a good job. I just get overanxious sometimes,” she said. “Is Andri-el around? I need to go to the bathroom.”
“Samu-el can see to your biological needs as well, but so can Andri-el. I will let her assist you.”
After Samu-el left the room, Andri-el came in. Again, she assisted but did not speak. Her silence had Anna puzzled.
“Andriel, why won’t you speak to me? I’ve heard you speak before, so why not here in the cabin? I don’t understand.”
With her eyes, Andri-el looked lovingly at Anna, but still did not speak. Instead, she looked toward the door that Samu-el had exited.
“Samuel told you not to speak to me, right?” Anna asked.
Andri-el nodded her head. Then she stroked Anna’s hair on the side that was injured, and Anna could feel great warmth in her touch. Unfortunately, it also reminded Anna of her injuries.
“I know,” Anna said, “I must look a sight. If there were a mirror in this backwoods cabin I could see for myself.” But even as she said it, Anna knew that Andri-el was not seeing the injures. “I’m sorry, Andriel, I was feeling sorry for myself.”
Andri-el lifted Anna’s chin and looked in her eyes. Anna knew immediately that there was only love in Andri-el’s every action.
“I love you too,” Anna told her.
After Andri-el carried Anna to the bathroom and back to the bed, she left the room. Anna soon found herself staring at the ceiling. Today she finally felt wide awake, and no longer in need of sleep. She studied the boards on the ceiling, noticing that the wood planks were closer together on one side of the room than the other. In some places she could even see light through the boards, looking through the ceiling slats to the outside roof. The construction of the roof must be open to the attic, with only the attic floorboards between her bedroom and the attic. On nails pounded into the ceiling beams hung various items, including old nets and fishing equipment, some type of cloth or sacks, rope, hooks, and something which she didn’t know what it was. Everything was covered with dust and cobwebs.
“What a mess,” she said out loud. “If my aunt could see this mess she would immediately get out the bucket and the cleaners and go to work.”
Thinking of her aunt made Anna homesick, and terribly lonely. Looking around, she did not see any books or magazines or television – no form of entertainment at all.
Do my aunt and uncle know where I am, she happened to think. Do they even know if I’m alive? If they do, then why haven’t they come to get me? If they don’t know, then why not? I mean, Samuel is doing a wonderful job of caring for me, but for how long? How long do I need to lie in this bed staring at the ceiling?
Too much thinking was making her head hurt, so she closed her eyes and just listened. She heard birds chirping and insects making noise outside. She heard the breeze moving the leaves of the trees. She heard an occasional water sound, like a bird or fish splashing. She did not hear Samu-el moving around or singing, which seemed odd. Usually there would be some sound indicating his presence. She did smell something cooking, so she reasoned that maybe he was fixing breakfast.
To pass the time, she started humming to herself, quietly at first, the tune of Amazing Grace. Soon she started singing the words, and that helped take away some of the loneliness as the familiar words came to mind. They reminded her that she had been saved spiritually as well as physically by the grace of God. At the same time, tears started to form in her eyes as she continued to sing, until she finally broke down and started sobbing. It hurt her face and ribs to cry, but she made no effort to stop the tears or the sobs.
Samu-el came into the room with a tray of food, but he stood at the door and did not interrupt Anna. Eventually she noticed him, and wiped her eyes with her uninjured hand.
“I’m sorry Samuel. I’m a mess. Are you waiting on me?” she sobbed.
“Your body is healing, but your emotions are raw. Crying helps, does it not?” he asked.
“I don’t know if it helps, but I can’t seem to stop it this morning. I miss Jackson. I miss my aunt and uncle. I might even miss Matt and his aggravating humor,” she laughed and sobbed at the same time. “Why has no one come to get me?”
“They will come. Have faith. You are missed by everyone who knows you.”
“Do they know where I am?” she asked.
“No, they do not. But they have not given up searching, so you should not give up hoping for them to come.”
“Samuel, why haven’t you told them where I am?” she asked him, somewhat accusingly.
His answer was simple, but typical, “Samu-el is a healer, not a messenger. My job is to stay with you until you are sufficiently healed, not lead others in their search.”
“Who can tell my aunt and uncle where I am?”
“When you are found you can tell them yourself, I suppose,” he answered.
“I would ask you when that will be, but I already know you do not predict the future,” Anna told him as she watched him start to smile.
“You are learning, and paying attention,” Samu-el answered. “Your eyes and complexion seem much brighter today, my Anna.”
“Yes, I’m feeling better. Which probably explains why I’m so hungry this morning.”
“Samu-el holds your breakfast, whenever you are ready.”
“I’m more than ready,” was all it took to get the breakfast tray placed before her.