I have a little time now.
Kevin called me yesterday. He sounded fine, but as we continued to talk I noticed something about his tone. Then he said that he told our mom that he was never going to go home again. I asked him what happened, but he said he couldn’t tell me. But after a minute past, he began to pour it out. My eyes were soaked in tears by the time our conversation was over.
During most of the month of August, while I was working at McDonald’s, spending every waking moment thinking about Emily, going to Florida, and then preparing to leave for college, all of this happened. But Marcus and Kevin did not tell me. Anyway, John, the youth pastor at Abundant Life Christian Center was concerned for Tenielle and my brother Kevin because they were such good friends. He was concerned because Kevin is 20-years-old and Tenielle is only 13.
However, John and Tenielle became good friends, because Tenielle, not ever having a father in her life, always opens up to her youth pastor. Tenielle began spending a lot of time over at John’s house. They would joke around a lot, even wrestle each other. John is over 40-years-old. John told Kevin that he has no business being close friends with anyone under the age of 18. And John felt Kevin and Marcus were too old to be in the youth group, so he asked them to leave.
But what is most disturbing is that Kevin took a picture of Tenielle and John wrestling and John got really upset, saying that such a picture could get him fired if it got into the wrong hands. Kevin also told me that sometimes when it was just him and John talking, John would say things like, “my wife is getting too fat, I’m going to have to divorce her and marry Tenielle.” Then he would say he was just kidding, but you don’t joke around about such things.
I believe John has a problem. He is over 40 and married to a wonderful woman who bore him five beautiful children. He is a chef, an amazing trumpet player, and a youth pastor. Why is he risking all of that? When we talked at Kiwanis Park on the 30th of July, he told me he envied me because of my youth. I believe John feels like he is trapped and that Tenielle is his ticket to freedom. But he’s thinking so irrationally! Tenielle didn’t die for his sins!! Doesn’t he know what he’s looking for can only be found in Jesus? The youth group at Abundant Life has practically disappeared. Jenna does not go because she sees John as a liar; someone who tells Kevin to stop doing something that he is doing twice as worse.
There is more however. John went to Mom and Clay about this and they both agreed, thinking that Kevin has a problem with young girls. My own mother went so far as to say that he might even be sexually harassing John’s two little girls. As he told me this, I grew sick in my stomach and cried. My whole body ached.
Kevin is at college now. He is completely turned off to our old church and our home. Yet as I sat there with my phone to my ear, I told him that the best days our youth group has ever known were it’s days with Jason, when he was also leading our skit group.
I told him that was the most perfect and pure time of my life. Everyone was one body. We were there for each other. I told him that even now, in everything that I do, I strive to create or find days like the ones that began three years ago.
Does Jason know what he has done? Does he realize the impact he has made on our lives? Does he know? What if those days are happening now and I don’t even realize. Because three years ago, I didn’t realize they were going on.
Oh Father God! Heal us all. Heal my brother. Heal John.
Help me realize the joy of today.
I adore you Lord! You are the Ancient of Days! And you are the giver of all of my days. Everything I have ever loved about my home has passed away.
You are my home Lord.
I long to abide in you.