Chapter NIne

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Chapter Nine

On May the third, at seven-thirty-two AM, Julia gave birth to a six pound- eight ounce baby boy. She got to hold him for a little while before he was taken from her forever. He looked like Eric. So much so, it made her want to keep him. She wished she could back out, but she knew she couldn't. She asked the nurse in her room if she could have her phone.

"Why would you want your phone?"

"I want to call home and send a couple of pictures of him," Julia answered. "Please."

"I think your aunt kept your things." She took her own phone out of her pocket. "I'll take some pictures. You tell me your number and I'll send them to you."

Julia smiled. It was her mother's cousin or something, but she wouldn't correct the lady. "Could you? Oh, I would love that."

"Want one of you holding him?"

It was midnight. The moon was full. Eric walked across the campus of Rhodes College in Memphis. Shadows seemed to stand out more in its bright light. He should have been in his dorm asleep. He had exams in the morning, but he had been restless. He had been restless all day. He had thought of Julia all day, but there was something else bothering him more. He couldn't get his mind off of God. He felt as if he had had a second conversion. Oh, he had confessed Christ, but something had happened that day in his philosophy class

Religion had been a major for him. It wasn't until, this, his sophomore year; he had taken a real interest in philosophy. It was a course he had chosen for minor studies. He had almost decided to drop it, but today the professor had just touched on the teachings of St. Augustine. He told the class he planned on spending most of the fall semester on the Christian philosopher, and confessor of the faith. Just before class ended the professor said, "This quote might strike your interest and on the teaching of Augustine. I expect you to come back this fall to know more about this man and eager to learn more. In his confession of Christ, Augustine said and I quote: What is that which gleams through me and smites my heart without wounding it? I am both ashuddered and aglow; ashuddered in so far that I am unlike it and aglow in so far as I am alike it." Eric left class utterly in awe at the profoundness one could only find in God. It ran through his thoughts the entire day.

He had lain in bed, unable to sleep. He had tossed and turned, but no matter what he tried he could not get comfortable. It wasn't a physical discomfort keeping him awake. It was restlessness in his soul. He had gotten out of bed, dressed, and silently left his dorm room.

He neared the chapel.

The heavy wooden door gave a soft moan as he opened it. He had never noticed that before. He supposed it was because during chapel and other services the sounds of students entering, talking and the falling of their footsteps drowned it out. The door closed behind him and the sound vibrated around him.

He stood frozen for a moment as his eyes adjusted to the darkness around him. It was so quiet he thought he could hear his own heartbeat. The light from the moon, unlike that of the sun, didn't reflect through the stained glass on the windows. Instead, it brought out the lead that lined each piece of glass. There was sobering, reverent peace to the building.

He stepped slowly toward the alter. He didn't know what he was hoping to find. Perhaps it was his own thoughts driving him to a near breaking point. With each step he felt closer and closer to God. He reached the alter and fell prostate on the floor in front of it. He laid there quietly, listening to the silence around him.

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