If you haven’t read part one, click here.
Carton felt a growing unease as he hurried back to his house. By signing that paper, he had made things worse for the commoners of France. The shadows grew as did his anxiety. By the time he reached the little church that was a half mile from his house, he was shaking so bad he could hardly walk. The fact that he hadn’t eaten anything all day didn’t help either. Carton turned into the church before his legs had the chance to give out entirely, and sank onto one of the pews with his head in his hands.
When Carton awoke, he had no clue where he was. All he remembered was falling asleep in a church, but what he was lying on didn’t feel like the hard wooden pew. He started opening his eyes, but they shot open faster when he saw the person leaning over him.
“I was forced! I didn’t want to! Please, don’t hurt me!” The person smiled warmly.
“Calm down. No one is going to hurt you. I brought you here to my home, because you were lying in my church and looked ill. My name is Pastor Dimitri.” Pastor Dimitri looked at him quizzically. “What happened that has you in such a state? You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.” Carton sat up, a little embarrassed and confused.
“I’m so sorry, Pastor. I didn’t mean to shout. My name is Charles Carton. Its just-” He rubbed his face with his hands. The pastor sat next to him, and Carton continued, his whole story pouring out. “I’m sorry, Pastor. I didn’t mean to ramble.”
“I understand. You needed to talk. You have a lot you’re carrying around.”
“Yes. You are worried about Eléonore, and your job, among other things. That’s what I mean by baggage. Perhaps burden would be a better way to put it.” Carton nodded.
“Oh, I’m not sure how to get rid of it, Pastor.”
“Well, Jesus says ‘Come to me you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.’ So, all you have to do is come to Jesus and He will take it.”
“He said that? I don’t know much about Him.”
“Would you like to learn?” For the first time since he was younger Carton wanted to know more about God. He nodded.
“I will teach you.” Dimitri got his worn Bible off his shelf and put it on his bed, then walked over to the kitchen (which was the other side of the one room house) and grabbed a bowl of soup for himself and Carton.
“Eat this.” Dimitri handed a bowl to Carton.
“Oh. Well, I’m not hungry…”
“Yes you are. Eat it.” Then sensing why Carton was refusing, he said, “God will provide. He always does.” When Carton finally started eating, Dimitri opened the Bible. “Okay, lets start in the gospel of John…”
By the time Dimitri had finished talking to Carton about the Scriptures, it was growing dark out. Carton, noticing this, realized he hadn’t been home since he left for the meeting yesterday. Suddenly he was worried about Eléonore again.
“Thank you, Pastor.” He said standing up. “You mean all I have to do is surrender myself to Jesus?” Dimitri nodded.
“Yes. Of course, that does’t mean the consequences of signing the paper won’t come.”
“I know. I’ll think about it. I have to get home. I haven’t been there since yesterday morning.”