The four of us walked over to Mrs. Nesbitt’s the morning, splitting up once we got there. Jon went to the living room, where Alex and Julie have set things up, and Matt, Syl and I stayed in the kitchen with everybody else.
Dad and Alex must have moved Mrs. Nesbitt’s kitchen table back in, because we sat around it for our prayer service. It made things feel more ordinary, and I was glad for that.
Someone would start a hymn, and whoever knew it would join in. I asked for “Take My Hand, Precious Lord,” since I remembered that was Grandma’s favorite, and that made Dad happy. There were some prayers and Syl talked about the peace she felt when she accepted Christ as her savior. I guess that happened after the moon goddess Diana proved to be such a dud.
Charlie gave a sermon, if you could call it that. He said he’d been thinking a lot about Noah and his family lately, what it must have been like for them, those forty days and forty nights. As far as they knew, they were the only people left on earth. Everybody would be descended from them, but only if they survived, and they had to trust in God that they would.
“I bet the rabbits weren’t worried about that,” Charlie said. “They just did what rabbits do. But it’s our curse and our blessing to remember the past and to know there’s a future.”
He reached over, touched Lisa with his right hand and Syl with his left. “Our past is gone,” he said. “But our future is in this room right now. Little Gabriel, sleeping peacefully in his crib. The children Syl will bear. Miranda too. Their babies, born and unborn, are God’s gift to the future, just as much as the ark was.”
Dad squeezed Lisa’s hand. Matt squeezed Syl’s. And I felt very much a part of something and very much alone.