The Woods, Part V: Grace In The Woods

By Jason Kettinger | Posted at 6:05 AM

Peter Thomas Stevens went into room 103 with the flowers and Kevlar balloons, still thinking about what Mike Abernathy had said: “This is the second time you saved my life.” He didn’t yet know how firmly he belonged to God, and how God used him at his birth to save the soul of Mike Abernathy.

This is the fifth installment in a fiction serial by Jason Kettinger. Be sure to catch up with the first, second, third and fourth parts.

Those months later, he was still carrying the guilt and shame of what he did with Maleah, what he did to Lanie. Lanie was six months along now, and Peter had told no one—not even God—about his sin.

Abernathy had moved just two blocks away from Blaine, Connie, and Peter Stevens, in the hopes of telling them all what God had done through Peter the very day he was born. He didn’t know that Connie knew, at least in part, thanks to Father Lawton. What he did recall was that it was a short nine-month trip from atheist to communing Catholic, and 10 of the last 16 years had been spent helping to teach the very RCIA class where he began to believe in Jesus Christ.

The Holy Spirit’s wind blew strong that day, and he knew the words he should speak to the troubled young man in front of him.

“Hey, Mr. Abernathy, uh, I brought you these,” the boy said meekly.

“Wonderful, Peter, wonderful. And I have something for you. Somehow I know you were in a mess the day you found me, and it’s got nothing to do with me. Now, tell the doctor who gave you birth what troubles you.” He had barely finished the words when Peter began to sob.

“The day I found you,” he stammered, as another wave of emotion struck him, “I threw everything away my parents taught me with a girl,” he paused, “and I had sex with her.”

The two men talked about what he should do, and Abernathy exhorted the young man to repent, knowing the family did not share his Catholic inclinations, but also knowing the kid was holy and just down to his core. As in the day of his birth, Peter Thomas Stevens felt grace and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Maleah was on vacation in the body of Lanie Crawford, on the subway in New York City. A weary old man leaned against the wall, singing. Then he started moving her direction.

She could hardly stand the ancient old man and his singing, which was coming closer. “Only in God is my soul at rest/In Him comes my salvation/He only is my Rock, my strength and my salvation.”

Before she could move, the old man reached out and sprinkled her with the holy water, and touched her stomach. He kept singing: “My stronghold, my Savior/I shall not/Be afraid/At all/My stronghold, my Savior/I shall not be moved.”

When he finished, the demon-seed inside Lanie Crawford was dead. The Crawfords would get their beautiful daughter back – and the girl would remember nothing.