In His Absence by Deb Waterbury

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In His Absence
Series: Threads
Deborah Waterbury

This teaching download includes Chapters Three and Four of the Threads book, as well as discussion questions and biblical study and application.

''Stop it! You're hurting me!'' Alexandra, a precocious five-year-old, swatted at her older brother, Christopher, who was grinning and holding a stick close to her back. ''I'm gonna tell Mom!''

The two children were running around in a dirt patch just outside of their one-room shack. They had hardly noticed the change in their lifestyle. The outside of the home had changed, but they still had Susan, and they still had their mother. They had never really seen their father much before, so his absence now was hardly noticed.

Susan watched them play from the window of the small house, drying one of their few dishes and occasionally looking down the path for their mother's return home after working.

After the scandal with Mr. Peters a few months ago, he was sent to prison and consequently left his wife and children destitute. Royce Peters didn't last long in prison. He was killed shortly after being sent there during some sort of riot. The grieving period was short-lived, since the love had been gone long before the scandal. However, Contessa Peters had never lived without, and Susan felt so sorry for her when all of this happened. She was most concerned with the children, who had only known Susan as a caregiver their entire lives. She quickly volunteered to come with Contessa wherever she had to go to help in any way she could. Mrs. Peters would hear nothing of it for a little while, insisting that they would manage alone. However, once she saw the magnitude of Royce Peters's crimes and how those were going to take everything they had and then some, she acquiesced and allowed Susan to accompany them.

Susan knew she wouldn't be paid. As a matter of fact, she surmised rather quickly that she was going to have to do some odd jobs herself just to help out. She did some sewing and needlepoint on the side while Contessa worked for the Hobbs' operation, washing other people's clothes. Susan was sure that Contessa hadn't done an honest day's labor her entire life before these last couple of months, so it was difficult to watch for a while. However, eventually the younger woman seemed to settle into her position in society, at least nominally, and then finally the nighttime sobbing had ebbed.

Alexandra and Christopher had barely missed a beat, though. As a matter of fact, Susan could have sworn that they seemed happier now. They didn't have to wear those stiff clothes anymore, and their mother certainly didn't fuss over them like she used to. Recently Contessa had even spent some time with them outside playing tag. All in all, Susan knew that God was in control and that these things had happened just as He had seen fit. Contessa might not be able to see it on the surface, but she and the children ...

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