The pastor settled into the ancient chair behind his desk. I gazed at the nameplate sitting on his desk. "James Butler."
"Preacher Butler, Let me introduce myself," I said, "and tell you why I'm here. My name is Zebulon O'Halloran, and I met a young woman this morning who lives in the house my family lived in eleven years ago. Her husband just returned from military service in Vietnam. He is having nightmares about his experiences over there. I am sometimes troubled by them as well, but my faith helps me. He drinks to try to forget, he can't find employment, and she winds up being beaten by him. My question is, can you help him?"
He looked at me and I could see he was wondering at my involvement in the matter.
"You want to know why I'm sticking my nose in? Let's just say I understand the situation. I happened to stop at the house this morning."
I related the conversation to him, and what I had observed.
"Can you help him? I can't in good conscience continue on in my journey until I know you and your church will reach out to that family."
He smiled at me and said, "Of course we will. We have a group of veterans that meet every Tuesday evening, and I will visit the family this very day. Where do they live?"
I gave him the address, and stood up to leave.
"Thank you so very much, Preacher Butler," I said, shaking his hand once again.
"You're welcome, son. I wish we had more people with your attitude and caring nature. God bless you!"
Exiting the church, I headed for another area I knew well. I decided to head to the business district and see what had changed, if anything.
Soon Dooley's Pub came into view.
(To be continued)