Deciding to get a cup of coffee while the policemen were checking on Claude, I informed the desk nurse and went in search of some. I found the small hospital cafeteria and decided, since I had not yet had lunch, to get a slice of Apple pie in addition to the coffee.
With their purchase in hand, I headed for a table and sat down. I knew I could be in real trouble if the two did not believe me. I certainly realized they had no inclination to like me or trust my word.
Bowing my head, I asked God for guidance and thanked him for my food. I knew He was caring for me and trusted that he was going to protect me, according to His will.
The pie was soon gone, and I was finishing a second cup of coffee, when I spied the two officers heading my way.
"Well, Mr. O'Hanlon, it looks like you are off the hook for the shooting of Mr. Wilson. He is going to recover, it seems. He was able to speak briefly with us. He missed his vital organs by about an inch. It seems he considers you as the only one who cares what happens to him. He wants to see you before you leave town. The Doctor advised you see him before you leave. We are going to take our leave of you now. Keep your nose clean, you hear?"
"Yes, sir. Don't worry about me. Goodbye."
They left and I hurried back to admitting to locate Claude. They told me Claude was in 201 and I headed there to see him. He lay with his upper body somewhat elevated, wearing a hospital gown. His color had returned mostly, but was still paler than normal.
When he saw me quietly entering his room, he looked at me with a question in his eyes. I understood perfectly. I had seen that same question on the faces of many of my army buddies.
Sometimes it was why another friend of theirs had died; other times it was why did his girl get married while he was fighting overseas. So many questions for which we had no answer.
"Why did you save my miserable life? You know I had nothing to live for. My wife and child are gone; I have no job; I can't seem to fit into civilian life. I can't even kill myself right, it seems. Why am I still living in this miserable world."
"I believe God is giving you another chance to make something of your life. He is a God of second chances, after all. Please let me pray with you. He wants to change your life, but you need to place your trust in him, Claude."
"How do I do that?"
"Many years ago, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, took on all the sins of everyone and sacrificially gave up his life for all who would believe in his sacrifice and accept that gift of forgiveness. If you will believe with your heart and accept His gift, He will forgive you, and you will have eternal life. Then he will guide you through your life if you look to him for that guidance."
"You mean my life will get easy?"
"Oh, no, not necessarily easy, but He will give you the courage and help you need as you need it. Also, you will be His adopted brother, a son of God. You will be able to take all your cares and troubles to Jesus, and he will always be there to listen. Would you like to accept Jesus as your Savior? Can you believe with your heart and soul and mind, that He gave His life for you?"
I could see him struggling with all I had shared with him.