He could not help but feel a twinge of secret resentment about having to be there, but he was Jeannie’s guest after all. “Beside,” he mused, “it can’t do me any harm.”
He watched as people filed into the room, greeted each other warmly, and eventually found seats. Most of the people he did not remember meeting before. But there were a few that he seemed almost to remember. Many people came and chatted with Jake and Jeanetta and then with him. He smiled and shook hands with them also as they introduced themselves. But he was glad that he was not pulled into any prolonged conversations.
Kevin looked towards the front of the room. On his left-hand side, he could see the police detective Sharptwig talking with some people sitting there. Sharptwig glanced up, and they briefly made eye contact. Kevin quickly looked away towards the other side of the room, where Heather was seated among a group of other teenagers. She seemed tired and pale, but looked strangely calm and friendly towards those around her. He shook his head slightly, feeling puzzled.
If he did not know them as he did and had seen them only in church during a rough time in their lives, he would have assumed that they were just wearing what he liked to call their “church faces.” After all, aren’t most Christians hypocrites?
But he did know them better. No, they were not perfect, but they did not claim to be. In fact, it was in their evident acceptance that they were imperfect and needy that they seemed to have found their victory. They needed God, Kevin realized, and they were quite happy that they did need Him. Believing that there was a God Who loved them seemed to have provided them an anchor for their souls that he did not have.
Kevin began to feel uncomfortable, creating within himself a restless edge.
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