2 days later.
[After some time of investigations and Ashley being in police custody, her case was filed to court. Ashley had managed to reach another lawyer who gave her the assurance that he would defend her in court.]
It was the first day in court with Ashley in the dock. Rhoda and Lois were present. Lois throughout the period couldn’t fathom why Henry would accuse Ashley of murder. She knew that was an impossible thing for Ashley to do. But somehow, they had nothing to prove her innocence. And though Ashley tried to appear not affected by the whole issue, after the nights spent in police custody, Lois got to know too well that her friend was gradually getting affected by it. She felt sorry for her, and she just prayed that the worst wouldn’t happen to her.
Sharon together with some of the crew members were present. Eddy however wasn’t present since he was on a retreat for young Christian men. And even though the Judge was ready for the hearing on the case, one most significant personality in the case was not yet present.
During the break period of their retreat, Eddy spent some time catching up with his good friend Jojo. A year after losing his son and his wife Jojo seemed to have found some divine strength. The storms of life that arose against him didn’t break his sail, but rather strengthened his faith in the Lord.
At a point during their chat, Jojo realized that Eddy seemed absent minded. Upon enquiring, he got to know that that day was Ashley’s first day in court.
“I really hope that the lawyer she got would be able to defend her, Jojo! I even recommended you to her, but you know, I think she’s not used to receiving help!”
“Hmm! Let’s just trust that the lawyer she contacted will be able to defend her well! Murder cases can be really delicate, Bro!” Jojo said with much concern.
Not so long afterwards, Eddy received a text from Rhoda which said, “Ed! I’m getting afraid! The lawyer hasn’t yet arrived!”
Ashley was down. Lois could just see it in her eyes. Rhoda tried hard not to act up. All efforts to reach Ashley’s lawyer didn’t succeed. And so the Judge adjourned the case, but made it clear to Ashley that should her defense counsel not show up on the next hearing, he would have no option than to make a judgment. Henry seemed delighted when the judge said that.
Ashley remained silent throughout as she was taken back from the court to the police station to be kept in remand. Initially she thought of it all to be a joke, but reality was now staring at her. Lois touching Ashley’s hand said gently to her, “Ash! Be strong! It’s only a trial, and it’s gonna be over soon! Ash! Let’s just turn to God and ask Him for help, okay? I know he’s gonna help you!”
“Lois!” Ashley said as she turned to her friend. “Don’t bring up God! If he really did care, he wouldn’t have made me go through all this!”
Lois was shocked at what Ashley said. Rhoda who had been on phone got back to tell Ashley that Eddy’s lawyer friend would like to help out by taking up the role of her defense counsel. But Ashley gave no reply. After a while they were seperated by the police.
As Lois got to bed that evening, she spent a while thinking about all that was happening. She thought about what Ashley said. If God did care, then why would He let them go through storms and trails? She thought about what was happening in her own marriage. It had been days since she heard from her husband.
Getting her Bible, she read the scripture at Mark 4 again. And from there, she got the understanding that Jesus is able to intervene and calm any storm or raging sea! All that is needed is her faith in Him that He is more than able to do.
In gentle whispers then, she prayerfully began to say, “Lord Jesus… Please make my faith stronger! Please calm the storm Jesus! Please help us!”
©Dorothy Budu-Arthur, 2016