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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Unbreakable Faith - 7. Chapter 7

Unbreakale Faith

Chapter 7

Sunday morning he got up at seven thirty, took an extra long shower then dressed in one of his two Sunday suits reserved specifically for church. When he walked back out of the bathroom at nearly eight without a hair out of place he was a little surprised not to see Mike and Jeff still in the room. He shrugged to himself not thinking much of it as he realized he had taken quite a bit of time in the bathroom. He figured they’d just come back up and get ready once they saw he was through.

As he walked down the stairs he heard plenty of talking from the dining room and worried he was late to breakfast as usually he was one of the first ones there. When he walked through the doorway everyone looked up and all conversation stopped.

“Whoa dude, you going to meet the President?” Kevin spoke up. His comment was followed with snickers and laughter, while Kyle turned around in his chair to see what was going on. His eyes widened as they fell on Ian.

“Why are you all dressed up?”

Ian looked down at himself then back up at the others around the table, most of them still in their pajamas. “I’m dressed for church. You guys must all go to the late service huh?”

Kyle shook his head. “No son, we don’t go to church.”

Ian’s mouth dropped open as he looked the man over. Not go to church, he’d never heard of any such thing. “Well how do you worship?” His question brought another round of laughter and he was beginning to feel as angry as he was embarrassed and confused.

“Well I’m afraid we don’t worship.”

His mouth dropped open again. “But how? I mean everyone has to worship.”

“No actually they don’t. It’s a belief not a law.”

“A belief?”

Kyle nodded knowing he had to tread carefully into this territory, he knew the boy had eaten, breathed and walked the bible every day of his life. That it was pushed on him in everything he did. “Something some people choose to believe and others choose not to.” He stood up from the table not really feeling comfortable with all the other boys listening. “Come with me into the living room okay?”

Ian nodded and followed along as laughter rang through the dining room. Kyle sat down on the couch and Ian sat down on the next cushion over.

“Believing in God is a choice Ian. Some people chose to do it and others don’t.”

“But if you don’t you go to hell. You don’t really want to go to hell do you?”

“I don’t believe in hell. To me that isn’t a constant fear. I don’t begrudge those who do believe, but for myself I don’t. It’s a choice I made. A choice my wife made. I don’t make you kids believe any certain way. You guys make your own choices.”

Ian pointed back to the dining room. “And none of them believe?”

“If they do they decided not to worship.”

“But you should tell them, you should tell them they have to, what could happen if they don’t.”

“It’s not my job to do that. It’s not my place since I don’t believe in it myself.”

Ian stood up. “Well I’ll tell them then.”

Not thinking, Kyle reached out and grabbed his arm pulling him back down on the couch. Ian’s casted arm flew up and covered his face sure an attack was about to be launched. “I’m sorry,” He said shaking his head, his hand still up over his face. “I’m sorry.” he added just a little stronger.

“It’s alright Ian; I’m not going hit you. I’m sorry if I scared you. I just didn’t want you to go running in there before we talked about this more.”

Ian slowly lowered his hand and eyed the man, the look of fear still written all over his face. “It’s what I’m supposed to do sir; I’m supposed to tell people when they are doing wrong.”

“No it’s not your job son; your job is to be a kid, to be happy. I won’t stop you from practicing your religion but I can’t let you push it on the other kids here. I’m sorry I just can’t do it. They won’t be receptive and they’ll only grow to resent you.”

Ian nodded losing his stamina to argue. “So can I still go to church?”

“I think I can work that out. There’s one just down the road. You can walk there but you have to promise me you’ll come back right after service.”

He nodded again having to at least be thankful about that. “Is it Pentecostal?”

“No it’s Methodist.”

He’d heard his father rant and rave about other religions that flew by the seat of their pants. That they were wastes and only idiots went to them, thinking they’d have a place in heaven for merely showing up to church once a week and never cracking a bible the rest of the week. Of the ones he’d heard his father degrade though, he’d not once heard him mention the Methodists. Perhaps that meant they were okay.

“Will that be okay?”

He nodded knowing he had to take what he could get.

“Okay you hold on a few minutes. I’ll call over there and see what time the service starts.” He also wanted to give the reverend a heads up and hopefully some help with Ian and his incredible confusion.

Ian stayed in the living room while Kyle walked to his office closing the door behind him. He picked the phone book up off a table near his desk, flipping it open as he sat down behind his desk. He found the number for the church and quickly dialed it.

After four rings a woman’s voice picked up. “United Methodist church.”

“Hi, this is Kyle Harvey, I run the group home just down the road. I was wondering if I could talk to your minister please.”

“Certainly, hold on just a minute Mr. Harvey.”

Just about a full minute later a man’s voice came on the line. “This is Reverend Delmar.”

“Hello Reverend.” Kyle explained who he was again. “I have a boy here who wants to come to church. I’m wondering what time the services start.”

“Ten o’clock. And of course we always welcome new parishioners.”

Kyle nodded into the phone not one bit surprised about that. “Do you have a few minutes to talk?”

“Of course.”

“Well this boy I’m sending over. He grew up with a minister and his wife. The minister was Pentecostal and overly strict in his religion and the religion he pushed on this boy, whose name is Ian Weaver by the way.”

“Okay,” the man said very patiently. “Go on.”

“The boy was viscously abused by this man. Every day he was punished for the tiniest of things. He wasn’t just punished he was horrifically beaten. His father was so strict he didn’t get to see any other choices. He wasn’t allowed to interact with kids at school, his mother worked there so she saw to it. His free time was spent reading the bible. When he wasn’t doing that he was cleaning or studying. His father even oversaw the papers he wrote for school. The father gave him the topic then made him write about it, his way.”

He stopped to take a long breath. “Basically I’d like for this boy to see there are other options. I’d like him to see God is not someone to fear. Like him to see that every minute of his day doesn’t have to be filled with cleaning and studying.”

“I understand. And trust me I am more than willing to do anything I can for the boy. Looks like he needs a few good people in his life. I’m appalled that he was treated so badly by someone claiming it was in the name of God. Will you be bringing him over?”

“No I’m going to let him walk. Just so you know who he is, he’s wearing a dark blue suit and a green tie.”

The minister chuckled. “It’s not funny at all I’m sorry, the poor boy. But he’s going be a little over dressed for our church.”

“Well I’ll see if I can get him to change but I wouldn’t count on it. He stands very firm in his convictions. Which is why I’m really hoping you can get through to him.”

“I will do my very best.”

An hour later Ian left the house, bible in hand. He walked past three houses then crossed the street. The church was very large, about twice the size of his father’s. There was a large parking lot in the front already half filled with cars. He was very nervous about this new venture. Hoped he was doing the right thing. Hoped this wasn’t one of those bad religions he’d heard so much about.

He walked up the ten steps to the church. He walked through the doors and into a large reception hall. Tables filled with pamphlets lined one wall. A glassed in room lined the other, which he could see was the childcare room as there were already several kids in it.

He clutched his bible a little closer to his chest when a man suddenly approached him.

“Ian Weaver?” the man asked.

Ian looked up at him briefly then looked back down towards his chest and nodded.

The man stuck out his hand. “I’m Reverend Delmar.”

Ian looked up at the man again, shocked and a little embarrassed that the reverend had sought him out to say hello to and sure he didn’t deserve it. He reached out his hand blushing from his head to his toes with both nervousness and shyness. “It’s nice to meet you sir,” he tried to make his voice sound strong but doubted he’d done a very good job.

“I’m so glad you decided to join us here today. I think you’ll like the family we have here. Can you stick around after the service? I want to see how you liked it and see if you have any questions.”

“Mr. Harvey said I have to go straight home.”

“Well I think he just meant no going anywhere else. It won’t take long. I promise you won’t get in any trouble.”

Ian nodded knowing better than to say no to a minister.

“Well I better go do my last minute preparations. Go on in and sit anywhere you’d like.”

He walked into the main room of the church. Like his father’s it was lined with pews, though this church had about a third more. Knowing the family and relatives and deacons sat in the front row he walked up to the front and took a seat on the end in the second row.

The sermon, though interesting, was a whole new experience for him. The man did not yell or scream once. The congregation stayed seated rather than jumping up and down every five seconds and it was quite a bit shorter. He was surprised when everyone got up to leave sure in his mind that there was more. After nearly everyone had left the congregation hall he got up himself and walked out to the entry hall not at all sure of where he was supposed to meet the minister. He figured the place they’d talked earlier was as good a place as any.

The room was swarming with people and after a few minutes he saw the minister walk in. He shook hands with several of the people and chatted just a bit with each of them before he made his way to Ian. “Let’s go to my office.” He held out his arm as though to corral him in the right direction. Ian followed along silently until they walked into a very nice office. Dark wood covered the walls. The floor was covered in a deep cranberry rug. A large mahogany desk took up quite a bit of the room while a plush leather chair sat behind it and two quite fancy chairs sat in front of it.

Reverend Delmar sat behind his desk and motioned for Ian to sit in one of the others, which he did. “Well be honest Ian. What did you think?”

Ian looked up at the man, totally baffled as to why he would care what his silly little opinion would be and certainly baffled he was being given the opportunity to say. “Are you serious?” he asked out of shock.

“Well sure Ian. I like to know what people think about my sermons. Especially you, coming from a Pentecostal family. I imagine it was quite a different experience for you. I also imagine you may feel a little confused. I’d like to try and help answer your questions, because I’d really like it if you continued to come here.”

Ian looked at the desk, at the walls then down at his hands while he tried to come up with something to say. “It was so quiet,” he ended up saying.

“What do you mean?”

He glanced up at the man then back down at his hands. “You didn’t scream or anything. Dad says that you have to do that to get peoples attentions, that if you are always nice people don’t listen so well.”

Rob Delmar nodded. “Did you pay attention to any of the other parishioners Ian?”

“No sir, I was listening to you.”

The man grinned which Ian didn’t see as he was still staring at his hands. “So you didn’t have any trouble paying attention even though I wasn’t yelling then right?”

Ian looked up again then cocked his head to one side truly thinking about what the man said as it sure made sense. “And you think everyone listens to you?”

“Well I think so. Of course in every crowd there are the kids dragged in by their parents who may nod off or talk with their friends. The people who are here because they want to be, because they want to learn something, they get my message just as well whether I yell or not.”

Ian slowly nodded as his eyes wandered around the room again while he thought. “So you suppose God doesn’t mind that people don’t jump up and praise him all through church?”

“We praise him with song, with our opening songs and our closing songs. I feel God wants his message heard most of all. Not for the service to continually be interrupted. Do you like it when people jump up and down at service?”

He looked the man right in the eye for several seconds. Rob got the feeling the boy was measuring him up. Measuring to see how well he could be trusted, to see if he was ever going to hurt him. “No I didn’t like it sir,” he blushed as he said it and Rob got the feeling it took a great deal of nerve for him to admit to something that could be considered very bad in the eyes of his father. “It was quite scary actually.”

The reverend smiled getting his first inkling that maybe Ian was not happy with the religion he was raised with. Only that maybe, he was too scared to not follow it which, given the boy’s circumstances he could not blame him at all for it. Knowing his wife was planning dinner he wrapped things up though he didn’t really want to and already planned on telling his wife to plan Sunday dinners a little later so he’d have more time to talk with the boy each Sunday. “So are you going to come next week?”

“You only have service once a week?”

“Well the Wednesday service is for adults only. But we do have a youth group that meets in the basement. That would be a great thing for you to join if you want. We have about thirty kids in it. You play games, eat, go on trips, and of course learn the bible.”

Scratching his neck just above the shirt collar Ian thought about this. He’d never been allowed to participate in Youth group at his father’s church. His father had said the kids there were all heathens, that the only reason they were there was because their more God fearing parents made them. He’d always wanted to be in it though which led him to his decision. “What time does it meet?”

“Seven o’clock.”

“Well if it’s okay with the Harvey’s I’ll come. Thank you for telling me about it sir.”

Rob Delmar nodded as he stood from his desk. “Just go in the side door of the church. It will take you right into the basement. And I look forward to seeing you next week. And if you need anything at all during the week, Mr. Harvey has my number.”

Ian looked up at him and smiled. “Thanks sir,”

When he got back to the house several of the boys were out on the lawn Kevin, his least favorite, included.

“Look guys,” He announced in his usual sarcastic tone the minute he caught sight of Ian. “It’s one of those Jehovah’s coming to deliver us to heaven.”

Ian stopped just inside the gate. “I am not a Jehovah.” He’d heard enough bad things about that religion to know being called such a thing was a huge insult.

“A missionary from a foreign land?” Kevin sneered. “Back from converting the tribes of Africa are you?”

Burning with anger as the other kids all stared at him Ian went to walk past the group and on up into the house. He was grabbed by the back of the collar and pulled back, the sound of ripping material filling the air. Ian shook himself free and glared up at Kevin. “You ripped my suit.” Such a thing would bring a terrible punishment. At least it would have if he were home. Here he had no idea what would happen.

Kevin nearly doubled over laughing while two of the other kids chuckled and Paul spoke up. “It’s okay Ian, don’t get all upset.”

Ian turned on him. “What’s the matter with you guys? Why do you think it’s so funny he ruined my suit? How can that be funny?”

Paul held up his hands as though in surrender. “I ain’t laughing man.”

Ian pointed out the other three. “Well they are. Do you guys really think it’s funny that you did something that’s gonna get me punished? Do you really enjoy seeing people hurt?”

Paul and the other two boy’s eyes softened while Kevin continued to laugh.

“You’re not gonna get hurt Ian.” Paul said shaking his head sounding truly apologetic at this point. He didn’t figure Ian had been removed from his home just for having real strict parents, but got his first actual proof that Ian had been abused. “Kelly won’t even yell at you. She may yell at Kevin for doing it but not at you. It wasn’t your fault. In fact I’m sure she’ll even mend it for you.”

Ian studied him for about half a second before he turned back and headed up the walk and into the house. Mr. Harvey was just coming down the stairs and a shot of fear raced through him. “I’m sorry sir,” he said quickly.

Reaching the bottom of the stairs Kyle’s face filled with confusion. “Why are you sorry son?”

“Cause I’m late, cause I didn’t come home right after service.”

Kyle held in his chuckling hoping Ian never started a life of crime if he admitted things that quickly. “Where’d you go?” he tried to sound at least a little bit stern.

“The reverend talked to me after the service. I told him I had to come home but he said it would be okay,” He looked down at the floor then back up at the man. “And you can’t say no to a minister.”

Kyle let a small chuckle escape his mouth and immediately regretted it as a hurt look came over Ian’s face. “I’m sorry; it was very rude of me to laugh. Your reverend was absolutely correct. You aren’t in any trouble. I just didn’t want you to leave the church and go anywhere else. As long as you are there you’ll be okay. Got it?”

Filling with great relief Ian nodded before another quick stab of fear hit him. “My suit got ripped.”


Ian looked back out the door, he didn’t have it in him to tattle and see someone else be hurt. He also couldn’t lie. “It just did,” he said turning back to Mr. Harvey, who was now looking over his shoulder and out the door.

“Those boys give you a hard time?” Kyle asked figuring it out.

“Am I in trouble about my suit?”

Kyle looked down at him, as Ian was a pretty short guy. He’d be surprised if he was as tall as five feet five. He realized the reason Ian had told about his suit was that he wasn’t intending on getting anyone in trouble, he only wanted to know his own fate. Didn’t want the suit to be discovered ripped, apparently knew to admit what he considered wrongdoing right away as with the ‘late from church’ admission. “No, you’re not in any trouble. Kelly is upstairs in the room at the end of the hall. Why don’t you let her know it’s ripped and see if she can mend it for you? I’ll have a little talk with Kevin about manners.”

Ian’s head snapped back up to look at the man amazed he’d known. “You aren’t gonna hurt him are you sir?”

Another wave of pity went through Kyle and he put his hand on Ian’s shoulder. “I have never raised a hand to any of you kids, my wife hasn’t either. And we never plan to. So you’ve got to stop worrying about that okay?”

“Okay sir,”

Kyle knew it would not be that easy, but nodded and smiled and sent Ian on his way. Ian was halfway up the stairs before he turned back around. “Uh sir?”

Looking up the stairs Kyle smiled again. “Yes?”

“The church, it has a youth group that meets on Wednesday’s. Do you think maybe..” he paused as he fidgeted, nervous to ask. “Well could I maybe go?”

“What time is it?”


Kyle nodded. “I see no reason why not, you can just do your studying either right after school or when you get back.” A smile, the biggest smile Kyle had ever seen from the boy lit up his face. It wasn’t a huge smile but a happy one none the less.

“Thank you so much sir,” He said excitedly as he turned and walked the rest of the way up the stairs. Figuring he ought to take the suit off before he took it to Mrs. Harvey he walked into his room. He saw Jeff lying on his side on his bed his knees pulled up in front of him and an arm up across his face.

Figuring he was sleeping Ian quietly got his change of clothes then slipped into the bathroom and got changed. When he walked back out Jeff’s arm was no longer covering his face and his eyes were open. With the suit jacket tucked up under his arm he walked over to Jeff’s bed. “You okay?”

Jeff looked up at him and smiled. “I’m fine Ian.”

Ian looked at him closely quite sure he was not fine and wanting to do something to help the person that had done so much to make him feel at home in such a strange place. “You want to talk?”

A weak chuckle came out of Jeff. “Do I have to talk or are you going to?”

Grinning a little Ian was glad he’d not been yelled at for being pushy though he really hadn’t expected Jeff to yell. He was just too nice a guy.

“Well if you want I can talk. But then you gotta talk. Cause I’m pretty certain something’s wrong. I may be able to help or something.”

Jeff sat up and pushed himself up towards the head of the bed. He pulled his knees up to his chest, wrapped his arms around them and nodded for Ian to sit down in the room he’d provided. “It’s nothing you can help with Ian, it’s just me feeling sorry for myself. I do it every now and then. I think we all do.”

“Oh,” Ian looked down at his lap then back at Jeff. “So is this one of those time’s Mrs. Harvey was talking about? A time I should leave you alone?”

“No if that ever happens you’ll be told. If I didn’t want you here I’d tell ya. I’m not too shy.” He grinned slightly as he moved one hand down to the bedspread and began to pick at it. “I just miss my foster family.”

“You were in a foster home before you came here?”

“A few actually. The last one though I really liked. I was hoping I’d get to stay there ‘til I was eighteen.”

“So why couldn’t you?”

“They had to move. To take me with them they’d have had to adopt me. I guess they didn’t want to do that.”

Ian’s heart ached unable to imagine how painful that must be. From a family that had apparently acted like they at least liked him. To not do something as simple as he thought adoption was just to keep him with them. “I’m sorry.”

Jeff grinned again. “You sure say you’re sorry an awful lot.”

He shrugged. “Well I am sorry. Doesn’t seem very fair to me.”

“Welcome to the world of being a foster kid.” The look on Ian’s face quickly made him regret his comment. He reached out and put his hand on Ian’s shoulder. “I’m sorry, it’s not that bad, and everyone’s experience is different. And I’m getting the feeling that you’ve been through so much that anything is going to seem real good to you.”

“Why do you say that?”

Jeff looked at him, his brown eyes wide and questioning. “Which part exactly?”

“How do you get that feeling, I mean.”

“Cause you are so damn obedient.” He held up his hand at the look on Ian’s face. “Sorry I didn’t mean to swear,” He said with a slight shake of his head. “Have you ever done anything wrong?”

Ian’s own eyes widened. “Of course I have, all the time.”

“Like what?”

He looked over at the wall wondering which things he should say. “Well, one time I said a really bad prayer.”

Though Jeff wanted to let his mouth hang open and be real sarcastic about such a ludicrous thing to get in trouble for, he knew Ian wouldn’t get it. “How was it a bad prayer?”

“I was groveling.”

“Groveling as in how?”

“I was asking God to help me to be good.”

Jeff’s heart floundered, not able to imagine how scary it must have been to grow up in Ian’s world. If something so trivial could get him into trouble he just couldn’t imagine what his day to day life had been like. “How often did you do things that your family thought were bad? How often did you get punished?”

“Every day.”

Letting out a long slow breath Jeff shook his head. “I just don’t understand how someone can be so mean to their own flesh and blood.”

“Oh,” Ian said holding up a finger. “I wasn’t their flesh and blood. I was adopted.”

Jeff looked at him sideways. “But still. It just makes me a little sick.”

“Oh I’m sorry.”

Despite his misery over Ian’s life Jeff chuckled. “There you go again.”

“Oh,” Ian chuckled himself. “Sorry.”

Jeff flopped back on the bed in hysterics completely unable to stop his laughter as he clutched his stomach and rolled from side to side. Ian though not laughing found his antics amusing and was grinning happily at him. After a few moments Jeff sat back up gasping for air. “I guess I was wrong.”

“What do you mean?”

“When I said there was nothing you could do to make me feel better. Cause man, I haven’t laughed that hard in ages.”

Ian blushed. “So then I guess I should forgive you for laughing at me.”

Getting a strong feeling he was joking, Jeff laughed again as he nodded. “Please do. I wasn’t being mean. You are just so funny, whether you mean to be or not.”

Copyright © 2011 vlista20; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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