The Will of God
Disclaimer: I don't own Courageous. That's Sherwood Church's territory. And I make no money with this story.
A/N: Originally completed on July 8, 2012.
Officer Mitchell was planning to walk straight past his son's room on his way downstairs, but something made him stop. Turning, he knocked on the door twice and pushed it open. Dylan was sitting on his bed with his game console in hand, staring at the television. That was nothing new. But then Adam saw that the TV was off, and Dylan was making no moves to operate the console with his fingers. Rather, his eyes were using the television screen as a fixation point. Something was bothering him.
Adam almost smiled as he sat down next to his son. The Lord truly worked in not-so-mysterious ways. "How's the game coming?" he said lightly by way of a joke. Dylan blinked and took his eyes away from the empty screen to rest them on his father.
"Dad—" he began, stopped, and hesitated. "You know…?" He paused again. Then letting his breath out, he finally pushed on with what he was going to say. "I wanted it to happen." It had every aspect of a confession: he was agitated, his eyes downcast, his voice shaky. Mr. Mitchell, however, wasn't following.
" 'It,' " he repeated, inviting his son to elaborate.
"Before she died,"—his voice shook there, too—"I wanted it to happen." Dylan looked up at his father, his eyes full of pain. "Not—not die, just—" He took a deep breath and finished, "I wanted to be the only one. I mean, she always got what she wanted, she was your whole world, and I was just…" Sighing, he repeated in a low voice, "I wanted to be the only one."
Adam squeezed his thighs with his hands. "You never told me that," he said quietly. Dylan's eyes urged his father to continue. Adam went on, "You never told me you felt that way about Emily, that I was favoring her—"
Dad!" shouted Dylan, interrupting him. "Don't you get it? I wished for it, and then it happened! I wanted to be the only child, and then—and then she…" His voice died, and tears poured from his eyes.
"Dylan." Adam's voice was quiet and deadly serious. He gripped his son's shoulders with both hands. "Emily's death was no one's fault." How he could stay so calm while stating those words was beyond him. "Not yours, not your mother's, not mine. What happened," he said, pausing, almost unable to say it, "was God's will. Everything happens according to His will."
"But how could He do that?" Dylan sobbed. "Why would He do that to us?" Adam pressed the boy's head against his shoulder, hiding his tears. His own eyes were wet now.
"I don't know," he answered honestly, his voice now gone unsteady. "I don't always understand the will of God." But that wasn't entirely true. What Dylan had said to him today, might just have shed some light on Adam's feeble attempts to make sense of a dark situation. "But if He did it to wake me up," Adam continued. His voice was strengthening now. "If He did it so that I'd realize my responsibility as a father, if He did it so that I'd become the kind of man He desires me to be…" He hugged his only son fiercely, stroking the back of Dylan's head. "If He did it so that you, my son, wouldn't be lost in the shuffle as I live out my life ignoring you…" His voice was passionate, angry at the man he'd been and utterly resolved to become the man he was currently trying to be. In a whisper, he concluded, "Then who am I to question Him?"
Dylan locked his arms around him and snuffled. Adam rocked him back and forth without being conscious of what he was doing. It was good for them to be together, even in deepest grief, father and son.
Perhaps Adam Mitchell could start to begin to understand just how much the Father treasured His Only-Begotten.