Seth was surprised when he received a second invite to the Paris house.
“How’s it goin’?” Clive was sitting at the kitchen table drinking a Coke. Beth sat down in the seat beside him. Seth took the chair with the unopened Coke can and popped the top.
“Fine. I’m doin’ alright,” Seth said and took a sip of the drink.
“When you came over the last time, I offered to help you look for a job. I’ve been asking around, and I have some leads. One friend of mine is really interested. I leaned on the people at your old firm, and they’re going to give you a good reference,” Clive said.
“What kind of a job is it?” Seth wanted to know.
“It’s “Head of Accounting” at Staley College. The hours are good, and the salary and benefits are phenomenal. Your kids get free tuition as a perk. Of course, it’s kind of a far commute.”
Seth shrugged, “Claire and I are thinking about moving anyway. I’ll take my resume and references over there first thing in the morning”.
“Great! Great! I can’t guarantee that you’ll get the job,” Clive said. “but you’ve a got a good chance.”
“I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this,” Seth said. “Since I’m here, there’s something else.”
Clive motioned with his hand for him to continue.
“That last time I was here, you talked to me about a saving faith in Jesus Christ,” he began.
“Yeah, we can talk about that any time you want,” Clive’s voice held some hope that he would listen this time.
“Well, that’s just the thing. Christ has come into my life as Lord and Savior. I owe you and Beth an apology for the way I acted,” he said.
Clive actually stood up and shook his hand. “Congratulations, Seth! We’re so happy for you,” Clive said. Beth was all smiles.
“I was wondering how Harper’s doing?” Seth wanted to change the subject before it got embarrassing.
“He’s in the other room,” Clive told him. “I thought we could shoot some pool.”
“Sure, that’d be great,” Seth got up from the table.
“Seth,” Beth said.
He turned to look at her. “Huh?”
“Don’t move too far away, alright? We’d really enjoy doing some things with your family,” Beth said.
“We’ll see what we can manage,” he answered. He couldn’t believe these people liked him. After the way he’d been before, they were welcoming him into their home, into their lives, they were putting themselves out there for him.
When he stepped into the family game room, Harper paused the video game he was playing and stood up without prompting. Seth couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen Harper. The kid was clean cut and had a pleasant look on his face. He didn’t fit Seth’s picture of a druggie loser. Harper walked over and shook his hand.
“Hello, Mr. Sneddecker. How’s Michelle?” Harper asked.
“Michelle’s fine. And, you can call me, Seth.”
“The kids at school are wondering when she’s coming back. We all miss her. We don’t know what the volleyball team will do without her,” Harper said.
“Michelle’s going to a different high school. We, her mom and I, decided it would be best under the circumstances.”
“Too bad for us.”
As Harper and Clive were setting up the pool table, Seth thought how he had a lot in common with Harper. Both of them needed people to come alongside them and walk with them to help the keep a straight path. Both of them needed Christ’s strength to keep them from going back to what they were. He would never have thought he had anything in common with this kid, but if it was drugs or abuse or whatever else, it was all the same: sin that could only be broken, permanently broken, by Christ Jesus.
“I hope you’re ready for this,” Harper said confidently.
He was more than ready.