The Prequel, Chapter Fifty-One

My Dear Alexander,

Well, my battle is won. My work is complete. As you read this, I rejoice with the angels in Heaven above. And as I rejoice with them, I am watching over you, praying to God that you will find the peace I now know.

Right now, you have three weeks left before you are released. Three weeks, and you'll be among temptation once again. I know my words are futile in the face of strong desire, but I plead with you to remain the strong man I know you are slowly becoming. I know there is no use telling you things you already know, things such as alcohol and lust do nothing but kill and destroy, so I will use the time I have left to remind you that you are a man to be proud of. Don't give in. You have so much to offer. So much to fight for.

I hold onto the hope that someday, I will see you again. My hand is growing weak, so I haven't much longer to write, but I ask you to remember that no matter what, you will never be too far from God to ask for forgiveness. 

Don't forget who you are to me, and who you are to Him.

With all my love,

Auntie Lala

Alone and unable to think because of his pain, Alexander's grasp on the letter failed, and he watched as the note floated lazily to the floor. She really means it. She really believes I am someone worth saving. 

Heart pounding, Alexander sank to his knees. For a long time, he balked, unsure if Auntie Lala's words were correct. Could he really be saved? Could he really be redeemed? Or would his prayer be in vain?

I suppose this is it, then. The deciding moment. Do I choose God? Can I be saved?

The cell floor was cold, but Alexander paid it no heed as he knelt in silent debate with himself. What if he asked God for forgiveness, but only found himself rejected? Well, I wouldn't be any worse off than I am now. What have I to lose?

"God," Alexander began, "I guess I'm putting alot of trust in Auntie Lala's words. She said You could save me. Why a God of Honor and Holiness would want to save someone like me is a mystery, but I'm banking on what I've been told. God, do You really save? Do You really lavish mercy upon those who ask for it? I want to believe, but I can't get past my own broken will...Are You really able to save someone like me?"

The door clanged open, and Alexander looked up to see a guard delivering his noontime meal. Of course, it was as bland as ever, but Alexander's mind was on matters far more serious than the menu. 

"Praying, are we?" the guard sneered as he set down the food tray.

Ignoring the guard's condescending remark, Alexander stood and accepted his food. Maybe the guard was right. Maybe Alexander had no right to ask God for salvation.

Without so much as a thank-you, Alexander watched as the guard sauntered away. The guard was right, of course. What business did a criminal like himself have, praying to a God Who placed such importance upon justice and righteousness? If there was anything that Alexander wasn't, it was just and righteous. His sitting in a prison cell should have made that obvious enough.

"I know I'm not good enough to be saved, God, but if I try to be perfect for a few years, then will You consider saving me? I know I can't cancel out my bad deeds - You know there are far too many of them - but perhaps if I prove to You that I'm serious about changing, then You'll see me as fit for redemption."

Alexander lowered his head, dejected. "It's the only hope I've got."

The End

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