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Chapter Fifty-two
Welcome Home, Mrs. Clark

"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother [family], and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."
~ Genesis 2:24 ~

"Let not the sun go down upon your wrath."
~ Ephesians 4:26 ~

It was just after seven thirty in the evening when Adam's private jet touched down at the small airport in Twin Yucca. The sun was setting against the western horizon of the Mojave Desert, as the small group descended the steps of the jet and into the warm air.

The familiar feel of the dry wind against Charlie's skin reminded her of just how much she had been missing home. She had spent much of the last few months away from the desert, and was grateful to finally be back to the land that she had come to love so much.

While Adam and Kevin unloaded their luggage and camping equipment, Chad looked about the empty airport for his brother. A few hours earlier, Mike called and had given an update as to their father's condition. He was conscious and talking, and according to the doctors, doing extremely well for someone who had suffered a mild heart attack the previous day. Tests were still being done to determine why he had collapsed, for the cause wasn't readily apparent to the doctors. As always, Mike had ended the call with another plea to pray for Thomas. Even though their father's physical condition was improving, his sins had not been forgotten. Chad had strained to hear any news from Mike that their father had repented of his indiscretions, but Mike had been unable to give his little brother any such consolation.

"Where's Mike?" asked Adam, setting the last of their luggage on the runaway and looking about the mostly vacant airport. "I thought he promised to meet us."

"I don't see him," Chad sighed disappointedly.

"Thank God there's no reporters," said Charlie, grateful that they had been able to sneak back home without arousing the attention of the media.

"Amen to that," agreed her husband.

"Someone's coming," Kevin announced. He stood beside his client and warily watched as a solitary figure walked toward them.

"It's Mike!" cried the boy.

Momentarily forgetting that he was too old for such displays of emotion, Chad ran to Mike and the brothers hugged.

"How's your father, Mike?" asked Adam, as Chad buried his face in his older brother's embrace.

"Fine, I guess," mumbled Mike. "I don't understand, Uncle Adam. He came so close to death, and he still refuses to be honest about his sin. I thought that maybe I could talk to him, but he just won't repent. He even told me that it was no big deal, because his last 'momentary lapse of judgment' had only been with a prostitute. Uncle Adam, I was sitting there, looking at my own father, and thinking, 'I don't know this man.'"

continued on next page...
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