Duncan stopped. He was standing beside the old historic log home that was just down the street from Lacy’s shop. It had the huge cascading Bridal Bush in full bloom that his mother loved. And as Lacy moved toward him he suddenly had an image of her as a bride. His bride. He shut that down immediately. It wasn’t something that could ever be. Wasn’t something he could ever deserve?
Lacy marched right up to him, her eyes alive with a fire he’d not seen there before. “Oh Duncan, I can’t let you walk away like this. For the last couple of days I’ve heard more whispers and talk about you than I care to hear. But maybe that was a good thing because it’s becoming clear to me that you are carrying a burden that you aren’t meant to carry.”
Duncan’s heart was slamming against his ribs as he studied Lacy, wanting so much to pull her into his arms and be free from the guilt and sorrow that blanketed him, suffocated him. But no, he shook his head. He’d prayed for answers, for help and God hadn’t sent it. He’d prayed for Missy to forgive him but—
“No,” Lacy broke into his thoughts. “Don’t shake your head. Please listen to me, Duncan.” She stepped up close, obviously not caring that they were on the street and everyone could see them. She placed her hands against his cheeks and her beautiful brown eyes shimmered with more gentle kindness than he’d felt in so long. “My heart breaks for Missy Taylor and that she lost her husband,” she said, as if reading his mind. “But the truth is, she is hurting, grieving and she and others—including you—are blaming you for something that isn’t your fault. You have to let it go. God will heal her wounds with time."
Duncan’s throat tightened with emotion so strong he couldn’t help himself, he pulled Lacy into his arms and laid his head against her sweet, cupcake scented hair. Felt her heart beating in time with his. Closing his eyes he tried to process all that she’d said. And suddenly he realized that maybe God had been listening to his prayers—that maybe in the darkness of his guilt God had sent help, a ray of hope… God had sent Lacy, this beautiful, shaft of sunlight into his world when he’d most needed someone to believe in him.
But could he believe what she was telling him? Could he let go of the guilt eating at him?