My wife, Jane, can best explain what was going through her mind from the time of my phone call until the arraignment:
The first thought to cross my mind when Dylan phoned was to give him a big piece of my mind. We had planned our forty-sixth anniversary trip to Tahoe for months and even paid a nonrefundable deposit on a five-bedroom home on the beach. Our three children, their mates, and our eight grandchildren were going to be there, too. All of us in one home on the lake for seven days. It was a dream vacation and how many more of these could we expect to have in the years ahead? I could have chewed nails when I hung up, especially after him saying that it was no big deal!
I slammed the phone down and screamed.
That’s when the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart, “Quit acting like a baby. Call the lawyer. Get on a plane and fly to San Francisco. Dylan needs you.”
I fell to my knees and wept.
“Forgive me, Lord.”
But without missing a beat, I jumped up, phoned Jacob, our lawyer, and made standby reservations for a flight on Virgin Airlines out of San Diego International Airport to San Francisco. My flight’s departure was scheduled for 5:15 a.m., which gave me just enough time to pack and make the sixty-mile drive from Temecula to the airport.
Bluetooth allowed me to make four important phone calls on my trip. The first three were to our children, telling them about Dylan’s situation. The words “hate crime” never ricocheted off my tongue, but instead I termed it a slight misunderstanding, one that a lawyer could easily handle. We would see them on Saturday and have a big laugh over Dylan’s latest faith escapade. The three had questions, but I pooh-poohed their fears with a couple of quick Bible verses.
When I finished calling the three, I looked down at the speedometer. Ninety miles per hour! Jane Matthews: beloved wife, caring mother, doting grandmother, and committed believer of Jesus was acting like Mario Andretti at the Indianapolis Five Hundred, passing everyone in sight. I tapped on the brakes and slowed down to seventy-five miles per hour. A police car with a radar gun sat at the next exit.
“Thank you Jesus,” I muttered.
Then, I phoned J.C. Bates. Someone needed to fill me in on the details about Dylan’s arrest and J. C. was the man who could do just that.
(Continued in Part 6…if you’re interested, the full series to date may be seen here.)