“No…no…no,” Rachel whimpered. Once again, she was trying to access Jigoku Tsuushin, and yet it still wouldn’t appear. Again and again, she clicked the refresh button until, after that long, excruciating minute, the clock turned 12:01.
She collapsed on the keyboard, sobs wracking her body. “Why, Jigoku Shoujo? Why won’t you come save me?” she whispered, “That man has to disappear. Why won’t you protect us? I don’t know what else to do!”
As she said this, she thought she felt eyes on her back, and she turned around to see Enma Ai standing there. The silver light of the moon gleamed on her pale skin and red eyes, and it reflected off her straight, black hair.
“Jigoku Shoujo!” Rachel gasped, throwing herself at the girl’s feet. “You finally came! You’re going to accept my request, right?”
“I cannot accept your request,” Enma Ai told her softly.
Rachel’s breath caught in her throat. “Why?” she asked, her voice a whisper, her face growing desperate.
“You are unable to send a person to Hell.”
“What? No! That’s ridiculous! How come I, of all people, can’t do it? You accept others’ requests, right?”
“I do accept others’ requests.”
“Then why not mine? Why?”
Enma Ai watched her for a long moment, their eyes locked. Enma Ai’s red eyes seemed to bore into Rachel’s soul, and in them, Rachel thought she a depth of lost loneliness. Finally, Jigoku Shoujo spoke again. “You have been made one with Christ,” she said softly, “Christ is the One who redeems people from Hell. He does not condemn. If you are in Christ, you cannot send a person to Hell.”
At this, Rachel suddenly trembled violently, like a young tree struck with a powerful gust of wind. She pressed her hand over her mouth, tears falling from her eyes so unexpectedly that she couldn’t hold them back. Shutting her eyes tightly, she pressed her other hand over the one that was already on her mouth and shook with silent sobs. She had all at once been overwhelmed with horror at what she had been trying to do. How could she damn a person—even someone as terrible as her father—when she had been called to save him?
“But what—am I supposed to do?” she wept, her voice broken by sobs, “He…he gets drunk and abuses me almost every day, and even though I try to protect my little brother and sister, he sometimes beats them too! And my mother…he…hated her too—when she got sick, he waited too long before taking her to the hospital, and by then it was too late to save her! He tells me his life would be so much better if I didn’t exist…and I’m so afraid! I don’t know what he would do if I went to the police. I feel trapped! If only that man would just disappear! Who can I turn to, Jigoku Shoujo, if not you? Who will make this stop?”
“You already know who you can turn to,” Enma Ai said.
Rachel stopped, staring at her. She knew Enma Ai was referring to Jesus. Biting her lip, she lowered her eyes. “Well, He hasn’t done anything to stop it yet,” she muttered, frightened at the resentment she found rising out of the darkest caverns of her heart.
“He has been here the whole time,” Enma Ai said, and as she spoke, Rachel looked up, her eyes widening.
Another person faded into the room next to Jigoku Shoujo, but His appearance was entirely different from hers. Instead of black clothes, He was wearing white robes. His face and hair did not contrast sharply like Enma Ai’s, but rather his hair was dark brown and his bearded face was tan. His eyes were intense, but unlike Enma Ai’s, they were blue-green. Instead of empty loneliness, Christ’s eyes were full of assurance and grace.
The unexpected appearance of her Savior shook Rachel to the core. Though she believed in Him and had prayed to Him, she had never encountered Him in this way before. “Lord…” she gasped.
Enma Ai remained still, but she turned her eyes away from Him, staring down at the floor to her left.
Rachel’s eyes filled with tears again. She could hardly bear the compassion she saw in Christ’s eyes. “Lord, why haven’t You done anything to protect me from this?” she pleaded, “Why have you allowed my father to continue abusing us?”
“Your father acts the way he does because he does not know Me,” Jesus replied, “If he knew Me, he would not hate you. Rachel, have you told him about Me yet?”
He knows the answer to that, of course, Rachel thought. She felt ashamed and couldn’t look Him in the eyes as she told Him, “No, I haven’t. I’m afraid to bring up the subject around him.”
“Do not be afraid,” Jesus said, and though He spoke gently, it was a command to be obeyed, “You will be My witness to your father, and I will be with you. Forgive him, and do not hate him. Though you must endure for now, when the time comes, you will be filled with joy.”
He smiled, and the love in that smile overwhelmed Rachel so much that she ran and hugged Him, her tears staining His robes. “I am with you, My child,” Jesus said gently, putting one hand on her head, “And I will be with you always.” Even as He was speaking, He faded from view, though Rachel could still strongly feel the presence of His Spirit. She thought she could still feel His warm embrace too.
Full of joy and new hope, she resolved in her heart to tell her father about Jesus, and to continue witnessing to him until he believed. God will save him, she thought, and she realized that she loved him and truly wanted him to be saved. She couldn’t remember a time when she had really loved her father, but now she understood that he was suffering too, in a world without hope. More than anything, he needed Christ.
Rachel turned to thank Enma Ai for refusing her request, but Jigoku Shoujo was no longer there. She was no longer needed.