When first meeting Reverend Whitehead, a person is struck by his calm and gentle manner. He is tall, has light brown hair with an errant lock of hair falling over one eye. His deep blue eyes hide years of pain. Not even his wife, Caroline, knows the depth of this pain.
Robert never knew his biological parents. It was a time when society was cruel and unforgiving to unwed mothers who were shamed and ostracized. After his birth, his young mother left him at a church and simply disappeared. The minister found a cardboard box on the altar steps and was shocked to find an infant wrapped in a small, hand knit blanket. A note attached to the blanket simply said ‘I can’t take care of him. Please be good to him.’ The minister heard a weak, almost mewling cry when he unwrapped the blanket. Picking up the infant, he returned to the manse. He and his wife had no children of their own and felt the infant was sent by God in answer to their prayers. The couple named the child Robert Moses.
Slowly the infant began to thrive. He was an obedient child and seldom needed correction. He was loved, cherished, guided and had the best a minister’s family in a poor congregation could provide. Only once did he displease his parents. It was his mother who put both the fear of God in her son and an absolute faith in a supreme power by telling the little boy, “God is always watching you, Robert. Everything you do, good or bad, he sees and judges. Always have faith God will forgive you if you honestly regret what you did.” He lived his entire life hearing those words in his head.
Robert never got over his deep feelings of abandonment. Despite being raised in a loving home, something deep inside was missing. The search for the missing piece eventually led to the seminary and ministry. He hoped by helping others in their pain he could heal his own. His sermons were often about reaching out to others and faith in an all-encompassing supreme power.
Tony Charelle had absolutely no sense of the depth of Reverend Whitehead’s faith and trust in God. His manner and appearance held an unshakeable faith and strength which Robert would defend to death.
The next backstory will be Caroline Whitehead