A Short Story by Desmond

Author: Desmond
Created: February 14, 2018 at 09:05 am
Upload Type: Short Story, G (All)  
Category: General/Other | General/Other | General/Other
Upload Stats: 37 views

God never shows up

The postman did not even ring once. He left a note saying 'please pick up your parcel at the post office'
I was in. I knew I was in and so would he, if he had pushed the bloody door bell.
Three hours later and I am walking to the local village. It was a cold, frosty February morning. I say village - it has one shop, which includes the post office, a public house, and a 11th century church with a wooden spire that needs a few coats of paint.
The church bells have long been silent.
The public house looked inviting. The Kings Head seems like a strange name for a pub but in a way it was celebrating the death of King Charles I. Not too strange then.
Now with my parcel safely in hand and after raising a glass of ale to the late king - I was on my way home.
However, on my return the doorway was covered in shadow and whoever stood there had just scuppered my plans for the day.

"There is one thing about God that you can trust and do you know what it is?
He never shows up. You can pray your little heart out. But God - never shows up"
Now sitting before me with a cup of coffee in his hand, was Pete and it was his voice that was saying the words above.
He was unshaven, wearing clothes that you would not wear to paint your kitchen.
And as for sleep, I'd say very little in the last week.
He was still hungry even after eating eggs on toast and we were about to move on from coffee, to ice cold cider.
To tell the truth, I was not lost for words. But what can be said to help a lost soul whose life stumbles from one crisis to another.
"You have never told me Des" he then said, "if you are a believer. Are you going to tell me now?"

I smiled and did not reply. And I suppose that that was an answer in itself.
Today, as with most days, he seemed upset, agitated and not in a good or safe place. He was now standing with his back to the fireplace.
He likes to stand there as it either gives him the command of the room or command over his own feelings. It is also true to say that on his arrival he was soaked to the skin and he still had a towel around his damp shoulders.
"What was that thing you once said Des" he asked after some time of silence, "about God and hell?"
I did not think it would be helpful to answer his question but, I did.
"Is God so unlovable that we can only love him under the threat of a fiery hell?"

He now looked thoughtful, less agitated and as some time had passed - I said. "Life and all it contains Pete - is just a state of mind"
"A state of mind" he repeated. Turning his head quickly as if expecting to see a ghost standing next to him.
"You don't want to talk about God?"
"He never talks about me" I slowly replied.
He laughed out loud, smiled and then got up and left for the kitchen.
On his return, apple in hand, he again stood with his back to the fireplace.
It felt like the coldest day of the year and although not snowing, the frost was half covering the windows that lead into the garden.

"Pete, faith is a personal thing. It's not about wearing a badge while walking the city streets.
Or marching round the village square saying the end is nigh - you are all going to hell. We are in error Pete if we go on wasting our lives - wishing for what ain't gonna be"
"Wishing for what ain't gonna be" he repeated, as if enjoying every word.
"You are not in hospital or prison and you are above ground. All is good - what say you Pete?"
"I know, I know. You are right" he replied.
"And what about God?" he then asked with a sense of urgency.
"I have nothing to prove, Pete, nor do you. I did not start this great cosmic game.
I ate no forbidden fruit in some garden, somewhere in the east"

"And what if those thoughts Des, what you have just said. Sends you straight to hell?" He replied with a concerned voice.
"If hell exists, then God does not" was my answer.
"What do you mean?"
"Here is a question for you Pete.
If we can only love God because of the threat of a fiery hell.
What is that saying about God?"
He was considering his answer. But I continued.
"Love me - or you go to hell. Is that what God is saying. Do we have a choice in the matter. Does not sound like a choice to me.
Fear of hell - does not mean that you love God. It means you fear him.
If our love of God is out of fear. Then the word love - has just changed its meaning"

He was not happy with what I had just said. But they were words that could not be taken back. It's not up to me or anyone, to trample on another's faith. And I may have done just that.
I'd said enough, that was my thought. So I got up - fed the cat and returned with two more ciders. "Before you ask - no peanuts" I said, as I sat down near the fire.
"You have said before Des" he started to say as I sat down. "That we choose our thoughts and we can, choose better ones and I agree"
"It is true Pete. Think about it. It's by mere chance that we exist at all. It's a gift, a privilege. A chance in a million.
We just hitched a ride on the fastest sperm that is all. At another time or on another day, we would not be here"

We sat in silence. The only sound was from the logs in the fire. The heat slowly rearranging the logs as they changed into smaller flecks of bright red cinder.
"Des, the hot water in my place is not working" He said after some time. "Can I use your
"Of course" I replied.
"Do you have by chance any clean clothes that might fit me?" He then asked with an embarrassed look on his face.
As I left the room he was huddled around the fire drinking his cider. The snow was now falling heavily - the wind was making strange noises and this weather looked like staying for the next day or so.
I went on my way looking for clean, dry clothes and only returned after I had made up the bed in the spare bedroom. God may never show up but when friends do - we owe it to the gods, mother nature, the universe or whomever, to be a "shelter from the storm"

Last Modified: February 14, 2018 at 09:24 am
© Desmond - all rights reserved

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