Friday, September 27, 2013


“Well if it isn’t Sleeping Beauty,” said Preacher Bob. “I thought you were dead, but here you are waking up from your beauty sleep, you son of a bitch.”

Jim groaned and rubbed his head. “Where am I?”

“Well you’re not in Heaven,” said Preacher Bob. “Or Hell, though you should be. What kind of a God-damned idiot are you exactly?”

“What? I don’t underst—”

“I mean what kind of a worthless damn son-of-a-bitch are you to throw yourself on the railroad tracks and leave it to ME to risk MY life saving your worthless ass?”


“Are you deaf, son? Or just crazy? Tell me, which is it. How dare you mess up my dinner, and damn near KILL ME trying to save you, whoever the Hell you are ... Who are you anyway? What is your damn name?”

“Jim. My name is Jim, and ... I’m sorry—” he broke down crying.

Preacher Bob and Tuffy glanced at each other. Tuffy looked reprovingly at Bob, causing Bob to sigh and say to Jim, “Now don’t cry, son. I’m not mad at you. I’m just worked up because I nearly got KILLED hauling you off those railroad tracks. Have a beer, and Tuffy, get him a bowl of beans.”

Jim did not eat the beans, but accepted the beer, and also a second—and would have accepted a third had Preacher Bob not said there was no more beer. Preacher Bob asked, “Jim, what was it made you lay down on those tracks to die?”

And Jim told the whole story … which ended in these words: “I’ve got no life, at least none worth living. I’ve hurt everyone that ever loved me. I’ve made a mess of everything. I’m a failure and a disappointment to my friends and family and to God, and—well, it seemed the only right thing to do, to end my life. My life was a mistake to begin with—”

“Now you stop right there,” said Preacher Bob, standing up and crushing a beer can and tossing it into the bushes, “you’re not a mistake. God made you, and God don’t make mistakes. Before this world was ever made, God got a notion in his head to make YOU. Not someone like you. No, he made YOU. Then, you got it in your head that God made a mistake. Listen, asshole, God don’t make mistakes. You made a mistake when you listened to the Devil instead of God and believed you were a mistake. God don’t make mistakes. People make mistakes, yes. But it’s up to people when they make mistakes to turn to God to make it right. Turning to the Devil won't do it, nor will turning to man. No, you got to turn to God. You got to turn to God, brother, and take that leap of faith, and believe that God will come through.”

Preacher Bob leaned closer into Jim’s face in the campfire light, and continued: “There is no shame in a crisis of faith, Jim. Sometimes even I am not one-hundred percent certain there is a God. No one is certain, if the truth be known—and that includes Mother Teresa and Pope Francis and Joel Osteen and Joel Spurgeon, and all so-called believers, and especially the God-damned Atheists. They, too, are not sure. And God understands this. God understands that in this life we human beans know nothing, therefore must take everything on faith and make a choice, whether we're believers or atheists, it always comes down to faith or the lack of it in the end—that is, a choice.

“The Atheist makes his choice and goes one way. The Godly Man makes his choice and goes another. But whichever choice, it's always based on faith, not knowledge, just faith. So what you did tonight, Jim, was make a choice based on faith. But it was faith in the Devil instead of God, Jim. You chose death when you might have chosen life. You chose no hope when you might have chosen hope. You listened to the Devil instead of the God who made you. You believed the lie, that your life is a mistake, and so you chose death. And yet—miracle of miracles—you are alive right now. And why? Because God saw fit to send some poor stupid son-of-a-bitch, ME, to risk his life and rescue your worthless damn ass.”

(To be continued)