Bob sauntered to the front row pew. There was one person in the whole church besides him—a priest or someone with the religious ordained. Candles flickered in the darkened expanse, though, Bob wasn’t sure if the feeling he got was that it was foreboding or soothing. He took a seat on the pew and dropped his head in his hands.
“What troubles you, my son?” asked a man’s voice.
He looked up to see an old priest that was blind stand before him with a smile.
“You…can see me?” Bob replied.
“Sight isn’t needed to see a troubled soul or feel the anguish that one experiences,’ said the priest. “Tell me, what cripples you?”
Bob sighed. “You wouldn’t believe me even if I told you, father.”
The priest smiled, “My child, it is not my place to judge you; for that is decided upon by our Heavenly Father.” The man sat next to Bob and put a hand on his shoulder. “Tell your tale, my son. My ears are yours.”
Bob nodded in agreement and began to tell his tale slowly.
Emotions came and went as he recanted each suicide, each life that was taken. Each battle won…lost. The lives that were stolen and forever lost.
“Your anguish is fascinating, I must say. I have never heard a tale of one quite like yours, even in the scriptures,” the priest said. “However, it is not to be said that you have learned from your mistakes, yes? That, if given the circumstances you would change what path you have taken?”
Bob thought on this for a moment and then nodded. “Yes, I would have sought out help and done more; not just for myself but for my family.”
The priest nodded. “As they often say, hindsight is 20/20. You don’t need eyes to see or know that. The choices we make, though, are what helps shape us into the beings we are. Most often think that Heaven is a paradise and that Hell is an eternal prison for the damned. They sometimes forget about Purgatory, depending on the denomination of Christianity. Reflect on a Blacksmith. How they forge their weapons. Hell, people associate with fire because it is written as so in the testaments. Fire purifies. It gets out the impurities. Water helps soothe and cleanse; restoring us. The air calms us, and further soothes us. The mallet helps us; shape us, help define us. The mallet is life, and we, we are the weapon. When we rest on the rack, we get along; peaceful, tranquil, albeit getting dusty. That is with age. However, war, war drives us to clash and bring about the scratches, dents, and disfigurements; shattering some, breaking others. In the end, we are all gathered up, melted down, reforged and made anew.”
Bob thought about the priest’s words and comparison and chuckled. “Forgive me, father, I just have never met quite such an open person of the cloth.”
The man smiled. “My son, we are not perfect. The ideologies that we inflict upon others and the suggestions that there must truly be one supreme being is just fiction. Faith is the test and testament of what one wants to believe. It is a life-long courage that will bring comfort and solace to those who face mortality and the grave. If you can ease their pain when their dark hour comes, that is enough. At least, in my opinion.”
“Perhaps you should have gone into politics, father,” Bob chuckled.
“Ah, now there is a subject sensitive to me, my son. I gave up on that long ago, before my eyes gave out; perhaps that was where they did.” The man grinned as he thought on the recollection. “Forgive me, for I must take a moment of leave.”
Bob nodded and watched as the priest left, leaving him alone in the church hall. He had felt better since discussing with the priest. However, he had a nagging feeling in his gut that he couldn’t quite explain.
A familiar foreboding voice came from behind him. “Old people. They’re such amusing creatures, are they not?”
Bob turned around in the pew and saw a man dressed in all black with a red glove on his right hand.
For Episode 10 — Temazcal [Part 1] Click here.
For Episode 10 — Temazcal [Part 2] Click here.
For Episode 10 — Temazcal [Part 3] Click here.