Friday, December 11, 2009

Hope it ain't so

Old Man Fenton squinted up at the Preacher from the corner of his one good eye.  His left eye was cloudy and blue and he couldn't make anything out with it, but his right eye was marble black and sharp as a hawk's.  He craned his head forward from hunched shoulders.  Although a few pale brown strands were combed back across his otherwise bald crown, most of  his hair (which wasn't much, anyway) clung to his temples and around his ears. He leaned across the barren table toward the Preacher, his face cocked to one side.

The Preacher, beaming with the bright eyed expectation of a miracle, waited for the questions to come.  He had been working toward this moment for a long time.

Old Man Fenton spent a good long time squinting, first at the Preacher, then at the barren tabletop between them.  Then he spoke.  "So, you're telling me that Jesus come down from Heaven 'cause He loved us and He wanted to save us?"

"Yes, that's right," said the Preacher.  He was exhausted, mentally and physically.  But he was also exhilarated, poised to win a victory for the Lord.

"And they still done Him like they did?" Old Man Fenton inquired.  "Knifed Him and lynched Him like that?"

"Yes, that's the way of it," said the Preacher.  All glory is for Thee, Lord.  All glory for Thee.

"Hmm..." Old Man Fenton mused.  His brow was drawn together, a furrowed row over his eyes.  He seemed deep in thought.

After a long moment, he shook his head with a sadness that puzzled the Preacher.  "Well," said the old man, finally, "I suppose about all we can do... is hope it ain't so."

Thanks to Charles Frazier for the inspiration.

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