CAVEAT OF PENITENT INSERT
“I’m not trying to preach to you Thomas, but Max ─”
“I don’t even want to hear nothing about Max, the supposedly Christian. That’s a joke.”
“We all make mistakes. I’m not saying this to justify any wrong actions,” Steve touched his chest, “We are saved by grace and not of works lets some man should boast. This is a daily walk of faith. I understand your argument, based on the way you have seen some people behave, but Thomas everyone is not in that category. As the bible declares, we must ─”
“Keep your ‘bible says’ talk. I don’t want to hear it. You people say one thing, but your lifestyle doesn’t line up with your words, a bunch of hypocrites.”
“Thomas you can think like that. Max wasn’t perfect.” Pointing at himself, “I’m not perfect. Who really is? This attitude is not going to bring your brother back. We are still among the living and we must develop a relationship with Jesus. I can’t say I completely understand what you are going through, but I know God does.”
“Whatever,” Thomas said walking past Steve .“I didn’t come here for your mini sermon.”
The stench of alcohol reeked from his clothing as he walked past Steve. Shaking his head, Steve watched Thomas drive off. Looking toward the clouds, Steve glanced down at the stack of letters in his hand and walked away.
THE CEILING FAN WHISTLED through the afternoon heat, rocking back and forth as an old rocking chair, its sounds blustering throughout the room. Oblivious to the noise, Thomas lay on his bed, his breath sour from the contents of the empty beer bottles strewed across the room, his shirt sullied with odors of a midnight biker bar. With glossy eyes, he tries to make his mind grasp reality. In desperation, Thomas calls out, “Joey … Joey … Joey …” Tears torrent down his gloomy face, saturating his already stained shirt with more sorrow.
After moments of lying in a pool of dried tears….