Crisis: My Short Story Of the Week

crisis

 

“He’s dying, damn it, and he’s all alone!”

“Mom—he’s not alone.”

Holly looked at her nineteen-year-old daughter through narrowed eyes. She held her cell phone in both hands after hanging up with the hospital as she stood next to the kitchen island.

“He’s not alone? Abby, what are you talking about?” Holly demanded.

Just a few feet away, standing by the kitchen table, Abby put her own cell phone down and replied, “Dad’s not alone—you know that.”

“Really?” Holly seethed with her head tilted. “Who’s with him, then?”

Abby answered, “Jesus.”

Throwing her chin back, Holly groaned, “Christ almighty.”

After folding her arms, Abby declared, “Exactly.”

Holly stomped past her daughter before plopping down on the living room couch. With her elbows upon her knees, she dropped her head into her hands.

Abby did not move from her spot, nor did she unfold her arms. She questioned, “You know that, right?”

Holly murmured into her palms, “Yes, I know. But your father needs more than that. He needs us.”

Abby lifted her eyebrows just a bit as she asked, “He needs more than Jesus? Before the coma, when they kicked everyone out of the hospital, Dad texted me. He said he wasn’t afraid. He cited Psalm 23.”

Holly lifted her head up and stared at her daughter. “I really don’t want to hear about the valley of Death right now, okay?”

“Are you worried about him?” Abby asked.

“What’s the matter with you?” Holly spat. “Of course, I’m worried about him! The doctor said he’s not going to make it!”

“But Dad’s okay with that,” Abby said as she unfolded her arms and shrugged her shoulders. “He wants to go to Heaven. That’s what we all want, right?”

“God,” Holly mumbled. “You go off to college and become a theology expert …”

“No,” Abby answered a little coldly. “I’m not a theology expert; I’m just repeating everything you taught me. What’s the matter with you?”

Holly jumped from the couch, pointed at Abby, and screamed, “Your father is dying! My husband is dying—alone, in a coma, suffocating—and nobody cares! Our own daughter doesn’t care!”

Abby put her hands on her hips and took a deep breath. Once she had control, she said, “I care. I care very much. But you and Dad taught me to believe, to have faith, and to accept Christ into my heart. You taught me to do these things so we could one day reach Heaven and join Him in all His glory. Are you saying you don’t actually believe those things?”

Holly fell to her knees and began to cry. Between sobs, she said, “Those are just things we tell kids … children’s stories …”

Abby stood her ground. “That’s not true. Not to me. Not to Dad.”

Unable to meet her daughter’s eyes, Holly remained on her knees with her head hung low.

“I don’t understand you,” Abby confessed. “You were our youth group sponsor. We prayed together every dinner—every night before bed. You got me up every Sunday for church. I don’t …”

“Those things …” Holly began as she fought to stifle her tears, “… they were just the right thing to do. I wanted to raise you … right.”

With eyes widened, Abby asked, “Are you saying you never actually believed?”

Holly faced her daughter again. Tears ran down her cheeks and her throat hitched. As she started to answer, Abby interrupted her.

“Don’t,” Abby said. “Don’t say anything. You don’t have to answer.”

Abby moved toward her mother, dropped to her knees as well, and wrapped her arms around her.

The daughter placed her head atop the mother’s and squeezed tightly.

“You’re upset. No matter what, I know Jesus is sitting with Dad right now, holding his hand. And Dad knows it, too. He’s not afraid. He’s joyful.”

Holly whispered, “I hope you’re right.”

The two women remained on the floor, hugging one another, waiting for the call.


Copyright © 2020 by Scott William Foley

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved. No part of this story may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the author except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews or articles.

Maundy Thursday: “Am I the One?”

St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church of Bloomington, Illinois, typically conducts a worship service on Maundy Thursday entitled “Am I the One?” It focuses upon The Last Supper and Jesus’ new commandant to his disciples.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the live performance is not an option. However, St. John’s found an innovative way to still deliver this very important service.

I thank everyone who made this video possible. I’m sure it took a lot of technical work and patience.

If you would like a way to recognize this day, or simply to learn more about Jesus’ final meal and his disciples, I highly recommend that you give this a watch.

thelastsupper

Feeling Satisfied After LOST

Last night the fourth season of LOST wrapped up and it left me feeling intensely satisfied. 

It is inarguably clear that the writers now have an end-goal in sight and are steadily working towards it.  I’ll admit, in earlier seasons, they played it pretty fast and loose with previous plot elements and characters.  That didn’t bother me, mind you, I enjoyed the ride no matter how bumpy, but I understood how it could be frustrating for some.  Those days are over, though.  Season four was tight from the get-go and only got better with each episode.

In fact, this fourth season was probably the most consistent, reliable, and well-written of any previous seasons.  And as all season finales must, it left us with plenty of questions.  Consequently, it also unquestionably answered some gargantuan mysteries posed throughout the season as well.  I’ll say it again because I think it bears repeating, I think this was probably its strongest season in terms of pure story-telling from the first episode to the last and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the pure craft and creativity involved in delivering such an intricate and well thought-out tale.

There’s such beauty in how the title has taken on a whole new meaning!  (Spoilers  ahead!)  How perfect that it is literally the island that is now lost.  I love the irony as well that Jack previously wanted nothing more than to get his friends off the island so they could be found, and now that he’s accomplished that task, he’s the one who must gather them together to take them back.  Of all people, how befitting that he’s the one most lost without the island!  It’s the classic case of not knowing what you truly want until you can’t have it any longer and then subsequently feeling empty.  Aren’t we all guilty of that in some aspect or another?

Oh, sure, there are still plenty of questions, but isn’t that entirely the fun of the show?  Those questions that leave us with such a plethora of possibilities, I can’t help but get excited to see what’s in store of us!  For instance, where (or when) is the island?  What has Sawyer and Juliet been up to for the last three years?  Was that really Locke in the coffin?  (Totally NOT who I thought it would be, by the way.  My money was on Michael, and I’m pretty sure they manipulated me into thinking so from the beginning.  I’m such a sucker.)  What is the significance of the name Jeremy Bentham?  Did Jin and Michael really die?  Is Hurley really nuts, and if not, why is he talking to dead people?  Best of all, has Sun turned evil because Jack let Jin perish?  (Oh, what a wonderful villainess she would make after being repressed for so long!  I’d love to see all her spite and anger unleashed!)  Furthermore, what’s in store for the fantastic additions to the cast in the fourth season-Miles, Charlotte, Frank, and the wonderfully quirky Daniel?  What’s Claire’s connection to Jacob and Christian?  Is that really Christian, or is that pesky smoke-monster doing impersonations again?

This season’s finale delivered the “wow-factor” in terms of surprise, action, drama, adventure, and pure excitement.  I know season five is a long ways off, but like so much in life, anticipation is sublime!  Thanks to all involved with LOST for giving us a season to be proud of!