Monday, April 07, 2014

"It will be alright."

"It will be alright, Tim. Your father was a good man," spoke a tall, dark complected man in clerical garb, over the shoulder of a college-aged kid in a dark suit staring at the coffin of his father.

"Father Chris, what does that mean?" questioned Tim.

"I'm merely saying that your father lived a long and full life, bringing great joy to many people...you and your mom included."

"Yeah, but what do you mean 'it' will be alright? What's 'it'?"

"Oh, you know, the future for you, your mom, and your dad."

"But my dad rejected God, heaven, and everything he was taught growing up," spoke Tim with an ever-quickening speed and volume of words, "how can 'it' be okay if you believe the kinds of things you priests believe?"

"Well, I guess I trust it all to God's providence and justice," answered the priest, holding steady with his emotions, "Your father may have rejected his baptism in words, but his life told another story."

"Father Chris, since when does a person's beliefs mean nothing? Are you saying my dad's choice to be an atheist gets ignored by God on judgment day?"

"No, no, Tim, I'm merely saying that sometimes faith is funny. Sometimes we don't even know what we believe until the end comes."

"I'm not tracking with you Father. It's almost like you're saying that a human person has no control over their own mind, beliefs, and will. That, that, my dad's principles mean nothing to God."

"No, I'm merely saying that God gives us things we don't deserve..."

Tim interrupted, "Stop it. Don't feed me some line that God brings everyone to heaven regardless of their beliefs. If God exists, He at least has the decency to respect people's choice to reject Him."

"Tim..."

"No, Father, I can accept the fact that my dad gets hell for turning from God (though I pray He turned back to Jesus in the end), but I cannot stand to hear someone like you claim that beliefs don't matter. My dad staked his eternity on a godless universe, and if he was wrong, he at least goes on forever knowing he made his choice with his eyes open."

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