A Right Turn
He walked into Faith Chapel that cool Wednesday morning. He had come to eat.
Every Wednesday morning at six, a number of men from the church gathered to
eat a nice meal and have a devotional by one of them. This morning, it was
Luke's father's turn. First, however, the food had to be cooked, and
Luke's father always helped with that, bringing him along an hour beforehand.
The church had lost several old members to the Martian Flu, and since the
church was mostly made of old members, the congregation was smaller than it
had been before. One nearly miraculous transformation had occurred,
however. The old pastor, Sister Dawe, had lost her eyesight, most of her
hearing, and all the use of her legs, and still she preached, until the day
that she fell sick with the Flu.
Oh, the air was thick with prayer for the dear Sister Dawe, one of the
first female pastors in Albuquerque, and probably the only one who had been
preaching so long. Many were hoping she would pull through, while at the
same time hoping that she would go to her reward if that was God's plan.
It wasn't. She age-regressed to approximately twenty-five.
There was much rejoicing. The stage was set.
That cool Wednesday morning, after walking through the tiny, dark,
cavernous sanctuary, Luke curled up next to the heating vent in the
kitchen. He had always done that before, because it was easier to doze an
hour than to discuss current and past events with the crusty, grouchy, and
downright grizzled cooks (whose hearts were as big and full of the Lord as
anyone else's, despite appearances).
"...So then she says to me, you better watch your tongue, and I said, yes
ma'am." They laughed at Don's anecdote.
A large man who was rather new to the church, but often helped cook, said,
"We're going to make omlettes?"
Don replied, "We is making fried eggs. The green chile is for the
pancakes." He raised his voice across the room at Luke. "Hey,
sleepy-head. You better eat some of these pancakes. They'll put hair on
Luke grinned. That may have seemed an odd comment, but it was accurate, as
the Flu had left him completely hairless. It had also left him a lizard,
able to change proportions and skin color with a thought.
"They'll put hair on my tongue," he said. The other cooks laughed, but Don
said, "Don't you backtalk me, boy. You is gonna eat them and enjoy them."
Luke kept grinning, knowing that verbal sparring was Don's way of saying he
Around 5:45, Luke helped set up the table, which was really five
rectangular tables set together to make a large surface that nearly filled
the room. Just then, other people started arriving. Each one marvelled at
Luke's new form, and each one seemed just a bit nauseated at Luke's new
seperate-eye-moving ability, which he used quite subconciously.
Finally, they had all sat down, and two watches quietly beeped within a few
seconds of each other. Nobody else was coming.
Tom, the former auto mechanic who had a combover, the assistant pastorship,
and a metal knee, stood up. Everyone followed his lead. "Before we eat,
I'd like us to say grace."
They bowed their heads, and Tom continued. "Oh Lord, bless this food this
morning, and help us to understand Your Word, and to gain something from
the lesson. Please go with us this day, in Your name we pray, Amen."
Luke always sat next to his father, who always sat next to Pastor Tom at
the head of the table, putting Luke quite near the door. Quickly, Luke
picked up his plate and walked out of the room into the kitchen, first as
usual. He took two eggs, three pancakes, and a square of hash browns. He
walked back into the room with the table, sat down, and started eating.
The discussion roved for a while, bouncing from topic to topic, until
Luke's father finished eating. By that time, Luke had gone back for
seconds. There was another prayer, and his father, David, got up to speak.
The lesson was on the curings of Christ. He had never turned down a direct
request for help, but there were a few instances when He had used
roundabout ways of curing someone. He had certain people do specific
things, like wash in a certain river, but others He had simply touched.
It was obviously a lesson on SCABS, what with David's son being a
lizard-morph, and a main pastor being restored to youth. It wasn't
condemning, it wasn't stating that everything that happened because of
SCABS was God's fault or desire, and it certainly wasn't about the
definition of human.
It was about love.
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Copyright 1998 by BlueNight. If you want to post this anywhere else, please ask the author for permission first. Thank you.
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