On a cold day in October, people walk past Rockefeller Center bundled in scarves and coats. One young man wears only a thin sweater and jeans, hands in his pockets, his emotions bright as buttons. He is looking for answers, Lesha can tell. Lesha tells him she’s an angel, and he shrugs. They sit on a bench to talk.
“My name is Peter, like the guy at the pearly gates. You probably know him.”
Why do humans assume everyone in heaven knows each other? “Not personally. No.”
He was only joking, delaying whatever he needs to say. She waits.
“We have a daughter, me and my husband. Rob wants to have her baptized. I was Catholic once. Not anymore. Never again.”
“Here.” She produces the paper out of thin air, but he doesn’t notice. Humans never notice. She gave up trying to be subtle years ago.
“What is this?”
“If you want to stay on the organized religion path, the ones on this list don’t mind if you’re gay.”
“You have a list.” He takes the paper and stares at it, then tries to hand it back to her. It falls on the bench between them.
“It comes up a lot.”
“Did you know that sexual morality rules were made up by well-meaning angels trying to help humans be better? Like how you tell kids not to touch the stove without mom and dad present.”
“That’s interesting,” he says in a way she can tell means he isn’t really paying attention. She needs to work on her delivery.
“For example, Jesus, you know him right? From your religion.”
“I’ve heard of him, yeah.” Now, he’s at least amused again.
“He once told a bunch of guys that marriage was forever in order to stop them from divorcing their wives back in the day when that was a death sentence. He knew some people would use his words to further their superstitious beliefs about sex and marriage. He said it anyway. You know what I mean?”
“Not really. Well, maybe. Sort of.”
“We used to tell people things like you have to give captives a little while to mourn the family you just killed in front of them. Then, you can rape them. Eventually, we knew you’d figure it out, if we gave you long enough. That little delay before the rape, when you have to get to know someone or at least thoughtfully ignore them first. Tends to drive the point home.”
“That is messed up. Are you serious?”
“I wish you really were an angel.”
“Because then I’d believe you when you say there is a God, and that God does not hate people like me.”
“Peter.” Lesha stood. “God does not hate you. Don’t believe that because I’m telling you. Believe that God understands what you are going through, because God is smarter than your problems. If you are going to bother believing in God at all, then know this: there must be no other God beside that one.” With those words, she lets herself fade from view. She leaves the paper behind. Just in case.
A continuation post follows tomorrow. Now, I need to go binge-watch Carebears. You know, for something a little less sentimental and closer to reality.
So much terrible stuff was said in between when I wrote this post beginning of March and now. I have been sorely tempted to delete this and write a different story. About something non controversial, where I “just pretend” I “didn’t notice” human beings treated like dirt.
I want to apologize to the world, regularly, for the way some of my Christian brothers and sisters treat and talk about certain kinds of people they do not like or consider it safe to judge. Very not cool. Very. Not cool. I am not on “their side” when they do this. FYI.
10 thoughts on “K is for Kindness”
Great story. Now if only people can figure out that it’s not their place to judge others…
Ronel visiting for the A-Z Challenge with an A-Z of Faerie: Kappa
Ah, we fell upon the same word today (which ties in to some degree with my other K word). I am not sure I entirely follow Lesha’s examples, but I sure do get your aim of correcting thinking on matters such as this. Love is Love and it is the one true ‘one size fits all’ garment!!! YAM xx
(who hopes those links work properly today – the one I put in Iain’s post yesterday didn’t – in case you are truly interested, here it is again. Reading that you will see that kindness is not a word to be applied – why is it that cruelty and hatred seem to be so easy for folk, yet kindness not???)
Hi Yam, Yeah, I was thinking parts of this are only going to make sense to a Christian reader, because it’s theology stuff. And yes I am definitely interested! Your spiritual reflections are really good and always make the think. I will head over now. Thank you for sharing the link here.
LOL. Oh man that was like a rick-roll. I thought the link was to your blog and oh man that gave me a shock and a laugh there. Yam, what is this??? Wings of Scotland, yeah he told me. Thanks for the example of the crazy though. Good to know.
Yeah, (it’s actually Over, not ‘of’)… that article is in an independent news site that absolutely holds up the true tenets of journalistic reporting and substantiates all information with sound sources. This is what good journalism does – provide the inconvenient truths…
As to links – the two in the first part of my comment are to my two main blogs… Yxx
Oops. Thanks again. I did find the first of your posts. Now to see the other one. I glanced at the news post about WoS and yeah that’s pretty out there and good to know. It threw me for a second though because I thought it was your blog post at first. My brain had to adjust but it got there eventually.
Using a 2000 year old story to justify how people act and treat others in the world today is awful, and quite a strange way to justify behaviour. It’s only a minority, but it is a dangerous minority. Loved the return to the characters and the switch of POV from the first meeting. Enjoy Carebears!
This a really thought-provoking piece, practising Christian or not.
Here’s my K!
I think it’s really important for Christians who believe in love to keep pointing out,over and over, that Christianity is not supposed to be about hate. Because so many people have experienced that hate, and it’s wrong on EVERY level.
Black and White: K for Kitezh
I appreciate your LGBTQIA+ advocacy. Great video also.
My “K” Jethro Tull song: