Larry struggled up the steep hot dry mountain trail. Grit prevented his dry tongue from sticking to the roof of his mouth. His weak ankle steadily complained louder. “Why am I here,” he wondered, “with all my dreams gone.”
Suddenly, a shout. Jimiyu, still in his horrible coat, appeared out of the trees near the crest of the trail., beaming, “A stream, and look!” The blueberries seemed almost to glow when held in his almost Black mitts. Between wolfing down those luscious pearls of sapphire and slurping the water so ice cold that it wonderfully burned his throat, Larry felt reenergized. Then they almost flew through the small blueberry patch, inhaling the creamy flavor-bursters.
While sitting on boulders on the far side, reality intruded. “What am I going to do?” cried Larry.
“That letter is eating you alive,” responded Jimiyu. “Since I led you to the Lord, I had rejoiced to see your growth. I invited you to hike with me in the Cascades when I saw you making a regrettable choice. It is easier to hear God far from the city.”
“I am so angry with God over this. I don’t see any way he will change my mind,” growled Larry.
“Don’t count God out. In the meantime, let’s climb over this pile of logs. I saw a larger blueberry patch where we can pick more for dinner and breakfast,” calmly replied Jimiyu.
Soon, they had filled several containers. Suddenly they heard a deep growl. Yelling, “Bear, run,” Larry took off, scattering the pots.
Jimiyu was close behind, but yelled, “your ankle slows you, I’ll distract her.”
Larry quickly ascended the logs, but his ankle collapsed jumping to the boulders. Before his head smashed on a rock, destroying his glasses, he heard screaming. After the dizziness subsided, he wiped the blood and blearily made out the bear on top of the logs tossing Jimiyu in his ugly purple coat like a ragdoll, but heard no more screaming. Knowing it was futile, he stood to try to rescue his spiritual father. He quickly collapsed when his ankle shot a stream of liquid fire up his leg. After a time of blackness, all he could make out was that bloody coat on the logs.
Thirty minutes crawl brought him to the scene of carnage. The whole way, he had been praying for strength from the God he was blaming. Lifting the coat, he found no body, but heard a whispery, “why are you looking for the living among the dead?” Inside a wooden cave, he dimly perceived Jimiyu unhurt except for a knot on his head.
As he climbed out of the logs, Jimiyu’s startling words thundered, “I’ll go home and never notify anyone that you are badly injured and need rescuing.”
“I couldn’t live without your help,” Larry stuttered back.
“Your wife has just been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. How is this different? You decided to leave her when she most needed you.” Larry wept in repentance.