Fourteen year old Darla threw the front door wide open and did not even break her pace as she ran down the hallway.
“Mama, you’re not gonna believe what has happened!” Darla shouted as she headed toward the living room and skid to a halt at her mother’s feet.
Out of breath but determined to voice her protests she continued, “Are they really gonna put that giant statue on top of the mountain?”
Taking her mothers hands and holding them between her own she pleaded, “Tell me it isn’t so oh tell me I’ve just heard nonsense.”
Betty Jo warmly looked into her daughter’s eyes and wished she could explain away the actions of their city officials. Soon the whole country would know of this blasphemy. This was a reality that every citizen would be forced to face.
Leading her towards the couch the two sat down; eyes still locked in a hopeless gaze and hands still clasped together Betty Jo began, “Honey, I am so sorry but what you have heard is the unimaginable truth.”
A tear began to roll down Darla’s cheek as her mother continued, “We live in a world of foolish people and here in Birmingham Alabama we have not escaped the evil plans of the enemy. You see the devil desires to confuse men and make them believe that our God is not the one true God. He put this horrible idea in someone’s mind over 40 years ago. We have to remember that men are not the enemy but the devil is the enemy.”
“Yes, mama but what about the Ten Commandments? What about that? Do they not believe in the Bible? The first commandment says, ‘ You shall have no other gods before Me.’ It even goes on to say, ‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image…’” More tears stream down her face as she shakes her head and mumbles, “I just don’t understand I just don’t understand.”
Taking her daughter into her arms she hears the car door slam. That would be Will in his brand new 1938 Cadillac. Betty Jo shot him a glare as he entered the room and sat down in his large wing back chair. Unfolding his newspaper he decided to avoid making contact with that icy stare and hopefully these two would choose to let this issue go. After all he had decisions to make based on a far larger constituency than just the radical beliefs of a few hard-core religious fanatics living deep within the Bible belt. There was a bigger world out there that they could not comprehend. He had grabbed that world by the tail and nothing would stop him from rising to the top.
Racing to his side Darla began to tell her father of the horrible thing she had learned as she walked home from the schoolhouse. He held silent as she went on.
"And daddy they plan to raise this iron giant half naked and all right above us. His bare bottom will shine over our very own home! Is there anything we can do to stop them?"
Startled by her plea, he tried to smile and patted her shoulder to console her. "Now, now Darla. There are worse things than having the tallest iron forged statue in the world to represent the success of our city. He won first place at the St. Louis worlds Fair back in 1904 and I for one believe this will be detrimental in bringing iron business back to our city."
Her eyes grew to the size of saucers and she stared intently at her father. In disbelief she stood speechless for what seemed like eternity. Her world had been shaken and now was beginning to crack. She was almost afraid to ask but she knew that she had to.
"Do you intend to pray to your idol? To that 56 foot pagan 'god of fire' hoping to gain success and
m-o-n-e-y?" She could almost taste the filth in the word as she said it.
“Darla, I have no intentions of praying to Vulcan. I don’t want to worship him. I just want the wealth that he will bring once he is perched high above our city for all to see that we are the leader in the steel industry.”
“Oh Daddy,” sniffling as she started toward the hallway, “what makes it worse is that you don’t even know it is the same thing!”
Scripture reference: Exodus 20:3-4 (NKJV)
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