Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Inner Person (09/09/10)
TITLE: The Facade
By Lucile McKenzie
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He recently had a node removed from his lung. Fortunately it wasn’t cancer, but rather than feeling relieved, the terror that had descended when he received the diagnosis and on through the operation still clung like the sticky, persistent strands of a spider’s web. Nightmares often filled his nights and many mornings he awoke with sweat streaked across his forehead, the bed sheets wet and twisted. He was terrified of dying. What would happen then? Nothing but oblivion forever? That thought alone was frightening. He remembered how under the anesthetic, he was unknowing, unaware. He could not bear the thought of being like that forever. No, no, there had to be more.
He knew that some people did believe there was something more. People who were religious were sure there was something wonderful afterward. If you were good, that is, or believed in someone called Jesus. But that wasn’t at all logical. These same people also said that there was a hell where you might go and burn forever. That wasn’t a comforting thought, either. How could you know where you would go? What assurance could anyone have? What proof? No, no, that whole chain of thought was pure fantasy. No rational person could believe any of it. But, what then was the answer?
One day he walked past a small, white church. The doors were open, the choir was singing, accompanied by the clear, pure sound of the organ. He decided go in just for a minute and listen to the music.
He slipped into a back pew. Several people smiled at the calm, self-assured stranger who had entered their little church. The music was glorious. Then the pastor announced that the topic of his sermon would be, “The Assurance of Inner Peace.” Yeah, right. Cynically, he leaned back in his seat to listen.
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