Business in the reception area of the Complaints Department of the Kingdom of God was smooth and seemingly effortless. People spoke in polite tones and said “Thank you” often. Their smiles were not the false painted on versions that Mr Festus Leggit, Small Claims Attorney, was used to, but genuine and open-hearted. He found it almost painful being the recipient of so much consideration.
“Mr Leggit? The conference room is ready for you. It is through the double doors, along to the end of the corridor. The last door on the left.”
The corridor walls were painted a vibrant yellow. There were no inspirational posters but framed pictures of various aspects of nature. They looked suspiciously realistic. In fact Festus could have sworn the butterfly on the flower moved.
“Festus!” The Boss’ Son extended a hand. A scar was just visible on his palm. “It’s nice to see you again.”
Festus did not wish to be reminded of their previous meeting. There was an ache about the memories that he did not want to explore.
“My client wishes to appeal against his eviction.” Festus found it difficult to speak with any kind of confidence and authority. “Kimble…Hector Kimble”
Hector Kimble had been evicted from the Kingdom of God just a few weeks ago. He had been exiled to a place of darkness and gnashing of teeth. The general consensus had been that Hector hadn’t really been a citizen of the Kingdom. He had been enjoying the benefits, but made very little contribution. He was more like a squatter.
“I have read through the file, and consulted Mr Kimble and I think we have a case for appeal,” said Festus.
“Why don’t I show you something first before we talk about the details?” The Son took Festus gently by the shoulder, propelling him towards the lift. The seventh floor housed the departments that dealt with lost and found, unclaimed and unwanted, used and returned property.
A black box stood on a desk in an empty room.
“This was given to Hector a number of years ago.” The Son opened the box. It contained a decayed leather bag. Flakes of mould sprinkled the inside of the box and an unpleasant aroma assaulted their noses. “The content of the bag, the talent Hector was given, is no longer in the box. It has been given to someone else to use.”
Hector had tried to prepare Festus for the box and the bag and the unused gift. Festus felt a small tremor of irritation with his client. To have been given such an opportunity and see it squandered did not rest easy with him.
“My client feels that he didn’t receive any notice of your coming. “A thief in the night” was his expression. Apparently you just turned up.”
“True… I did not tell Hector times and dates. That is confidential information that only my Father knows. Hector had plenty of time to put his talent to work, but he just dug a hole and buried it.”
“My client feels that in giving him just the one talent you were in actual fact demonstrating your lack of expectation. You gave others more talents. You didn’t think very highly of him.” Festus was reading through the list of points he had jotted down on the back of an envelope.
“I never give people more responsibility than they can handle. The talent that I gave Hector was in accordance with his faith. I had confidence in him and could see what he could become if he took the steps of faith I suggested. I even supplied plenty of opportunities to invest his talent. You know, what Hector did goes against the very Spirit upon which our Kingdom is built. We give all our citizens gifts and the opportunities to use them. They have access to the board room and any help and advice they need. It’s Kingdom policy.”
“What happens if they simply loose it all? What if they put it all on an eight to one shot on a horse race and the jockey falls off at the third fence?” It was a ridiculous scenario and Festus had the grace to blush.
“It is not the loss that concerns us. It is the inactivity. Hector was paralysed by fear. Faith and fear cannot live side by side. Gifts used are faith demonstrated.”
Festus wondered, not for the first time, what it would be like to be a citizen of the Kingdom of God.
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