This is the 6th vignette for the book, A Twinkle in the Eyes of God. In this one, Monk, then known as William, is forced by his mother ,Rebekah, and his wife, Astral, to speak with Pastor Davis about his rapidly deteriorating home life.
The church was quiet. It was a Thursday and I had summoned all of my patience, but nothing seemed to dissipate the anger I felt welling up inside me. I didn’t want to be angry with Pastor Davis, but I was already angry with Astral and my mother for ambushing me with this meeting I wanted no part of.
I had stopped by at my mother’s house to talk to them.
“This is important, William,” my mother told me, her finger pointed at my heart. “Your soul is in peril and I’d be some kind of mother if I let you throw that away.”
“Please, Will,” Astral added, but with little emotion.
Motion. We had so little of it anymore.
“I have no desire to speak with Pastor Davis,” I whined.
“We’re well aware of that, William, but it can’t hurt to speak to him. Isn’t your marriage important to you?” My mother continued to bore in on me.
I looked at the two of them, liking neither at the moment. I was tired and lonely, and only wanted a little affection from my wife, who had avoided me for too long.
“And would it hurt to trim that mangy beard,” my mother added, adding insult to injury.
“Oh, for chrissakes, mother—”
“Why is this so difficult for you?” Rebekah Altonberg raised her voice, unusual for the tightly control woman she’s become since leaving California.
“Because I’m the one who has to do it!”
I stormed off to the church.
Pastor Davis was in his office. Melanie Flowers, who ran the day-to-day operations of the church, pinched her lips and pointed to the door.
“Thanks,” I said, none too cheerily.
Pastor Davis stood up as I opened the door. “William, have a seat, won’t you.”
I grumbled, but sat down.
The pastor took his seat and put his hands to his lips, a habit I’d noticed many times before, but now cared for even less. “I understand your mother asked you to speak with me,” he said.
“That too is my understanding,” I answered.
The Pastor’s brows furrowed then rose as his shoulders fell. “I agreed to speak to you, William, because she asked me to, though I worried it would be of no value, and based on your attitude that opinion hasn’t changed. Yet here you are. So let me ask you this: what is it you want, William?”
“I want my wife to sleep with me, Pastor Davis, that’s what I want.”
I expected shock or a stony look to greet my outburst. Instead, he smiled at me. “And you think I can help with that, do you?”
“Yes,” I said.
The Pastor once again put his hands to his lips. “Do you believe if I were to ask her to do this, she would?”
“No,” I answered. It was my turn to smile, though it was hardly a winning one. “I’m sorry, Pastor Davis, I shouldn’t be angry with you or God or Astral—”
“Sorry, Lilith.” I looked past the pastor to the window and the fields beyond. Tears rolled down my face, soaking into my mangy beard. “I don’t know that there’s anything you can do, and I don’t think it’s fair for my mother or wife to press you to do so. You and I have argued enough about God and all of that, and I won’t be a hypocrite and lie to you that I’ve had some big change of heart…” I wiped ay my eyes hoping the tears would stop. Instead they only flowed more freely. “I love my wife, I do, but I can’t be something I’m not.” I wiped again, soaking the sleeve of my work shirt.
Pastor Davis held out his box of tissues.
“I’m sorry, I…”
“Don’t be sorry, William,” he said, putting the box at the edge of the desk. “I’m not asking you to be something you’re not. I only ask that you look to God for answers in your own way. If I didn’t, then wouldn’t I be a hypocrite as well?” He sat back and pondered the crying man before him. “Normally, I would suggest that you and I and Lilith get together to talk this through, but we’ve been down that road. And while I pray that road has promise, the three of us have been down it many times already.”
The light outside the window was fading. I put my head in my hands to hide the tears that refused to stop. Pastor Davis leaned forward, his forearms set upon the desk.
I shook my head.
“It’s not good to be so angry. I know you say you don’t believe, but give God a chance, if for nothing more than to release you from this terrible sorrow you feel. Maybe then you can find your way with Lilith.”
Pastor Davis rose from his desk and put his hand on my shoulder.
“God loves you, William.”
“Yes,” was all I could think to say.
I left by the side door of his office.
©2020 David William Pearce