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With a cold complacency, he gestured to the daunting gateway. “Then go.”
Shivering and apprehensive, I stood and trudged toward the ominous opening. I crossed my arms to steady myself and hide the tremors. The shuffling of my feet echoed against the sleek surfaces of the courtroom, but soon were drowned out by the growling, hissing drone of damnation calling out to me. I was a mere step from feeding myself to the depths when I could bring myself to walk no further. Despite the inevitability of my fate, reluctance reared its head and bravery dwindled. The greedy void licked at me with anticipation and I retreated a stride in horror, turning pale.
I pivoted on my heel to face my father once more, and swiftly concocted a reason for my hesitation. “I’m not sorry. But since this is the last time we will see each other, I think it’s time for you to apologize to me for a change.”
He scoffed, “Now you’re just stalling.”
“I’m not leaving until you say it,” I pressed with sternness.
“I have nothing to repent.”
His immodest demeanor flared my aggravation. Disbelieving and furious, I lunged to the open door and slammed it shut on my dark destiny before turning back to confront the Almighty.
“Really?” I challenged. “What about abandoning me? Or the fact that you laid my entire destiny out in front of me? You made me human, like everyone else on Earth, but for some reason, I’m the only one that wasn’t given free will.”
He exhaled in exasperation and strode forward to snatch my mutilated arms up again. “You don’t think you have free will? You think I compelled you to do this to yourself? This is the last thing I wanted.”
“But you knew this would happen,” I asserted with an outraged realization, “from the moment you created me.”
He straightened, exuding a strength that, for the first time, seemed false. “Yes,” he replied flatly.
“You sat back and acted like everything was fine even though you knew this whole time that every moment was leading to this,” I accused.
“You have free will. Yes, I see the past, present, and future as one, but I have no right to change any of it. Knowledge is my burden. I know all and I created all, but I can’t intervene.”
“Who says? You? You are the one that made the rules so break them,” I criticized.
“What would you have me do?” he countered. “Burst through the sky and smite down all evil?”
“That would be more effective than my second coming. Nobody cared. You allowed humanity to run your world and now they’ve lost all sense of goodness.”
“It is not my world. I created it for humanity. I can tell them how I’d like them to run it, but ultimately, it is up to them.”
“So, what, you sit on your cloud and watch the world implode?” I snapped.
“No, that’s what you were for,” he finally barked, losing his collectedness. “You were supposed to inspire the masses and teach them how to live in tranquility.”
“But no one would listen,” I defended desperately. “No one would believe me. Every mind I came across was completely closed and apathetic. You waited too long to send me and humanity lost all hope. And when I tried to reach out to you for help, you never answered. And you wonder why I lost faith. How can I trust a father who has all knowledge but only uses it for his own personal agenda? A father who won’t lift a finger to help me or anyone else.”
“Everything I have ever done has been for the good of my creations,” he seethed.
I stepped forward with my head held high, for once possessing moral ammunition that had the potential to actually pierce God’s ego. “I am one of your creations. But you chose to put me through pain and suffering. Was that for my own good, Father? You crucified me in order to save the rest of humanity, but what about me?”
He blanched with an underlying despair that I was surprised to see in him. He implored despondently, “What else do you want from me? The only reason we’re even having this conversation is because I didn’t want to send you to perdition. I try to give you everything, and you throw it all away. You criticize me for not breaking my own rules but then I try to make an exception for you and you refuse.”
“That was for the sake of the people on Earth. This would be breaking the rules for me personally. The only reason behind it that makes sense would be selfishness, if you were able to be selfish.”
He returned to a familiar, gentle patience I knew from my youth. “You don’t think I can be selfish?”
“Aren’t you above that?” I asked.
“I feel love more fiercely than humans,” he explained. “Sometimes I feel compelled to act on those emotions, just as humans do.”
I studied his newfound humility as he confessed this weakness to me. He was purposely lowering himself to my level. He relinquished superiority. I had never seen him willingly submit to another being. In fact, I had never seen him weak at all.
With bewilderment, I pondered, “You are my father, and I spent thousands of years with you, but I still don’t know you.”
He smiled, soft but sly. “There is only so much that is safe for me to reveal.”
“That makes for a lonely existence,” I commented.
“Not really. I talk to billions of people all the time.”
“No, they talk to you,” I corrected. “How often do you actually respond?”
Indignation colored him and he avoided my searching stare. Reasserting his impenetrable wall of defense, he stated, terse, “I am not lonely.”
“Can you stop being God for a second and just be my father?” I asked calmly.
“I am your father,” he chastised with an austere attitude.
“Stop picking a fight with me,” I coolly entreated. “I’m simply asking if we can talk like father and son rather than master and prodigy.”
After a minute of disinclination, he begrudgingly surrendered and waved me back to my chair of judgement. When I pursed my lips in disapproval, he drew forth the other chair from the defendant table and positioned it in a cordial, open position next to mine before settling into it. Presuming that I was not on trial for the moment, I conceded, taking my seat at his side.
He leaned forward, engaged, pressing his elbows into his knees for balance. “Alright, here we are, father and son. What is it you want to say to me, as my son?”
To be continued in Faith III...
© 2020 by Kelsey Garber