Were I to write in detail about what is going on this week in the world, I might finally go full apoplexy and end up like that fella in The Count of Monte Cristo who can only move his eyes. Let us hope that in this dark time of year, people manage to be excellent to each other, and then let us say no more on the subject.
Instead, have a bit of book IV:
“Strelley?” he asks. Then he confirms by repeating, “Strelley.”
Edward Strelley says nothing. Instead, he bows his head, and his eyes close in silent prayer.
“I had not thought to see you again,” Harper says. “But I am glad that you have come.”
Again, Strelley says nothing. Harper goes to him, and takes his hand. “You have not seen your fellow man at his best since we last spoke. Do not be disappointed. God will love them all just the same. I am sure of it.”
“The sinners? The unrepentant? The unfaithful?” Strelley’s voice is cracked and uneven.
“Yes, Edward. He loves them.”
“But He does not take them to Him in Heaven.”
“Ah, you presume. I do not pretend to know the mind of God. But if Hell is anything, it is to be apart from God. Not some fiery torture, for that is nothing compared to being without God.”
“Do you think, Edward Strelley, that God is vengeful and angry?”
Strelley lifts his eyes to Harper’s. “The God of the Old Testament is.”
“God, who sent us His son to save us from our sins? Do you think that God, who can see through the masks and the words of men, for whom a life such as ours is no more than the blink of an eyelid, do you think that such a God could abandon his flock, no matter their sins?”
“We are taught that we must avoid sin. Repent.”
Harper smiles. “That you must. But if you fail God, He will not fail you.”
Strelley’s head nods slightly.
Harper notices, and carries on, “Why did you come?”
“I must go back. To her.”
“For her sake or your own?”
“God has not spoken to me often, Sir, but He calls me. I do not spend a waking moment without her face, her voice, present to my mind. I do not sleep without dreaming of her. I would do my penance for the rest of my life, I would bear that burden. But when she asked me to come…”
For those of you thinking: I was sure he was going to announce the title at some point... The answer is, yes, I think I have it, and it's going to be the mailing list first (with a special extra 'bonus' 'gift' for those who have signed up!), then an announcement on here a bit later.
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When to the sessions of sweet silent thought