April 27, 2014
John 20:19-31
1 Peter 1:3-9
Acts 2:14a, 22-32
Psalm 16

Easter 2

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Keith Hewitt
"Guilt" by Keith Hewitt

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by Keith Hewitt
John 20:19-31

The light would have been poor for a room half the size. It was crowded and the atmosphere was heavy with the smell of too many bodies, too little ventilation, and the scent of silent human misery.

It was perfect.

The man at Table 3 was not a regular, but I'd seen him before. It took me a little while to figure out why he seemed out of place, and then I realized it was because he was there by himself... he usually hung around with a handful of other guys, but tonight he was there by himself. Well, himself and whatever burden it was he carried with him that caused him to sit in a dark, crowded room with a couple of dozen strangers, looking for numbness in the bottom of a cup.

I watched him for a while, and when it became obvious that his friends wouldn't be joining him I made my way over, slipping between patrons, slapping away a random hand or two along the way. He didn't look up when I stopped by his table, and I took that as a personal affront -- everybody looks up when I stop at their table. I gave him a couple of seconds to redeem himself, and when it didn't look like he would, I leaned forward, put my hands on the table, and looked him square in where his eyes ought to have been. "Mind if I sit down?" I asked quietly.

He looked up then, met my eyes for a moment, shrugged and looked away. "Suit yourself," he rumbled, and I almost walked away -- but then he pushed out a stool with his foot. It caught a rut in the packed dirt floor and tipped backward -- I caught it, set it right, and sat down lightly, perched almost on the edge of the stool.

"What are you having?" I asked.... >>Click here for the full installment.

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