Two men sat talking on the front steps of the mansion on the hill.
The older, the mentor; and the younger, the pupil, discussed the Book.
I also sat nearby, barely knowing them, but interested in their words.
The student was argumentative, the teacher, spoke with a soft look.
Leafing through the thin pages the old man stated, "It marches through,
The history of this planet, from beginning to a future without time.
From Eden to Eden, or, from creation to desolation to re-creation.
The controversy is between a once mighty angel and the Divine."
The doubtful young man grumbled, "Most everyone has heard of the Book.
Full of fables and contradictions, its rambling words will put you to sleep.
My grandparents died believing it. But they still died, and badly,
Even though they followed the teachings of its 'dos and don'ts' to keep."
"Everyone dies, boy." His uncle held back tears. "They will be missed.
But this town is like the world. It needs organization and instruction.
Life needs truth! Following the Word gives that. The 'dos' in here," he held up the Book, "are for our freedom. The 'don'ts' are for our protection."
The nephew gestured with his arms. "How can I make this carnal self good?
How do I give up my friends and ignore the world all around?"
"That's the choice, boy; work your way to hell trying to be good, or let God
change you with His Word. Start by closing off the world's sound."
He continued, gazing toward the horizon. "From a mansion to a shack, this hill is no closer to God than the swamp. We all struggle with sin.
Pray, and then immerse yourself daily in this Holy Book. Satan will
test you, but fear God only. I read the end; the Father's kids win."
Silence prevailed. I left quietly to return to the caskets in the parlor.
I agreed with the old man. Without the Messiah, life is a vapor.