Footprints – Part XII

by Gaston Prereth

“By the decree of Cristden, head technician, all should gather at twelve noon in the hall of stars.  At this time, all functions of the universe should be switched off. This means all doors unlocked, all lights turned off, all medical equipment shut down. Failure to do this will result in this continued pestilence and corruption. If all comply, then by this very afternoon, this whole crisis will have been resolved and all who live in this universe shall be moved towards a greater understanding of God. Do not delay. We must all do this together, or the universe will collapse and we shall all meet God sooner than he wishes. He has shown us the path. Do not listen to the Monks. All must gather at the hall of stars at noon today.”

A technicians stood on each corner of the centre square of the village repeating this message in loud clear voices. As they bellowed their way through each line, the words reverberated up the residential roads. The villagers seemed to be caught in a loop with the criers, standing and listening to the message a few times before rushing to their house, only to then come bustling back to listen again.

The Deacon was sitting on the stone bench that had so often been frequented by Frederick, with the rest of the monks sat on the grass before him. He led them through the prayer cycles, his soft drone doing nothing to block out the repeated calls of the technicians.

As they finished their third cycle, the Deacon felt the enthusiasm of some of the younger monks falter and wane. The constant barrage of the proclamation was having an obvious effect on his order. He could already see the doubt rising in the younger monks eyes. This was to be expected, but what eventually stopped the Deacon in his recital was the demeanour of his more experienced brethren. They were becoming distracted, almost fidgety.

“Brothers,” he said when the final words of the last prayer disappeared into the sea of Cristden’s decree, “sometimes the Lord wants us to live in the luxury of his world so that we can marvel at his magnificence, but other times God wants us to show our devotion to him and to show that we do not take him for granted. It is times like this that we must keep our faith close to us and guard against the doubts bred by those who have fallen from God’s grace.”

“But what if we are wrong? What if Cristden has found a solution to the problem? What if he can stop the world from dying?” said a monk with wandering, restless eyes.

“Brother Thomas, I cannot answer those questions, because in asking them you have already removed God from the universe. Come here, come here.” As he spoke the Deacon got off the stone bench and bent onto the floor on all fours. “Now Brother Thomas, do what I do. Place your ear to the ground and tell me what you hear.”

“I hear nothing, but the background hum of the universe.”

“Then you do hear something. You are hearing God, my dear brother. You are hearing that he is still with us. So when you ask questions like ‘what if the technician’s can stop the world dying’, you are forgetting one important thing. God is still with us, and if God is still with us the world cannot be dying.”

“Or the world cannot be saved.” Said Brother Compton in his flat voice. “It may be that God wants us to perish, and if that is the case then nothing the technician’s can do will save us.”

“Thank you, Brother Compton.” Said the Deacon swiftly. “Brothers, do not think that because the villagers have become caught up in the excitement of the technician’s false promises, that we too must join them. We must stand firm and hold our faith up high for all to see. They will see God again, and it is by our example that the village will return to one of God’s luxury. Let us turn all the lights on. Turn everything on. Let us show the village the true greatness of the Lord.”

Continued in Footprints- Part XIII

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