It was dark and snowing pretty hard out and I wasn’t sure I could find
my way home. It took me a moment to realize that in my preoccupation
with my thoughts, what I thought was snow was in fact ash. There was
ash all over the place falling from the heavens. I searched for signs
of the blaze expecting to find a massive inferno, but there was
nothing. The events before this moment seemed to fade away. There was
a lot of ash and I needed to know where it was coming from, my
curiosity as usual did not permit me to just walk away. The empty
streets echoed with my footfall as I made my way through to the city
centre. As I crossed Main Street I passed the Old Catholic church on
the corner of Main and Cedar. The church lights were on and voices
penetrated through the walls. This was rather odd for a Friday
evening. I had given up on religion a long time before but I knew that
Friday congregation was odd and more so at that hour.
I stopped for a moment by the church entrance and gazed up at the
dying Christ suspended over the entrance to the church. I always
thought it strange that so much faith was put in the image of a dying
man. I turned to walk away when I saw her get out the car.
“Jane, what are you doing here?” I asked my wife as she carried our
baby towards the church.
“God, Sam, where have you been. Don’t you know what’s going on.”? My
wife replied the horror on her face quite evident.
“Look Jane, I am sorry about the affair and I just want to get back
home and make everything okay, if you…”
Jane halted just before the doors, just under the dying Christ.
“Sam, look around you. Have you noticed anything? Don’t beg for my
apologies and forgiveness. You want to be forgiven ask God.”
“Jane you know very well that I don’t believe in a God.”
“I pity you Sam. Maybe you should now. It’s raining ash, or have you
not noticed. It’s not just here either but all over the world.
Religious spokesmen across the globe believe this to be the end.
Scientists have nothing to say. The Day of Judgment is upon us Sam.
I pray that you find your faith and repent.” Jane wiped the tears from
her eyes and disappeared into the church.
I stood there, planted in the entrance path of the church. Despite
everything I put her through she was still prepared to pray for me. I
questioned her words. Was it the end of the world? Was judgment upon us?
The ashes cascaded around me. I looked to the heavens as bursts of
flame raped the sky.
Jane said I should repent. In order for me to do that I needed to
pray which required some belief in a celestial figure. These notions
were all blurred along time ago.
“How, how am I expected to believe. What am I expected to belief.
This is my prayer.” I stretched my arms out to the burning sky, “I
pray for belief. If this is the end grant me this, give me something
to believe in”.