Scene 5

Every now and then we have these spiritual inventory sheets that kids are supposed to fill out in chapels. Apparently we really want to know all about how their spiritual life is going, so we give them tests so we can choose which ones need help. It has never crossed my mind once that the student who puts a check in the “Yes” box for the question “Do you currently have a overwhelming problem with sin in your daily life”  needed the most attention on campus. That student knows what’s going on; he’s aware; she doesn’t try to pretend that there isn’t a problem. Those students are bold enough speak the truth, or maybe just have a lack of prohibitive shame if nothing else. I always thought that if one of these students was honest with me, it would make my job a lot easier with them.

 

     “Hey, Stephen?”

     “Yeah, Paul?”

     The two roommates lay on their respective bunk beds, awake in the middle of the late night hours. These late night discussions used to happen much more often than they did nowadays. They were more intimate moments of the heart, and now it was a lot of dead air and conversations. Nothing like the confessions and admissions of the previous semesters.

     Paul: “I have a serious question.”

     Stephen: “Alright, because I have one too, and its been too long since we’ve had one of these talks.”

     “Yeah.” A low pause hung in the air. “Do you think I’m helping out in too many ministries on campus?”

     Another pause, followed by an exhale of breathe. “No. I think you’re fine. As long as you still have time to humble yourself before God.”

     The sarcasm went right over Paul’s head. “That’s what I thought; and I get to pray every morning and evening, so I figured that with that and my relationship with Mary, I have a pretty solid platform from which to work on other things. And also you! You help with that too.”

     “I’m glad.” If Paul were listening well, he would have noticed the complete lack of emotion in Stephen’s response.

     Eventually the awkward silence made Paul uncomfortable. “Stephen, what were you going to ask?”

     “Never mind. We’ll talk about it sometime later.”

     “Alright then. Goodnight.”

     “Goodnight.” Stephen replied.

     He always had a suspicion that when Paul asked to have the top bunk because it made him feel like he was closer to God, that Paul was being serious. Now, he knew Paul was being serious.

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