I thought I’d start something new.  It’s simply just a way for me to post more.  300 word minimum journal-like posts.

“Kaboom!”  Lightening cracked loudly as thunder boomed within the small Western Baptist church.  John Paul stood upon the stage with his hands outstretched.  The lightening stuck his left hand and the electricity shocked the young preacher hair.  “Yes, my well intention-ed parishioners,” he began as the lightening disappeared and the thunder boomed throughout the room.  “There will be a reckoning and it will be soon…” Another bolt of lightening struck both hands.  “All of you sinners stand up… I said stand up!”  Shouted the preacher and thunder crashed over him.  Outside of the pulpit a small congregation quickly stood.  Every one of the thirteen members of the church stood.  “Yes!”  John Paul shouted.  “Yes!”

The congregation repeated praise but it was a timid praise.  This new preacher was terrifying.  It was never the fire and brimstone sermons like it was from the church down the road.  Western Baptist had a mad preacher… at least that’s what John Paul like to call himself.  “Mad as hell,” he would say.  “Mad as hell that he couldn’t save everyone in the world.”  Outside of church John Paul was a kind man about 32 years old.  He was timid and barely spoke a word.  When he did it was always kind and gentle.  When he stepped upon the pulpit this timid man became a force to be reckoned with.  The problem was his congregation was terrified of him.  The lightening and the thunder followed him everywhere.  He tried for years to talk gently but the energy would build within him and soon he was be shooting light and making noise throughout the church.  It wasn’t just the church that heard it either.  Others outside the church heard it too.  The thunderous praise of Zeus’ preacher.  Granted Zeus was a pagan god but the fact that John Paul captured the lightening made losing the moniker very difficult.  He once fought to force people to stop calling him Zeus’ preacher due to the contradiction but he became angry and the storm quickly followed.  It would be something he had to live with.

Sunday afternoon John Paul stood outside Western Baptist church saying goodbye to his remaining parishioners when a man approached it.  “How are you doing, brother?”  John Paul quickly added with a smile.  “I’m doing just fine, preacher.”  The man paused.  His eyes did not shift from his gaze and he met John Paul’s gaze.  “I’ve been waiting a long time to meet you, John Paul.  I am your brother Martin.”

John Paul stopped.  The world disappeared for several moments as he took in this news.  Once he swallowed the news he spoke.  “I’m sorry… Martin…” He stammered.  “My brother died with I was 10 years old.  Taken by fire near our home several hours from here.  He is now with the Lord.”

The man, Martin, stared into John Paul’s eyes and didn’t flinch.  “You are wrong brother.  I was not taken by fire.  I was reborn of that fire.  I was then taken but now I have returned.”  “That’s impossible.”  John Paul argued.  Your body was buri…”  John Paul then realized that the funeral was a strange moment in his life.  Outside of the detached feelings John Paul had always felt he realized that no one had ever approached the casket.  John Paul had never seen Martin’s body.  It was possible that this was… “It’s not possible,” John Paul said suddenly.  “Did you ever wonder why tragedy always followed the family brother?”  Martin said as his gaze slowly broke and followed a young couple as they climbed slowly down the steps to the street below the church.  The couple seemed startled by the gaze and jerked away.  “It’s funny,” Martin began.  “Your a preacher and I am well… I am me.”

“People are frightened of you?”  John Paul replied as he watch the couple disappear into a small car.  “People are frightened of both of us.”

“No brother,” John Paul replied confidently.  “I do the Lord’s work.”

“Yes you do brother but we both know we can do better then that.”  Martin then turned and left.  John Paul watched as he disappeared into a field of tall grass.  The tall reeds of grass falling in sequence as Martin stepped upon them.  Then suddenly a small circular area of the grass burst into flames sending people scurrying to call the fire department.  John Paul stood watching.  The world he knew burst from under him.

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