Many of us live and love and learn—all the while, searching to integrate the spirit into our daily lives. In a small village, a simple and devout man—yearning to express and exemplify his faith in the fickle gods known in his community—sees an opportunity to demonstrate his faith, by facing an impending hurricane outside of shelter. He had not intended that his wife and child join him in the exercise, but as she pleaded with him to join her in shelter, the weather worsened–and they found themselves in a desperate embrace.
Nagul’s prayers were muted by the howling wind.
His heart lifted when a gust closed the tent flap—only to plummet, as the hurricane shifted and soaked them again.
Their last reserves of hope, warmth, faith and will drained to the earth to mix with the filth of their terror. God, meanwhile, cleaned her fingernails as a cat washes her face—calm, patient, aloof.
His laments grew louder—the fabric lashing like whips against their skin.
His heart tore, tears fell as mist—he was impotent to save his mate and infant son. She, alone within, held the baby and buried her face in the foul mud.
He tried to shield them—his body riddled with debris, screams unheard—the man facing defeat, his voice now of a child crying for it’s mother.
Morning came early—tattered palms silhouetted against gray pink sky. Villagers slid out of family bunkers, wandered amid the ruins and left unspoken the question on so many minds.
Why had the most devout laid, with wife and child, in the village square—under a single fabric mat, protected only by his prayers—when feet away, lay his family shelter, housing a lone chicken and a stray preening cat?
Author: David Hoekje
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Photo: Flickr/Broo_am (Andy B)