“Thanks so much for deciding to come with me to the Christmas Eve service tonight, Sinbad,” Mary said as she pulled out the pie she was baking in the stove for later. “Now that my boys have officially moved out, I can get so lonely.”
“Hey, thanks so much for inviting me,” Sinbad responded. “Shark’s parents went to go visit his grandparents, and the furkids aren’t really one for conversation. They just wanted me to turn on Rudolph for them before I left.
“Oh, and speaking of furkids: You wouldn’t happen to have any ground turkey that I could take home to them after church, would you? They love it when I turn it into dog food for them and all that nice shit.”
“I believe I have some that’s ready to be used in the fridge.”
“Thanks, Mrs. Baker.” He was quiet for a moment, walking over to her coffee machine and fixing himself a mug of hot chocolate.
Then he thought of something that had been bothering him for a little while:
“So, quick question,” he said over the machine’s humming. “How come you invited me of all people to come along? Why not Juju and her dad? Or Gala and the little Lion man?”
“Well,” Mary said as she looked through her fridge for the ground turkey Sinbad had asked for, before pulling out something else to cook. “I’d like to know what compels you to ask, first.”
Now Sinbad was nervous to give his reasons, though he tried anyway. “I’m pretty sure I’m the last person The Big Guy would want celebrating His Kid’s birthday.”
“And what makes you say that?”
“It’s not obvious?” Sinbad made sure to set out another mug for Mary just in case she wanted some hot chocolate. “Last I checked, ‘thou shalt not kill’ and ‘thou shalt not steal’ were two of His big rules, and I’ve kind of broken those way too many times in the past.
“And I’m pretty sure He ain’t too fond of tattoos, either. So what’s He gonna want a hellbound thieving son of a whore with tattooed arms and bloodied hands for?”
He waited for Mary’s answer as he made his way back to the kitchen counter island, then added on to his statement. “And given the shit I’ve seen over the years, let’s just say I have a few trust issues with The Big Guy as well.”
Mary just chuckled a little before turning solemn once more. “I do recall you sometimes flipping through my family bible when you come over.”
“Yeah, I do that sometimes. If nothing else, it’s got some interesting stories.”
“Well, we do have time before we have to go to the service. Perhaps you could take a peek through the book of Judges, if you’d like to. You may be surprised at who He chose to knock some sense into the rest of His people.
“And barring that, Sinbad? God loves all His children, no matter who they are or what they’re like. He isn’t closed-minded, and is quite understanding about the reasons why many wouldn’t worship Him. Just thought you should know that last part.”
Sinbad nodded, now uncertain if he should keep talking. Then Mary turned to fetch the hot chocolate that he’d left for her.
“But to properly answer your question, Sinbad? I didn’t want you to be lonely this holiday without Shark, as I believed you might be. I know all too well what it’s like to be alone during the Christmas season.”
“Yeah, that makes sense. Thanks Mrs. Baker.”
He then finished his own mug, setting it onto the island counter. He kept his last question to himself, so as not to upset her.
“If God loves all his children, no matter what, then…
“Where was He when I needed Him the most?”
(So Happy Holidays (whatever they may be) to everybody. Hopefully you’ll have a less depressing holiday than I did)