A preacher who had made his name in the Village in which he lived, would make his rounds every month, walking from house to house, in order to “keep the faith,” so to speak. He’d do so by letting the prospective families know about the functions that the church would be having in the coming weeks, as well as reminding them that every little bit helped when it came to financing the church.
Every month when the preacher made his rounds, he would often venture down a road that he had not walked before, out of sheer curiosity and the hope of finding another parishioner. One month, he made his way down a road that led straight to a pond which many people fished at during the Spring and Summer months. The house in question was found up a hill overlooking the pond.
The preacher made his way up the hill and without any inhibitions at all, he knocked on the door to the house. It was the middle of the afternoon on a Saturday, so he thought someone might be home. A woman came to the door.
Woman who came to the Door: (Smiling) “Can I help you?”
Preacher: (Politely & taking his hat off) “Possibly. I’m Paster Holdston, Ma’am, I preach down at the Cadleton Church there on Yarder’s Road. You may of heard of us.”
Woman who came to the Door: “Sure, sure.”
Pastor Holdston: “Well, Ma’am, if I’m not interrupting anything, I’d like to take a moment of your time, if that is alright, to talk to you about God.”
Woman who came to the Door: “God? Well, now, Pastor Holdston, I was kind of in the middle of something. I have been working on a story for a few hours now. I’m in the creative mode, if you can understand my meaning.”
Pastor Holdston: “Writing?”
Woman who came to the Door: “Yes, Pastor.”
Pastor Holdston: “Wow, I’ve never met a woman writer before.”
Woman who came to the Door: “Yes, well, now you have, Pastor. And, I must really get back to it.”
Pastor Holdston: “Ma’am, I do understand that you have your writing to tend to, but I must ask you, is it more important than gaining the chance at eternal salvation?”
Woman who came to the Door: “Well, I suppose it is, as I’m not really that interested in eternal salvation, Pastor, no offense.”
Pastor Holdston: (Getting antsy) “Well Ma’am, certainly for the sake of your children, I would like to come in and speak with you if for only a moment about our lord Jesus Christ, if that is alright. I do think that it will be well worth your while.”
Woman who came to the Door: (Seeing that she is not going to be able to get rid of him without being rude) “Well, I suppose that I can take a five minute break and have a glass of orange juice. Would you like one?”
Pastor Holdston: (Smiling as if with a new sense of accomplishment) “Well, certainly Ma’am, I would love one.”
Pastor Holdston follows the woman who came to the door inside her house, and promptly sits down at a small table in the kitchen, after she quickly pushes some of the things that were covering the side where he has sat out of the way.
Woman who came to the Door: (While getting the juice from the fridge and a couple of glasses from the cupboard.) “You’ll have to excuse me for not being one of those women that asks a visitor to forgive the mess that they see upon entering their house. I am quite fine with my mess, actually, and Veronica is as well.”
Pastor Holdston: “Veronica? Is she your daughter? I’m sorry, by the way, I didn’t get your name either.”
The woman turns from pouring the glasses of juice, smiling and sits down across from the preacher after returning the orange juice carton to the fridge.
Woman who came to the Door: “Well, Pastor, that is because I didn’t give it to you yet. But if you must know, my name is Vanessa, Vanessa Page, and Veronica is not my daughter, she is my lover.”
Pastor Holdston: “Oh.”
Vanessa: “Yes, according to you, we must be living in all types of sin here.”
Pastor Holdston: “Yes, well, maybe we can change that. I make my rounds every month in order to spread the word of God and to inform the neighbors of Cadleton Church as to what is happening as far as functions, as they can be fun for the family...”
Vanessa: (Cutting him off) “What did you really come here for, Pastor? Did you come to save my soul? Did you come to tell me all about Jesus Christ, as if I haven’t heard enough bullshit about that character in my short life already? Hmmm? Please get to it, as the bottom of my juice glass is becoming clearer, and when I am done, you know, I really must get back to my writing.”
Pastor Holdston: “Well, I suppose that I came here originally, as I always do, to spread the word.”
Vanessa: “Pastor, I’m a writer, I come across plenty of words. Believe me, the ones that you hold have no more or less meaning to me than any of the others.”
Pastor Holdston: “I understand that now. Look, I hardly thought that in meandering up here I would stumble across a woman writer who is living in sin. You illuminate a different world for me, quite honestly.”
Vanessa: “A different world? Hmmm. Pastor, how can I be ‘living in sin,’ as you say, if I don’t believe in the concept?”
Pastor Holdston: (Takes a big swig of orange juice) “Can I be frank with you, Vanessa?”
Vanessa: “Just make it quick.”
Pastor Holdston: “Well, I don’t have any answers for you. The fact is, I don’t believe them myself anymore, these doctrines that I am supposed to bash people over the head with because I wear this collar.”
With that, the preacher tears off his white collar and squashes it in his hand.
Vanessa: “Really? Well, good for you, Pastor! Look, I would really love to be part of your whole ‘losing of your faith’ thing, but you see, I work here at home, and while Veronica is out, I really get my crunch time in, so if you don’t mind...”
The preacher gets the hint, realizing that Vanessa is not interested in the slightest, and he excuses himself from the house after thanking her for the orange juice. Vanessa locks the door behind him.