A Love Letter To A Faithless God
Sophie Lan, Grade 11
(It is spring. The ice is melting. In a farmhouse, far, far away, a nest of barn mice stop huddling for warmth. Peak from underneath scavenged hay and loose thread.)
A love letter to a faithless god goes like this:
It is winter in a country you do not know. The snow is thin and quiet footprints bury themselves between the dried shrubbery. In front of you is a shrine of a god that has no name.
Wooden shrine. Painted shrine. Chipped through weather beaten shrine. It shivers with the wind. Here, you look down, and wonder if it once shone bright. You clap your hands together, close your eyes. Good grades, better prospects, the semblance of a life worth living.
Do you think he can grant them?
In truth then, do you have faith? Instead of belief, it is a lingering affection that does not cross into love. Little god. You can feel the ribs on the dog. Scratch behind the ears; buy it a treat. Walk away.
You go back to your hotel room.
(It is spring. The farmers, that winter, do not take ample notice of the rustling between the wheat and produce. Their cat does not find the bundle of huddled warmth and name it food. The mice, thank anyway, in the thawing grass, for their safe keeping. The farmers, instead, thank nothing but themselves for the strength to keep through winter.)
But also, consider this:
It is winter, and you are human, and he is a god. It is winter and he is a god, and you are a God.
It is winter.
It is winter, and you have lost count of how many of those have passed. It is winter, and you are cold, bone cold, and when stray wind blows, you keep alive by the memory of offerings. The clitter clatter of footsteps followed by quiet, solemn murmurs, occasional incense.
The hunger, now, is so deep, that you want nothing more than callous addressal. Rabid, biting need.
In the first of a long time, you then, suddenly, too, are called upon. Hear quiet, wandering thoughts
You cry and she does not hear but it has been so, so long since you have felt warm. She does not expect anything, but you give anyway.
You pray, you listless god, and you hope that there is enough faith for the two of you to share. It is not warm often, and you grasp at the faint hope that rises within her; not enough for her to act upon herself.
(It is winter. The young chirp quietly, tummies rumbling. He is the smallest of the five. The mother squeaks, worriedly. There are rumbling stomachs everywhere. And did you know? Rodents, small and large, eat their young when instead they might starve. The mother, she fears, that this barn house, warm with hay is not enough. Her teeth are sharp enough to dig into flesh. She claims, faithless before the empty cold and divine temple.)