Oh, look! It’s Friday the Thirteenth, and I get to host Friday Fiction this week! Whether that is lucky or not, you can decide for yourselves. Frankly, I think if any day was going to be unlucky, pairing a Monday with the number thirteen would qualify far more than any Friday. Whatever you do, though, don’t let the date keep you from sharing your own Fiction entries this week. Just add your link to the Linky list below!
Early in the Pod stories, the premise is that the Pod’s knowledge and experience with spiritual things is very limited, but this doesn’t inhibit their curiosity. In this excerpt from “Marta’s Pod,” I explored this a little. For a secondary character, Sally Hyland has always been one that I’ve enjoyed writing. I hope you enjoy reading her.
It is more easy to be wise for others than for ourselves.
~François Duc de La Rochefoucauld
Sally Hyland was used to being sought out for questions and concerns. She was often approached by members of their congregation that were more interested in a sympathetic ear, rather than the counsel that Diego would offer. Amusingly, she was as likely to give tough counsel as he was, and folks were often blindsided since they never expected it from her.
It was not unusual that the Pod would come to one or the other of them for advice or questions. Their education in spiritual matters had been almost nil under Dr. Marcel, and their perception of religious people based solely on the parodies portrayed on television. For the most part, though, their questions revolved around basic human relations.
Of all the Pod members, Marta tended to come to Sally the most, primarily because Sally was the only other woman with children that Marta had any long standing access to. It helped that Joshua Hyland was a year ahead of Marcel; Sally had plenty of access to mothers who had raised children to seek advice from when she dealt with some new phase of development, and by the time Marcel reached that phase, Marta could glean similar advice from Sally.
It wasn’t mothering advice that Marta wanted when she sought out Sally that afternoon, though. The two women had taken refuge in Josh and Marta’s room, where they could speak with some privacy and with little interruption. “Sally,” Marta asked. “Why does your God do things for some people and not for others?”
Sally flinched. “Wow; you certainly decided to dive right into one of the deeper subjects on this one. Would you mind if I asked what brought this up?”
“Why am I the one who has gotten so much, and not Eva, or any of the other Pod members?”
“Oh dear, if I could answer that question, I’d have to be God.” She smiled to keep the words soft. “Diego always explains it this way, though. We are here on the surface; we can only see so far ahead. We cannot see what lies beyond the horizon, so we don’t know what we’re going to need to deal with whatever is ahead. God is above; He can see beyond the horizon and knows what lies ahead. He gives His gifts in accordance with what He sees ahead and what He plans. We may not understand until years later, when we finally can look back and see how everything fell into place.”
“I still don’t understand why me? It seems that everything has come my way, and not to anyone else in the Pod.”
“It’s come to you, yes; but where has it gone from there? You have received gifts, and what have you done with them?”
“The Pod shares in everything I get. Well, almost everything; some aspects of Josh I don’t share with anyone.”
“You know, one of the errors Diego and I deal with so often is what people do with the gifts that God gives them. You see, God doesn’t give us things so we can sit around and admire our pretty trinkets; He gives gifts that we are supposed to use in some way, most often by passing them along to someone else who needs them. Have you considered that you are the one who receives the gifts here because you pass them along to the rest of the Pod?”
“That may be so, but what about my parents? Why could it not have been Eva’s parents that found her, so that she could share them with the Pod?”
“I don’t know, Marta. Again, our perspective is so limited from where we are. Maybe there is a reason your parents are supposed to be here instead of Eva’s. Maybe it’s Mark; maybe your parents found you because time with the Pod is what Mark needs. Have you considered that their being here isn’t a gift to you so much as it is a gift to them? Perhaps it’s simply their turn to be blessed.”
“I wish your God would let us in on what He’s doing.”
“So do I, but I fear if He did, I’d try to get in the middle of things and mess up His plans. So often, I just have to trust that He knows what He’s doing.”
“I guess it’s easier for you to trust Him than it is for me.”
Sally laughed. “I wish it were. I don’t want to think about all the times I didn’t trust Him, and tried to do myself what He said He’d do. Every time I find myself perplexed by what’s going on, I have to make the conscious decision to have faith. When I finally reach the point where I think I can trust Him without wrestling with it, I find myself having to trust Him with something even more difficult, and it’s no easier than it was before.”
“You serve a strange God, Sally Hyland.”
“Maybe so, but I can assure you, He certainly makes serving Him worth it.” She reached her hand across and brushed some hair away from Marta’s eyes. “He lets me be His hands to touch people like you.”