“Stop it Richard. Just shut up already!” Jane cried out. Her husband, in the middle of expounding on the Bible to the six other attendees, did stop; more out of shock than obedience to her wishes. In fact, the entire home Bible study group were frozen with shock. “I can’t take it anymore. I can’t sit here one more second and listen to your drivel. You talk like you know, like you are an expert on God. But you know what,” she said, shaking as she addressed her husband of 16 years, “you don’t know the first thing about God! You don’t know anything, and I can’t take another second of your babble.”
“Jane,” Richard said, “what in the devil has gotten into you?”
“Not you!” She cried out, “certainly not your proud theology.”
To her right, Simon, one of the elders at their church, stiffened in his seat. He cleared his throat loudly. The room gave him their attention. “Jane, that is no way for a woman to speak to her husband, you must submit to—“
“Enough! Don’t you dare say another word to me about submission. I’m sick of it. I’ve been silent my whole life because of fear; fearful I wasn’t being submissive. What has that done for me? What is now left of me? God, your sick theology has almost completely killed my spirit. I’m a zombie. I’m meant to be a free spirit, a blessed child of the Almighty, but I’m not, I’m dying inside.” She looked around the room, “Each one of you too, we’re all dying. Don’t you see. Doesn’t anyone here see. We’ve all got nothing to say, no one except my husband.” Turning to Richard, she continued, “And what do you have to tell us, straight-faced and with a heart of stone, you tell us God is using us like batteries. That we are only good for our output. You tell us of your own foolish ideas and because you wrap them up in a few Scripture verses, you think you’re teaching us about God?—enough!” She screamed, “Enough with your theology. Enough with your egotistic dreams. Enough of all the lies that are killing the life I still have in me—enough! I won’t take another moment of it.”
She stormed out of the living area. Still in full view of the whole group, she put on her coat and scarf. Outside, a dreadful storm was pounding down upon the neighborhood. “Does this matter to you?” she called out to her husband without looking at him. Continuing to dress herself frantically, she asked, “Does it matter I’ve half lost my mind by this twisted theology we’ve devoted ourselves to? Does it bother you, Richard, that your more interested in finishing your shallow Bible lesson than you are with your wife’s heart breaking in two?”
She glanced around at the group, her hollow eyes echoing off the faces before her. She turned and left without another word, slamming the door behind her.
The group sat in silence, some smiled awkwardly at each other, others stared at the floor.
Richard glanced briefly out the window, watching the rain belting against the glass. Slowly, he turned back to his Bible, reopened it and found his place. What should I do? he asked himself. The whole group was silently asking themselves the same question, but nobody knew. Nobody knew anything at all.
Short story by Mick Mooney. Visit Mick’s: Facebook Page | Read Mick’s novel: God’s Grammar