SAINT THOMAS THE APOSTLE - CREATIVE WRITING WINDSOR U SUBMISSION
Saint Thomas “Weir I Doubt Everything You Write"
by Stephen Weir
When I get overheated, I talk to myself. Loud and Long. Important stuff. Politicians eavesdrop. Reporters take notes. Nuns cry. Priests scoff and Lord have mercy, they love to throw things at my head. Today, sitting in the back pew of India’s San Thome Church it is a bowl of hot curry, airborne and coming my way.
“It is always hot in Mylapor. Pretend you are making a booty call on that cell of yours, so the congregation won’t think you are coo coo,” whispered a reedy voice from the other end of the wooden pew. “Better duck. Now!!!”
I look over. He is old. Bald on top. He has shoulder-length grey white side hair. His wavy bushy white beard would bring jealous tears to the eyes of Santa Claus (“if there was such a person” I mumble),
“I doubt it” he croaked.
Damn. He heard me. I’ve got to turn my volume down a notch or three.
Thanks for the warning, you strange looking man, I thought. A quick twist of my head and the flying bowl of food sailed past me, smashing into the holy water stoup behind.
I check out his duds. They can’t be de’rigeur here in India. He is wearing a red robe with a blue cloak draped over his left shoulder. His hands are clasped together. He is looking upwards with a pensive expression on his face.
As parishioners’ stream by they stare at me, the holy mutterer. Shocker of all shockers, they look right through the man in blue. They can’t see him.
If I were one of them, I’d be looking up at The Santhome Choir Stained Glass Window. It is said to be the finest example of stained-glass art in India. In colourful pictures it tells the story of Thomas the Apostle’s arrival in India back in 70AD and his preaching, his miraculous healings, and his martyrdom. It all happened just down the road from this building a long time ago.
“Listen son, you’re sitting over top of my bed. I could hear you talking to yourself through the stone floor. I know what you want from me,” he said turning to stare at me.
“Sorry-no healing from this pew. Since I stuck my finger in the Wound, I’m very careful about whom I touch. Besides, my earthly healing hands are under The Basilica of San Tommaso Apostolo in Italy. I doubt that there is much my toes and butt bone down below can do to help you with your soon-to-be fatal health issues.”
“What I will do, if you can keep your voice way down low, is answer one question. No asking about if there is a God. He hasn’t talked to me in centuries, neither has Christ for that matter. I’m guessing they aren’t near Planet Earth. I’m guessing they are having an extended Father, Son and Holy Ghost holiday in a land far far away.
Eureka! I have it figured it out, you are one of the Holy Dozen – Thomas, the Apostle, the Twin, the man who doubted that Christ had been crucified and resurrected. The ultimate Mr. Doubting T.
I’ll not ask for divine healing. Just tell me the truth about the black dog that you played fetch with, and I’ll leave you alone.
“Jesus could be a real ball breaker,” he started the story. “When he had an audience, He was a different man. Take the time he was atop of a hill handing out fish bits and bread sticks to hundreds of hungries. He was chill. He had an angelic smile on his face, two fingers pointing up to God while he blessed the masses non-stop on behalf of his Father.
“In private, I saw the other Christ. After I doubted his resurrection in front of the disciples, he pulled me aside and told me he was pissed. I had to leave immediately and go to India to help the King design a temple. He also ordered me to tell the story of his crucifixion to potential converts wherever I went.”
“ In India one evening I had to attend a royal wedding. One of the guests didn’t like that there was a Jew (me) in attendance. He came over and punched my face. I literally turned the other cheek but told the assailant that he was doomed. A black dog would bring his hand to me before the night was over, continued Thomas.
“He went outside to a well to wash my blood off his fist. He was immediately set on by a tiger who ripped him apart. As you probably can guess, a black retriever found the hand and brought it inside to me! The people of the village were amazed by my faith, and many converted to Christianity on the spot!”
Wow. Hadn’t heard that before sir. If I sell this unique interview, I can pay off my mounting medical bills? I ask him. Think the Globe and Mail or the Toronto Star will grab it up?
“I doubt it” Thomas laughed. “Nobody believes your stories! No one likes your work - especially me!”
Sigh. You got that right. This has been yet another chapter in my ongoing badly written life story.