The Anglic Gene

An orphan girl unsure of who she is or why a man wants her dead carries a secret. She will experience humanity.

Are you ready?

Join Sophia in a heart thumping adventure across England set in the 1870’s, exploring faith, doubt, love and fear. A story, quoted by the editor as “really something special”, you’ll continue to contemplate long after the journey unfolds

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32. The Note

“Where can that note be?” Jack muttered, tipping out a third box of assorted papers onto his bed. He went through each piece of paper scattered about, most of them letters from his patients thanking him for his caring service in the healing arts. He began collecting them back when he first became a doctor. During a patient’s treatment, he would ask them to write him a letter when they had fully recovered. In one way, he asked the question to instill hope within them that they would in fact recover. Some patients he discerned never would, but planting a seed of hope lifted their spirits as well as their family members’.

“It’s not here,” he said, pushing the papers aside to clear a place to sit on the side of his bed. Head in hands, he tried to recall where he had put that note. Three wooden boxes were set on the floor, which used to hold his many letters. He stood over the third box and a yellow-tinged leaf of paper wedged in the depths of the container caught his eye. He knelt down and took a closer look. Sure enough, there it was, stuffed down near the bottom of the box. He sat down and began reading.

Dear Jack,

I hope this letter finds you well.

Well the letter did find me, Elidin, but it didn’t find me well.

Somehow I doubt you will read this letter on the day I give you the Bible. But I am  hopeful that one day in the near future you will find in your heart a desire to read my message.

You knew me well, Elidin.

I anticipate on the day I give you a Bible as a gift you will ask me why. Instead of entering into a debate, I figured that a written response, which you could read at your leisure, and more than once if necessary, may be a better guide.

You once asked me why I believe in Christianity and I failed to respond at the time.

I figured you were delusional, another mark conned by the wild-eyed street preachers.

 I’ve thought about my reasons for some time and prepared the following reply.

Here we go. Conversion speech a-coming.

When you accept Jesus’ teachings and apply the knowledge to your life, your life becomes better.

Right. So says you.

A time came in my life when I asked myself why I wouldn’t want to follow these teachings. There is no downside. Christianity fills me with joy, gives me strength and hope during the tough times, and provides a solid foundation to build on. I could go on to explain how God makes me feel, but it’s not something I can truly express in words. When you have Jesus in your life, you just … know.

Yes. I would have debated this. Having an imaginary friend is like a placebo. I know all about the benefits of filling people with false hope. I used to do it all the time to make my patients feel better, even those whom I knew would die.

Do I have doubts? Of course I do. Without doubts, I wouldn’t need faith. My doubts allow me to question. Those questions lead to answers, which in turn strengthen my faith. At times when I’m feeling doubtful, I think back to Jesus’ disciple Peter, who walked side by side with Jesus and witnessed him performing sign and wonders, miracles. When Peter’s faith was challenged at Jesus’ crucifixion, he had enough doubt to deny that he even knew Jesus. Not once, but three times.

Only after Peter witnessed Jesus’ return from the dead was his faith strong like a rock, strong enough, sure enough to lay the foundations for the Church of Christianity. Jesus said to Thomas, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Well now, if God appeared in front of me, perhaps then I, too, would have faith.

Day in and day out, I feel truly blessed to have my trust in Christ.

I have no quibble or qualm with that, if it makes you feel better.

Can I physically prove that God exists? No. I doubt man ever will be able to do so scientifically. To me, that is like asking a fish swimming in a fish bowl to prove the existence of the ocean. Again, proof eliminates the need for faith, which is what God requires of us.

You are probably thinking that my doubts show a lack of belief. However, let me suggest to you that if God wanted to he could demonstrate his power and have everyone believe in him. If He did, though, He would take away a person’s freewill to love God for whom He is instead of for what He can do.

When you see a wealthy old gentleman and his beautiful young wife who met him after he made his fortune, do you not wonder whether she married him for his wealth and the life he could afford her or for who he is?

Interesting analogy, brother.

If God shows us his power before we come to love him, He could change why we love Him. I love God for the life He bestowed on me and the grace He shows me. Whenever I doubt, I smile and thank God he gave me the freedom to choose to love him.

But you died. Where was your God then?

Faith, Jack: We don’t think we need it when the sun is shining. When the sun goes down and darkness surrounds us, faith can provide a guiding light to help us navigate the unknown. My friend who committed suicide after losing his family didn’t have faith. The lights turned off around him. He became stranded all alone in the darkness. Out of fear, he took his life rather than deal with the unknown.

A chill ran from the nape of Jack’s neck down through all four extremities as he read the last paragraph. Surrounded by darkness. With no visible way out. That is how he had considered his situation. Although, oddly, the fear of death was what had stopped him from taking his own life to end his suffering. He blamed that on the painting The Last Judgement.

I hope you find faith, Jack. We never know when the day may come when we will require the gracious gift.

Jack realized that day had already come … and gone. He did not have faith. Memories of how hope helped his patients came flooding back to him. He gave them hope. Now though, he realized, there was nobody to give him hope. Is that what Jesus does? he thought. Give people hope?

He certainly noticed the sparkle in his brother’s eyes, even on his deathbed. A question reverberated in his thoughts: How could a figment of a person’s imagination (such as God) provide such relief from the darkness of the world? It couldn’t, he decided, unless he was wrong and God was real. He read the last paragraph of the note.

With everything said, please accept this gift, a Bible, as a way to discover Christianity, the greatest of faiths.

Jack read the letter a second time. He couldn’t help but wonder if he had opened the note over a decade ago things would have been different. It was too late; he believed he had chosen his path and turning back was not an option.

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