Footsteps, followed by an “Are you okay?”
He looked up, “Oh yeah, everything is just beautiful!”
She was a little taken aback by the sudden onslaught of sarcasm. “Oh, uh, okay then.”
He put his face back in his hands, certain she would walk on.
“It’s just not every day one sees a grown man sitting on a park bench crying.”
“Really? One would think a person like you might’ve encountered it more than once in her lifetime.”
Assaulted again with the scathing sarcasm, she decided to take the offensive.
“Listen buddy, I’m out here walking along, all of a sudden here you are crying, I offer compassion and all you can do it bark at me? What kind of person are you?”
Caught with his guard down, he puts his hands over his face again.
“Apparently a real shit-heel.”
Compassion restored, she sat beside him.
He looked at her and cocked an eyebrow.
“I don’t think you really want to listen.”
She just looked at him; he looked away.
“Fine. The week started off terribly, with some of my supposed ‘friends’ apparently angry with me, then work was not exactly the be- oh come on, you really want to hear this?”
Now she cocked an eyebrow.
“You’ve already started; might as well finish.”
“Fair enough. So work wasn’t all that great, although it did pick up as the week went on (pretty much the only bright spot of it all). Then things started to look up, when all of a sudden I get asked questions like, ‘Are you going to this event’, ‘why are you here and not with your friends’… those type of things. So I check my phone, because I sometimes get busy and engrossed and miss calls, or forget to turn up the ringer after work, but nope! No calls. Nothing. Shunned by the very people I thought were my friends. Add to that I’m still new to the city, have no way to get around other than my feet, unless I rely on a ‘friend’, and you have a pretty handy recipe for despair.”
“I can see how you might think that way. But why are you letting it get you so down?”
His body shuddered, and his shoulders sank.
“I’m only human. I can only bear so much. There is so much more that I’ve left out, that I can’t tell you because I don’t know you and because I fear its simplicity and it’s foolishness. It weighs so heavily on my shoulders; add to my masochistic penchant for being a listening and leaning post for people, and you can see why. There are so many emotions swirling around in my head, in my heart, in my soul… and right now they’re feeding this demon Despair, the fattest one of them all.”
She thought for a silent moment.
“That’s very interesting, the way you word it. ‘The fattest one’. Why would you say that?”
He grinned a little, not out of amusement, but because there was simply no other expression to be made.
“That’s easy. Of all the World’s troubles, of all its sins, the only one that could make Jesus cry was Despair. We have evidence for all of his ordeals – the ‘trials’, the beatings, the actual crucifixion – Jesus took them all remarkably well. But it was when His Father had to hide His face, turn His back on Jesus, and let Him die… it was when Jesus realized that His friends had left him, His Father had forsaken him…. it was then that He cried.”