Buck lay on the guest bed of the house Bruce had helped him find. The former owners were with God, so it seemed all wrong to criticise their decor, but he couldn't stomach the weight of kitchy junk in the master bedroom.
There was one advantage, though: plenty of Bibles to hand. Buck had spent long enough listening to Bruce going on about "feasting on the Word" to decide it was something he wanted to try his hand at. He'd lifted the Bible from the master bedroom - with creased pages, pencil annotations, the lot - and now he was trying to make sense of it.
He started on one of the pages with the heaviest underlining, and followed the notes from there. But flipping backwards and forwards just gave his mind plenty of time to wander. This wasn't working the way he'd hoped.
Weren't the Gospels where it was supposed to be at? He leafed through until he found them, and there at least was some dialogue, and a plot he could more or less understand. What a revolutionary Jesus turned out to be, when you read it properly. All the things he'd thought he knew were wrong. This guy was a radical - almost a hippie.
If you want to be rich, give your money away. If you want to be exalted, humble yourself. Love your enemies, and pray for the ones who put you down.
He knew he was on the verge of something important, but he couldn't quite wrap his head around it. It was all so paradoxical. Of course, he knew that you just had to trust in God and everything else would fall into place, but he couldn't quite suspend his old beliefs. If someone put him down, it was only natural to strike back. How was anyone supposed to overcome that?
An image of Chloe came between him and the words. Sitting there with her hair all sleek and shiny - how good would it be to run his fingers through that hair? Tousle it up good and proper, and then steer her head gently downwards...
Jesus! He was supposed to be studying the Bible, not indulging his impure thoughts. Deep breath, get himself under control, and back to the Word.
The first shall be last and the last first. Everything was all back-to-front and upside-down. Did Bruce understand this stuff? He'd been at it for longer than Buck, of course, but if he could make sense of it, it wasn't impossible. Blessed are the meek...
No. It was no good. All the words in the world couldn't drive that picture of Chloe out of his head. Two-thousand-year-old words versus one of God's more delicious recent creations - there was no contest really. Jesus would probably understand anyway - wasn't He supposed to be all about love?
He reached for the phone.
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