Sam – I don’t think I lost my faith because I am not sure I ever had it. I wish I did but I don’t ever remember a time when I properly believed.
Matthew – Why are you telling me this?
Sam – I don’t know. This train will continue along for hours, and what else can I discuss with a priest?
Matthew – I like gardening. And reading. I love Ken Follett’s novels. I also enjoy walking my dog.
Sam – I’m sorry, of course you are a person, too, but I suppose that maybe I think that I should take advantage of having several hours alone with a priest.
Matthew – That’s rather generous of me on my holiday, isn’t it?
Sam – Yes. Yes, I understand. But I – can I speak? Just a little?
Matthew – Just a little.
Sam – Well as I said I never really had faith and never really could have lost it, but all of a sudden I feel a hole in myself that it seems, to me, that only faith can restore. But why? Where does the need for faith come from, and why now? Nothing in life has happened to necessitate such thinking, I have had no personal catastrophe, I have had, to excuse the term, a blessed life. I miss God, but I never had Him to miss. I miss religious ceremony, but I never really experienced. I want the sanctity, the solemnity, the ritual, the pomp, the seriousness. I am so alone, father – is it father? I don’t even know that much – and I don’t want to be alone any more. I am so sad, and lost, and foolish, and frightened, and at the mercy of – of – of – God?
Matthew – Praise God.
Part of the Railroad Perfection series