The Key

He stares at the statue of Christ for what seems like an eternity. He puts his hands together to pray, then lets go of them. He's completely silent to the human eye, but inside he's struggling this eternal battle.

"Ricky?"

The sound of his name pulls him away from his thoughts. He looks up at the person that's called him. It's Grace.

"What?"

She ignores the snappy tone of his voice and smiles anyway, because that's the kind of attitude Grace has. She takes a seat next to him and when he doesn't say anything, she looks at him with concerned eyes, "You do the sermon is over right?"

He looks around and realizes that she's right. There's no one in sight and Rev. Stone is just grabbing a few of his things, and talking to others about prayer and worship. He looks back at his blonde haired girlfriend, "How do you do it Grace?"

"Do what?"

"Believe."

She pauses for a moment. Although Ricky's talked of becoming 'born again', they never really got around to it. Ricky knew he would never be a Christian when he told her that. He was interested in having sex with her, but after the sermon at church, it leaves things unanswered, things that he's dying to know.

"I have faith that God is real. That he has a plan for our lives. I feel it in my heart. I know that we aren't just here for no reason, that there's something beyond this world. I believe 100 percent that after I die, that's not the end. If it was then my life would be pointless, lack value. I guess you just have to faith that He's there."

He clenches his fist together, "And do you believe what Rev. Stone said? That God is all loving."

She nods, "Of course, why?"

He can feel the tears threatening to spill over his eyes, but they don't.

He wants to scream, to yell something, but he doesn't.

He sighs, and looks at Grace. He's not angry with her, but he's angry with Him. With God, if he's even real that is, "Then it must be true that God only loves certain people."

She frowns, "God loves everyone Ricky. He wouldn't create someone he didn't love."

"If that's true...if he loves everyone. Then why does he let some people suffer? Why did he let me be abused Grace? It's just not fair," he says, feeling a part of him break down almost.

Before she can answer he continues speaking, "I was just a kid. I didn't do anything wrong and he still let my dad come in my bedroom every night and," he pauses because he can't continue, and Grace sees the hurt in his eyes.

She stops for a moment and realizes that she's never been asked a question quite like this before, "Ricky I know that you're hurting and I also know I'll never be able to understand the pain and suffering you had to go through, but God gives us all free will."

"God is a mysterious being, he works in ways that the human brain will fail to understand," she tells him.

"What do you mean?"

"I mean although you've been hurt Ricky, there is a bigger picture. There's a reason for everything, and it's not your fault for being abused Ricky. You did nothing wrong and God will take care of him on His own time. But through our pain and suffering, we find something, like a light at the end of the tunnel," she continues, "Ricky how much do you know about Jesus?"

He freezes, after all the lies he's told her, about reading his Bible all the time, and finding a new relationship with God he feels like he should finally be honest, "Grace...I have to be honest with you. I never opened that Bible you gave me, I never took the time to get to know who this higher being was."

"Oh," she says, a little shocked. Her being naive, she thought that he had really kept his word, but she shrugs it off, "Well Jesus is the Son of God. He was put on this Earth to save everyone from their sins. He went from place to place, sharing the Good News of God. He faced temptations, hard times, and the greatest thing he ever did was be tortured for people who didn't even believe Him. People spit on him, mocked him, and they beat him so bad that he could have died right there. Then they made him carry his own cross. They nailed his hands and feet to the ground, and do you know what he did?"

"What?"

"He let them. He didn't call on his father to kill them, he followed what his father said and went through with his death so that all of us could be saved. He cried out to his father and asked Him to forgive all of those people who were so wrong. He wanted them all to have a second chance regardless of what they did to Him. I don't know but a father having to watch his Son go through all of that, that seems like pain and suffering to me. And since we are God's children, I just feel like he hated to see you have to go through what you did. But in the end it's probably made you stronger than most."

He gives her a dark chuckle, "I guess so."

She stands up and smiles at Ricky, "I know that there's a lot of things you question about God, but I think in time you'll see that he really does love you Ricky."

"Yeah thanks."

She exits the church and he looks up at the statue of Christ again. He has his doubts, and one talk can't just change all of the things he questions about this supreme being, but he suddenly wonders if there is a God out there. If there is someone watching out for Him. And if there is, where does that leave him?