Maxine Long, with her two kids in tow, was the first to pull into the parking lot of the house of worship. Robin, her daughter and the eldest, was still trying to get her younger brother, Jimmy to smile. Robin could not understand why her mother made no attempts to cheer Jimmy’s spirits or even inquire about his black eye and busted lips. Instead, she ranted and raved about how, “The gays are destroying the family. If they are allowed to marry, that will be the end of days!” But Robin knew who had done this to her brother, and to her knowledge, Willie and Jonathan Pritchard were not gay, but tormented her brother because he was. And to listen to his own mother go on and on, about the sinful nature of the sodomites, sunk Jimmy deeper into depression of which he would never recover. His eyes began to lose focus and while his heart maintained its normal rhythm, little Jimmy Long, at that moment, realized he was actually dead.

Roshelle Bouvie roared into the parking lot next. Slamming on the brakes did not prevent her from crashing into an old oak tree. The deployment of the airbag kept her from flying through the windshield, but filling with air at 200 miles per hour, knocked her head against the seat’s headrest, rendering her unconscious, giving Robert Long time to develop his excuse. Their torrent affair had gone on much longer than expected.

mental health weekRobert made promises to Roshelle that he would leave his wife, but the right moment never seem to appear. When he rolled out of bed after a night of making love, rather it was the right time or not, Roshelle was going to tell his wife. It was Sunday morning and the entire town would be headed to church. She had begin to feel guilt for sitting in the pews in the house of worship, all the while, she was committing a cardinal sin. But her love for Robert could not be ignored, and with sanity taking a backseat, she decided to confess, not just to his wife, but to the entire town during confessional. Robert pulled in behind the crashed car. The sound of the impact stirred both Maxine and her daughter, but did little to divert Jimmy from death’s door.

The night before the monumental day, the pastor of the town’s house of worship knelt down on both knees. He asked his God what did he want from him. To send him a sign and guide him in the direction he was supposed to lead his congregation in. He had accepted the lease from the Muslims. Not without hesitation, but because he felt it was the right thing to do. Perhaps, he thought, this was a sign that once under the same roof, he could convert the practitioners of Islam, so that they too would know the true word of God.

He believed a union was meant to be between a man and a woman, but times were changing, and he truly believed, that once under his guidance, the misguided gays would soon come to accept their matrimony, while recognized by the state, was an abomination under God’s Law, and he could guide them to safety. As he finished his prayer, no more wise than before he started, lightning brightened the darken sky and the pastor, a man with good intentions but still just a man, would take that as a sign.mental health week


John Peters and his family pulled into the lot next. They saw the wrecked car, and John’s irrational behavior morphed into paranoia. He began to yell, “Those Muslims! What have they done?!”  He would throw his car into park and jump out and screamed at his family “Run!” The Peters raced inside of the house of worship, not stopping to attend to the injured, believing in their minds, the Muslims were out to get them.

The caravan of Muslim worshipers and the two wedding parties, pulled into the church about the same time, along with several other cars, filled with parishioners, all with their own minds. Some heard John’s shouts, and mass hysteria would take hold. As half of the congregation would race inside and the other half would stand down.

The flamboyant wedding party caught Maxine’s eye. Jimmy sat in the car, staring out in space, all but dead inside. Robin grabbed her mother’s arm and screamed, “Something’s the matter with Jimmy! Help him Mother, he won’t get out of the car!” Maxine turned and looked at her child and for the very first time she noticed the bruises on his face, the scars and black eyes. Tears begin to swell, but she refused to let them fall.  The righteous ones had warned them of the coming disaster that if gays were allowed to marry, it would tear their families apart. “They did this to him,” she said to herself. Then madness overcame her and she charged the bewildered wedding parties, howling like a wolf.

You are not alone
The pastor and his wife walked out from his study and into the lion’s den. Pandemonium had erupted and chaos reigned from within. He and his wife, both remained calm. They had hoped the day would be smooth, that all would pray under one roof and eventually, all would worship one God. But he remained calm, not because he was disconnected or a deer in the headlights, but because he had interpreted the lightning as a sign of what had to be done… to be concluded

2016 TNMHW DAY 6


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