The Thief and Theologian (Short Story)

(by Daniel R. Jones)

The theologian sat studying manuscripts by candlelight. A rap came upon his window. Perturbed, he rose and opened it.

“Ahh, it’s you, God,” he said, scowling. “I see why Scripture describes you as coming ‘like a thief in the night.’ I’ll have to make note of that. Now go away, I’m studying Theology.”

“You’re studying the study of me.” God said, bemused. “While here I stand at your window and knock.”

The theologian smacked his lips, quite frustrated to be interrupted at such a serious task.

“Can’t you see I’m studying?” he chided. “Theology is the study of God. So I am studying you. I’d rather not split hairs about semantics. Besides, I’m quite annoyed that you pulled me from my studies. Now, go away.”

God shook his head, but He didn’t look tired or distraught. He looked winsome, almost ephemeral. Lighter than the wisp of smoke floating from the smoldering wick on the theologian’s writing desk. A neuron in the theologian’s brain misfired, and he fleetingly thought of the untrimmed wicks of the unprepared Virgins. A total non-sequitur, he was sure.

“I love you, I love you, I love you,” God said, and it sounded like a jump rope song. “But you know so little about me.”

The theologian, back at his writing desk, straightened a little in his chair. He didn’t like to be mocked. Least of all by God, who he considered a little beneath him.

“Now, what is that supposed to mean?” he asked, narrowing his eyes on God. “Explain yourself.”

“No,” God replied, and disappeared from the window as quickly as He’d come. 

The theologian made a dash for the open window. If he could just grab the robe hem of Elohim, who knows? It worked for that scuzzy, bloody woman in the gospels. Maybe he could catch God by the coattails and really go somewhere. He might even be able to pin God down and wrench an explanation out of Him.

But no, God was well out of reach by now. 

The theologian saw Him skipping through moonlit meadows, singing to Himself.

He’d made off like a bandit. No doubt, to haunt some other poor soul who might be less indisposed for the evening.

“No matter,” the theologian thought, returning to his manuscripts. “I’ll find him in here somewhere.”

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One thought on “The Thief and Theologian (Short Story)

  1. So true!
    There is a soul-shudder that happens when we first sense that God is standing among us in the present startled moment. I suppose that’s why He is always saying, “Don’t be afraid.”
    God through the telescope seems safer, or even God through the microscope …to those who would prefer Him very far away or very small.
    But the God-adventure only begins when we take a deep breath, wipe our sweaty palms on our jeans and step across the gap to shake His outstretched hand.

    Liked by 1 person

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