“What is it?” Brad asked.
Pastor stared as if not hearing.
Brad opened his mouth to repeat the question, when Pastor broke the silence.
“We’ve bin talking wi Chris arnd Shauna; Moriah’s parents. They came frum the city. Therre’s more of thum.”
“Refugees, hiiding in ones and twos.”
Brad feared for what came next.
“Therre’s beasties therre called Marnogs; half marn arnd dog. We’rre told they’rre werrewolf liike thungs. Giant, arnd savage…”
“… so you want us to pray for them?”
Pastor remained silent. Brad knew the answer he wanted.
“And you want me to bring them back?” he asked accusingly.
“Ya knoo nothing harppens be accident, Brard. God gave you skills no other marn haas. Ya’ve got te ask yaself, why did He mould ya inte the marn ya arre and keep ya aliive and bring ya all this wayy?”
Brad dropped his head.
In the end he simply said, “why me?”
“No one else but you carn do it. It haas te be you?”
“You either don’t know or don’t care what’s going to happen. It’s not the world it was before the war anymore! Just about everything will kill you now! If you send me out there, then sooner or later, I – will – die!”
Pastor nodded sombrely.
Tears welled in Brad’s eyes.
“After all this time; everything I’ve been through, I’ve finally found a family and a home and you want me to throw it away?”
“… Don’t call me, son!” Brad erupted. “What father would knowingly send his son to his death?”
“I carn thunk of one,” Pastor said softly.
He referred to Jesus, dying on the cross and rising from the dead so that all mankind might live. Any further arguments died in Brad’s throat as he lowered his head.
“Ii’m sorry,” Pastor whispered, taking a few steps back the way he came before stopping. “If it’s any consolairtion; you’ve earned yerr nairme. We call you Missionairy noo.”
In the moments after, as Pastor’s footsteps receded, Brad contemplated his parting words.
Consolation? he asked himself.
Brad spoke out of fear; he knew that. He’d never known Pastor to be either a selfish man or a coward. His thoughts went to the Bible to see what God said about a man’s name. Proverbs 22: 1 came to mind. It went on to explain that a man’s name meant more than riches. God never lied.
What does a man have when he comes into this world?
Brad wasn’t sure whether he heard God’s words or his own thoughts. Either way he realised the answer; a man came into the world with nothing; not even his name until his parents gave him one. When a man died, he left with nothing… except his name. What mattered here and now was what he made of that name. All at once, he realised to have such a noble name as “Missionary” was a great consolation indeed.