Chapter 3:

"Who are you?"

"You truly sadden me, Thomas. I am he that is all: both Lion and Lamb."

"Bullshit!"

The green-eyed man cut a small piece of the chicken in front of him before chewing it, and taking a long sip of wine.

"Please, sit," he said.

"I am not used to being offered a seat in my own household," Thomas said sneering.

"Nor have you needed one so badly. Sit."

Thomas did as the man said, and eyed the food in front of him. It was wonderfully prepared, and honestly it looked delicious. Carefully, Thomas picked up a spoon and tried some of the soup before him. It was french onion soup, and for a reason Thomas couldn't easily place, it reminded him of his childhood.

"Your mother's recipe," said the man, simply. "She did have quite the talent for cooking."

"Don't pretend you knew her."

"My Thomas, I knew her better than anyone has ever known anyone. I knew her as intimately I know you yourself."

"You don't know the first thing about me."

"I know everything about you. I know your shame, your cowardice and your pride. You have let your humanity overtake your work as a man of the LORD. That is why I am here."

Thomas snapped.

"So what? I should've let myself become a laughing stock instead?"

The man stood, and whole room seemed to shake.

"Is that truly your only concern!?" he shouted, his voice echoing through the house. "How far can you fall that you care not for the people you watched over! What of the women who were mistreated by one of your own? What of the fathers who came to you for help because the law would not do it!?"

"How would I have been able to help? I could've done nothing."

The man's piercing green eyes shot through him.

"Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But through God all things are possible! Instead you have chosen to protect yourself, and your own contrived view of decency."

Tears leaked from Thomas' eyes, for of course, the man was undeniably right.

"I know alright! I know you're right! I know I'm a coward and I deserve to burn for what I didn't do! But I can't fix it."

The man's eyes softened.

"That is why I am here, because it is not too late for you to do the right thing. It will not be pleasant, and you will be ridiculed. You will be disgraced for it, but you will save many women from the same fate as those in your flock. Is that a worthy enough cause?"

"Why not just help Harry do it?"

"And so I shall. Harry has his job, but I am not here to discuss Harry's path. I am here to discuss yours. What will you do Thomas? Will you continue to wrap yourself up in your pity and drugs, or will you straighten up and be the man you once were? I have never left you, Thomas. You have merely plugged your ears and shut your eyes. Hear my voice Thomas, see my face."

Thomas wept, fully and without reserve, for he knew that it was the complete truth. He had been a coward and had made excuses for his actions, but there was no acceptable excuse for what he'd done.

"I… I don't deserve it."

"Yet, was that not why I died? It was for all of humanity's sins, Thomas. You can correct your mistakes and come back to the light. I hope that you do."

Thomas suddenly felt his lids grow very heavy and before he could speak another word, he dropped to the floor, asleep.

He awoke later, unsure of what time it was, only that he was starving and there were dried tears on his cheek. Thomas stretched and reached for his cell phone. It was a little past seven. He dialed Harry's number, and paced the floor as the phone rang.

"Hello?" came Harry's voice.

"Harry! It's Thomas, I need to talk to you, about everything!"

The End