The Priest and the Cripple
by Mecasloth, October 10th 2022

The Priest had crossed paths of the Cripple frequently. Often from cross the train station, he admired his body. The way he seemed to move both effortless and under immense work. Like he had trained his entire life to carry an invisible weight, and somehow got accustomed to it. His gait was small and feeble, but the sheer speed of someone of his stature was something to marvel at. And marvel the Priest had. Surely, he was a gift from god. A sign of grace and dignity in such struggle. He resolved to meet the cripple someday.

 

The day that the Priest had met the Cripple, he was going northbound on the Red line. He was heading home for the evening, having serviced the last of his perish in the hospital. And today, the Cripple was going northbound on the same Red line, coming back from an early lecture. The Priest finally had his moment and he approached the young man eagerly. The boy seemed frightened, startled that someone was finally coming up to talk to him. And the Priest said, "I see you every afternoon, coming down the Blue Line, when I am heading up with the Red line."

 

The Cripple spoke in a meek and quiet voice, "Uh huh."

 

"Well, I just wanted to say that you're such an inspiration. It must take immense effort getting on and off that train, let alone up and down the stairs." The Priest continued with his story.

 

"Cool." The Cripple replied.

 

"How about when you're free, come to my church. We pray most every day, usually from 4 pm to 8 pm, although nobody is expected to stay that long."

 

"Uhhhhh," the Crippled started, "No thank you. I appreciate the offer but I... I have night classes and wouldn't be able to come most days."

 

"Then I shall pray for you. You are an inspiration, and I wish to at least do that."

 

"Why?" The Cripple asked.

 

"Why what?" The Priest had been taken aback, nobody had asked why he would pray for them before.

 

"Why would you pray for me? Am I dead? Am I dying?" The Crippled countered with his own question.

 

"You do not look dead to me, although I cannot tell if you're dying."

 

"Then why would you pray for me?"

 

"Well for your disability. To make it get better."

 

"Why would I want that? I have lived my entire life in this state. So why would I want you to pray to your god to make me normal?"

 

The Priest had nothing to reply with that. And the Cripple did not want to continue the conversation. Each moved away from one another, got on the Red line, and went home for the night. The Priest did not end up praying for the Cripple.