Section 120 is an encounter recounted in full. which is full of the Lord
Five interviews and five lesson observations for the new Head of Beliefs and Values stretched ahead of Vernon. It all commenced with an interview in Dr Gumtree’s office with candidate number one. He was undoubtedly nice. Six foot four and bewhiskered, like a clergyman naturalist from Hardy’s country.
His respectable grey suite and rimless spectacles co-ordinated well with his grim grey complexion. His rare but genuine pastoral smile however was disarming, and if that wouldn’t give incentive to work-shy students his height certainly would. BDs, MPhils, DipTheols, PhDs and other accolades vied for attention on his CV., though there was no teaching certificate to speak of. Reverend Nice’s curriculum vitae seemed more alive than he did until that smile pushed the greyness aside; Vernon only saw the man smile twice however. This man of the cloth had woven solitary contemplation and protracted periods of study, and maybe even gurning into the fabric of his life alongside faith. Vernon wondered what Mrs Nice was like. Did she have rimless spectacles and whiskers too? He sighed within as Dr Gumtree took over the questioning.
The interview went well enough. Complicated only by a message from Nsansa. Like her, he should have switched off his phone. Touché my dear. The message read…
Hills r alive to snd of boozng. Wales drunk nd noisy. Missing u r u missing me? Cll 2night ples Wll be in after 6.
Though Reverend Nice answered in a manner that was extremely… pleasant, his responses were characterised by a sanctified vagueness such as is only nurtured in establishment churches such as the Anglican Church. Vernon could imagine asking whether Rev. Nice had finished his class reports and the following exchange ensuing;
“In His wisdom the Lord will provide, let us wait on Him with peace in our hearts.”
“Hell yeah get ‘em done Nicey.
In the observed lesson, this first candidate had been briefed to contribute to his lower sixth revision efforts about the way religious experience can be regarded as evidence for the existence of God, with specific reference to William James. Dull job, but somebody has to do it.
“James categorised religious experiences looking for a common core to them” Rev. Nice intoned pleasantly. Vernon looked glumly into the dull dead eyes of his class and Thailand floated into view once again as a seductive tropical mirage. “Can anybody tell me what famous religious experience is recounted in the New Testament?”
“In Acts chapter 9?”
All quiet on the North Front.
“On the road to Damascus? It involves a bright light?”
A touch of hysteria had crept into Rev. Nice’s voice. Please God, don’t let one of them start on about the star over Bethlehem, or missiles over Syria Vernon prayed.
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