Magnes J. Varlane Meets Joseph H. Christ


abby2_icon.gif joseph_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif

Scene Title Magnes J. Varlane Meets Joseph H. Christ
Synopsis Magnes meets Joseph, then Abby comes, and Magnes decides he's probably gonna stay at this church. It's completely because Joseph is a nice guy!
Date April 13 2009

Guiding Light Baptist Church

There is no mistaking this building as anything but a church, with its arching glass windows and concrete cross fixed to the edge of the pointed roof. Curving stone steps lead up from the pavement to a set of black double doors, often kept closed during the colder weather, but unlocked during the allocated hours written on a blue sign fix to the brick wall. In white, formal letting, it reads GUIDING LIGHT BAPTIST CHURCH and lists its hours of worship.

Through the doors, you first step into an open, nondescript foyer, with access to an unobtrusive staircase headed upwards, and a second hallway leading off somewhere less public also. Mainly, this room opens straight out to the much more spacious worship hall, with immovable rows and rows of pews. A small church, it only seats an absolute maximum of around one hundred and fifty people at a time. It has a high ceiling and is warmly lit, simple and reverent in design, colours light and earthy. The stage before the pews is wide open, with seats off to the side for other pastors and guest speakers, and there is a podium placed off center. On the other side, there is a small organ with music sheets kept nearby.

It's daylight. Sun pours in through high windows, arched and circular and predictably church-like, but also through the open doors that lead into the smallish church. People come, people go, as nondescript was the next person, and the man seated on the further most pew could well just be another such wanderer, someone looking for a place to pray.

The fact that he works here is just incidental, and his clothes don't give him away as such, wearing jeans and a neat button-down shirt secured at the throat. Having opted not to hole himself away in his office any longer, Joseph sits nearest the stage, with a rather large Bible sitting open to his left, the scrawl of tiny print forcing him to squint a little through his frameless glasses before he consults the text book open in his lap. Over that is a notepad, which he writes into in small, cursive handwriting. Fleeting sentences, dot points, notes.

Otherwise, the space is largely empty, for now. It smells simultaneously clean and musty, and sound echoes off brickwork.

Arriving with a plain black paperback bible, Magnes slowly skates down the aisle of the pews. He's turning his head from left to right, taking in the archetecture, inhaling the scents of the building deeply, and even running a free hand along one of the pews. He stops near the man, looking down curiously. "Um, I'm looking for someone who works here. And is it a sin to wear skates in church?"

The scratch of Joseph's pen slows to a halt when he first hears the slight whir of wheels, blinking rapidly before finally lifting his head just as Magnes rounds the corner and comes into sight. Brief alarm has him blinking before remembering to smile, but he does. After a moment. There's a soft whisper of pages as Joseph closes his text book over his notepad, the Bible still lying open on the pew just next to him.

"Only if they scratch the floor?" he says, with half a smile for the younger man, soft Tennessee accent colouring his words. "There's no rule as such, no." This after a darting glance to see if there's a sign or anything, but no, only the one asking people not to smoke, eat and drink. He adds, volunteering, "I'm a pastor here."

"Don't worry, they'd only do that if I were aggressively skating, which, I don't think churches are made for." Magnes says with a nervous laugh, rubbing the back of his neck. "Um, well, I'm trying to find a church to go to. I don't really know a whole lot about having a religion, but it seems to get a friend I really admire through really hard times, and makes her stronger. I wanna feel like that, I wanna learn what it's like, but I don't know how to get started. This is the last church I'm visiting on a list she gave me."

Eyebrows twitch up in some surprise, Joseph setting aside his writing, moving his Bible also. "You wouldn't be the first," he says, somewhat ambiguously, although the smile remains, friendly and genuine as ever. He shifts a fraction, and rather than offer a hand in greeting, he simply gestures vaguely towards the space beside him. "Here, siddown. Least I can offer after you've been scoutin' out so many churches." Amusement tinges his words a little, but nothing mocking, exactly. "Name's Joseph Sumter, an' you are?"

Magnes takes a seat, smiling warmly at Joseph's general attitude. "My name's Magnes J. Varlane, Delivery Boy." he introduces, as if it's an incredibly important job. "How do you um, begin a religion, if you weren't raised in it?"

The smile deepens a little, amusement managing to leak out in the form of a chuckle, mostly at the phrasing. "Much like I did, I guess. My family weren't religious or anything, and I found my church on my own. As much as one can be on their own, anyway." Once he pulls his glasses off his face, sets them aside, Joseph's arms fold back enough to rest his elbows on the back of the pew, turning his eyeline towards the empty stage in front of them, lit up warmly with natural afternoon light, abandoned podium and all. "Where it starts— not a bad question. It starts with yourself, your faith. Are you a believer, Magnes?"

"I think I believe in God. I've seen a lot of things, like the sun above the clouds, people helping others at their own expense without expecting anything in return, and I've had experiences lately that most people can only dream of, both good and bad." Magnes takes a deep breath, having never really put these things in words before, hunching down to lay his elbows over his knees. "Everything seems so connected, I've quite literally witnessed fate, so, yeah, I believe in God."

"You have faith," Joseph says, in a tone of approval and warmth. "Then it's about belief. If you agree with what we have to preach, in the Baptist church and Guiding Light itself. If you believe Jesus Christ died for our sins and the gifts of salvation, if you're willing to accept him as your Lord and Saviour. And, well. More things. Much more. I'd suggest you come to services and listen for yourself. We have 'em Sunday mornings and noons, and Wednesday evenings, if none o' those other churches are workin' for you."

There's a considering pause, fingers curling a little as he thinks, and adds, "You also gotta remember that your friend? They're uplifted for God, not for themselves. Faith isn't about pullin' you through hard times, even if it does. That's just the bonus you get for knowing you're a saved man, for loving Jesus."

"I don't know a whole lot." Magnes regretfully admits, staring down at his skates in thought. "I'm not closed to the ideas at all, I just don't know what it all means yet." He smiles lightly, looking up at Joseph from his hunched position. "But it's never too late to learn, right? And I've been trying to read this bible."

Abigail was coming into the church, dropping stuff off in preparation for when the church did it's next venture out into the community. It was Magnes's voice that keeps her really from heading out into the church proper, choosing instead to remain quietly, nearly invisible by the doors, listen in on her friend and the pastor talk with the tupperware containers balanced in hand.

"Well'p. That's what we're here for," Joseph says, looking back at Magnes when he feels the younger man's eyes on him, offering a smile. Abby's quiet, hiding presence goes unnoticed, and the pastor keeps talking quietly to the delivery boy, words easily bouncing far enough to the faith healer's ears. "I was probably your age when I went looking for religion. Older, maybe, and I knew nothing, I tell you."

A hand goes up, scratching just beneath his jaw casually before they fold comfortably across his chest. "Went to church a few times but only started goin' regular around when I needed that somethin', too, to get me through hard times. I'll tell you what my pastor told me, he told me that I start with the Bible, and then I spend some time on my knees prayin' to our Lord. You can learn by comin' to church, attending services, and hearin' what we have to say here." Another glance, reassuring, a slight shrug. "You're already on the path, you know."

"I'm a little bit into the bible, I just started about a month ago. I haven't prayed yet, but I can start, maybe my friend will do it with me, she prays a lot." Magnes says with an amused yet fond smile, since he doesn't know anyone who prays as much as Abby. "I can do the services, I just have to write the times down, so I don't forget. But um, do we have confession, like the Catholics do?"

"We don't have confession Magnes" Said friend speaks up. "Pastor Sumter" A respectful dip of the redhead's head. She doesn't quite move from her spot by the door. "I see Magnes has made his way here finally. I was wondering how long till he found the one I attend. But you can talk to pastor Sumter and tell him your concerns with what you've done and he'll talk with you on how you can go about making it right in god's eyes, i'm sure" Jeans, scooter jacket, messenger bag and the three clear rubber containers of muffins. "But then pastor Sumter knows how he runs his church far better than I do"

When the answer comes drifting from the back of the hall rather than Joseph's mouth, he shifts enough in his seat to look back, before his mouth spreads in a smile at the familiar sight of Abby, lifting a hand in a slight wave when she greets him. He angles around enough to respond, one arm still folded over the back of the pew. "No, that sounds about right," he says, voice a little louder to include the redhead in the conversation, even as he's looking back at Magnes. "9 am and noon on a Sunday, 7 pm on a Wednesday, whatever's convenient for you. I was wonderin' which member of the congregation pointed you here."

"Abby!" Magnes exclaims excitedly, smiling and waving her over. "Abby gave me a list of lots of churches, I didn't know she went to this one!" His eyes avert to the skates again, cheeks suddenly a bashful red with the presence of the healer. "Oh, I think I know what'd help me. Do you have some kind of bible study?"

"Because you might skip the others and go directly to just the one that I attend Magnes. Which is why I gave you the list. I brought the muffins for the outreach. I'll go place it in the kitchen. I apologize, I can't stay I have work to check in on" No flush in her cheeks at having caught Magnes talking with Joseph. "I won't intrude" As she starts heading forward, sneakers making soft thuds on the carpet floor after heading around the pews and down the side as opposed to heading straight down the center.

"Thanks, Abigail, it's appreciated," Joseph says, warmly, and with a hint of apology that he's not getting up to greet her properly, or put things away. The knowledge that she'd likely want him to stay put and talk to her friend overrides it, dark eyes focusing on Magnes again.

"We're pretty new, actually, the Guiding Light," he explains. "Still getting our feet under us. Right now we don't have the manpower for proper Bible study, but we have contacts with other programs I can point y'to if you like. I guess what sets us apart— what we're tryna get established, anyway— is a Christian voice that isn't… well, it's meant to be a safe place for people with gifts to come and worship. Everyone's welcome, really, but there are a few churches out there that'd turn the 'Evolved' away at the door." The way he says the word Evolved manages to imply disdainful quotation marks for the term itself, even if he doesn't make them with his hands.

"I guess you're right." Magnes admits, since he knows damned well that's what he would have done. "But thanks, and I'll talk to you later, Abby!" Then his attention is back on Joseph, nodding to the offer to go somewhere for potential bible study. "Wait, they have churches like this?" he asks, clearly surprised, then stands up and stretches. "I um, well…" He looks around to see if Abby's left yet, wanting to know if it's alright to tell this guy.

SHe's not out of sigh quite yet and since the rest of the church is empty, over her shoulder she tosses "He's gifted too pastor Sumter. Watch out, he's going to skate all over the ceiling. Fair is fair, he almost compromised her to a room full of not nice people. "Should ask him to take you to heaven some day. Dress warm though" I Heart Magnes. She shoots a smile over her shoulder to the pair. "And bring him pizza next time" because she knows that now he knows she comes here, he'll be coming here too.

Joseph's head ducks almost sheepishly, and he shrugs. "They? No, they don't. Well. There's one now," he says, gently. Almost hesitantly. As if maybe it won't work and it'll all come crumbling down if he wishes too hard. Then, surprised laughter as Abby so sweetly throws her friend under the bus from the kitchen. "That sounds like quite a gift," the pastor says, getting to his feet to perhaps properly see the young man away should he be leaving. "Don't worry about it, Magnes, I won't be tellin' anyone if you don't want. I'm the same, in any case. Here." He picks up his notepad from the pew, jots something down, tears off the piece of paper and hands it to Magnes. "Bible study. You read this passage, then come see what I'm talkin' about on Sunday noon, how's that sound?"

Magnes' cheeks are completely flushed from Abby's assertiveness, locking every order up into a little black box in his mind. Dress warm, bring pizza. The dress warm part was for Joseph, but the delivery boy's brain is a bit sizzled at the moment. Red head Abby is vaguely reminding him of Mary-Jane. "Huh? O-oh, yeah! I'll remember." He takes the paper, at some point ending up about five inches off the ground after Abby finished talking. "Thanks for all the help, I'll work really hard!" he assures, holding up a determined fist.

Abby's gone, into the back, out of hearing of the two men.

Joseph eyes the fist and just sort of smiles at Magnes, bemusedly. But tolerantly. It doesn't help that the younger man is or was drifting up to float in midair, but we carry on, don't we? The pastor's hand goes out to take the other man's in a brisk shake, as if to perhaps convince himself that people who float in midair isn't at all unusual. "In any case, it was good to meet you, and I'll hopefully see you Sunday."

Magnes takes Joseph's hand, and looks down when he feels something funny. "Ah man, I'm floating again, sorry." He suddenly drops down, then smiles and shakes the man's hand. "I'll be there!"

<date>: previous log
<date>: next log
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License