The Fog Below
A Short Story by
© 2017 Den Warren
This story may be freely copied as long as the author’s name is included.
“Let’s go,” Gina said to her four year old son, Brandon as they boarded the airliner. There was no reason to stay in Chicago any longer after the hostile divorce. Gina just wanted to be back home in Fargo, where all of her family was. “We’re going on the plane now.”
“We are? I don’t see it.”
“You can see out the window when we get to our seats, okay?”
Gina found their seats and an older man, who looked very comfortable, sitting deep into his seat, got up and let them into the row. She gave Brandon the window seat for his satisfaction, and to insulate the stranger from his endless high-energy commotion.
Brandon was fidgeting around and excitedly making noise.
Gina said, “Please sit down.” Then she looked at the older man and said, “Sorry, we don’t fly much and he is pretty excited.”
“Don’t worry about it,” he said. “I don’t plan on being awake much for this flight. It’s just a hop and a skip to get to Fargo.”
It wasn’t long before the plane taxied to the runway and went up smoothly like an elevator.
Brandon looked at his mother occasionally with a big smile and stared out the window.
“Aw, heck,” the man said, “It says up there on the screen, ‘fog’ in Fargo.
Gina said, “Really? They have to land in fog?”
“Yep. I reckon so. Oh well, not much we can do about it.” He leaned back and shut his eyes.
Gina said, “Aren’t you worried?”
“Yeah, a little. But we will go when it is God’s time.”
There was a silence for about a half a minute.
Gina said, “So, you are not worried because you say it isn’t God’s time, right?”
“I didn’t say that, exactly. My point was that if it is God’s time, then he will bring me home to Heaven.”
“So you think you will be going to Heaven, right?”
There was another silence.
“Can I ask you another question?”
He looked at Gina with one eye open and said, “Sure.”
“I’m a little confused. Not to be mean or anything; but you seem pretty sure that you will make it to Heaven. Isn’t that God’s decision?”
“Look, lady . . . “
“Okay, Gina. You seem like a very nice person and all, but if you want to ask me about God, then all you are going to do is get all mad.”
“No, I am an open minded person.”
“You sure about that?”
“I guess . . . wait, so are you sure you want to talk about it? You aren’t one of those people who will get all mad and the next thing you know the plane is getting grounded and the air marshal comes and arrests me?”
“No, I promise not to get you arrested.”
“Anyways, I know what you are thinking; that I think I am so good that God owes me a free pass into His perfect Heaven. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I have done a whole lot of wrong. It grieves me when I think about it. But all of us true Christians are sinners. All people are sinners. We are no better than you and certainly not better than that handsome boy of yours. We are just saved by the Grace of God.”
Gina had a confused look on her face. “I have to be honest, Mr. . . “
“Just call me ‘Ben’.”
“Ben, why would I not think what you are saying sounds a little . . . crazy? What is the Grace of God?”
“That just means that God sent his Son, Jesus Christ to die on the Cross for our sins. Jesus was born as a man and at the same time, God you know. So he never committed a sin in his life. So He was the perfect sacrifice to die on the Cross for our sins. All we have to do is accept what He did for us.”
Gina said, “I have to say, that sounds way too good to be true. How can it be that simple?”
Ben said, “God made it that way; so it would be simple. But too many will not accept His simple plan because they think it can’t be true. God knew we would never be the kind of perfect it takes to get into His Heaven, so he made his amazing plan. But was it really that simple? After all, his only Son had to die on the Cross for us. Of course since He was God, he rose from the dead and beat death for us. So that is why I am not worried. My eternal soul is in God’s hands. I mean, I am not in a hurry to die, but I am in peace, if that makes any sense to you.”
They all sat in silence for about a half an hour. Brandon stared out of the window and got a package of peanuts from the flight attendant.
Gina looked at Ben, who certainly looked like he was in total peace over the impending landing. She started sobbing. She sniffled and said, “Ben, I don’t know if we are really in that much danger right now, but when I think of my life, I wish it could have been different. Maybe if we would have been . . . I don’t know.”
Ben said, “I’m gonna be plenty blunt right now. You need to consider your soul. You would do well to pray to God and ask for His salvation through Jesus. I wouldn’t wait another minute. Once you become a Christian, you will want to study His Word, and start getting everything right. I testify that this is what worked for me.”
“I want that,” Gina said, “Will you help me?”
“It would be an honor of a lifetime, Gina.”
So Ben prayed a prayer with Gina, and then told Gina to ask with her own words for Jesus to save her soul. She had both tears of joy and of regret and remorse. Now she was really going to start a new life over in Fargo. That is, if the plane landed all right.
Brandon said, “Mom, I can’t see anything? How will we land?”
“We have to pray, right Ben?”
“That’s right.” He looked around and said, “I’ll bet we aren’t the only ones praying that same exact thing right about now.”
So Ben audibly prayed that the pilot would be able to have good judgment in landing the plane in the soupy fog. Even after they landed, they could barely see the runway lights. A few people clapped with relief.
Gina said, “Oh my God! I gotta pee!” Then she looked at Ben and said, “Was that bad?”
Ben laughed. “I imagine God will let that one slide.” Then he went to get up.
Gina pulled on Ben’s arm and said, “Thank you.”
Ben said, “Never forget, sister. Jesus does the saving. I am just a messenger.”
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