God Doesn't Care

God Doesn't Care

A Chapter by Shep

Chapter 44

God Doesn’t Care


It was my first Saturday since being back from the hospital and after a very long night of no sleep what so ever. Shane led me to the shower and let me do most of it on my own while he washed my back and my legs so I wouldn’t break open the scabs as much as possible and helped me dress and applied the ointment and fresh bandages as Dad had instructed him. Which wasn’t a hard job, but it was necessary. Mom had made a chart posted on the wall of the kitchen to schedule the times of day I would need the following care which includes my pills and daily changing of the bandages as the Doctor prescribed adding her own vitamins that everyone was taking.

Mom placed me next to her so she could check me if I was running a fever and having an almost clear shot to the shower or the tub. Placing the thermometer in my mouth while everyone was seated; then writing it down telling Dad it was 98.9 practically normal. Dad grinned telling me that I would be assigned light chores to keep it that way; until I was able to do more without causing my fever to spike. The prayer was said as once again I sat there with my eyes cast down blending into the background as everyone filled their plates. Once again my plate was left empty while everyone else ate around me. I sat there not drawing attention to my self not saying anything. Neither Mom nor Dad said anything until twenty minutes passed. Mom asking me if my stomach was giving me fits since I wasn’t feverish.

I shook my head answered, “no ma’am it's fine.” Asking me why I wasn’t eating. I whispered. “There nothing on my plate, I figured I was being punished and hadn’t earned it.” Dad and Mom stared at me. Mom repeated to Dad what I said. Dad asked me what I thought I had done wrong that needed me to be punished for. I looked up and said, “I didn’t know what I did wrong sir, but my plate was left empty last night and now.” Mom leaned down brought my head up so I could look into her eyes. Telling me I wasn’t a child that needed help to be fed, I am a 14-year-old boy, not a child. I am capable of filling my own plate hugging my shoulders, telling me to eat.

I did so, seeing the anger in Shawn’s eyes asking if he could be excused. Dad growled at him to be remained seated; that we will talk about this later. Dad passing down the scrambled eggs and the wheat pancakes while everyone watched me fill my own plate. Mom leaned over kissed my cheek making sure I got enough to eat. Shane added more and Kerry refilled my orange juice. When I was done I helped Shane with the dishes. Dad apologized for taking his anger out on me yesterday that he was just mad at Arthur for stinking the house up and ruining a surprise party for all of us. Shawn made the mistake of calling me mule boy angering Dad as Mom slapped him across the face. Shawn asking what he did wrong. Dad said. “We no longer use that word in this house.”

Shawn screamed; “since when? You said it yourself that all foster kids are nothing, but stupid animals like Arthur;” earning him another slap and Dad hauling him down to his room. It scared me so bad I was curled in a corner on the floor of the kitchen shaking and sobbing. Waiting for the whip that never came as Mom rocked me in her arms.

When Dad came back I screamed seeing the whip in his hand sobbing. “You promised, you promised you wouldn’t do it again.”

Dad threw down the whip at my feet telling me to pick it up, but I didn’t move so he growled: “boy pick it up.” I didn’t move, instead, I dug deeper into the corner. He grabbed my arm hard yelling at me to pick it up.

Mom pleading; “don’t, Eric had done nothing wrong.”

Dad screamed back. “Karen I know,” picking it up and carrying me outside over his shoulders, yelling for Shane.

Dad sat me on the ground as he grabbed a shovel and dug a deep hole into the ground. Telling Shane to bring the gasoline and some matches; I shrieked getting up to run, fearing Dad was going to burn me alive and bury me. He quickly caught me dragging me back holding me so I couldn’t run off. I screamed even more. Dad was no match this time as he fell to the ground like a male nurse, which gave me the chance to run further into the field. Dad got up and chased after me bring me back as he tried once more to keep me from escaping; this time laying on me flat against the ground on my stomach. While I tried to scrim away screaming in total terror only to have me buck him off. Quickly grabbing me by the ankles dragging me back; yelling to Shane too burn it and bring him every whip on the property.

I screamed in terror as he held me down. Forcing my eyes to the flame so I could see the whips burn until there was nothing left. Waiting for me to calm; telling me that he keeps his promises and he is nothing like my parents. He’d rather burn in hell than take another whip to me; holding me as we sat there watching them burn.  Dad calmly walked me back to the house as the hole smoked. Mom was crying as she rushed to my side hugged me against her even though I smelled of horse manure and covered in dirt. Dad was covered in my blood and just as dirty as I was. Kerry bathed me while Dad took a shower. Shane telling Mom, I had just fought the biggest giant of them all and even he couldn’t contain me. Kerry and Shane laughed bring a smile to my face. Mom dried me off and set me on my way when Dad came to get me.

My back was raw again having most of my scabs rubbed off soaking Dad shirt with my blood. Mom just added it to the fire in the field instead of washing it while she watched me mow the back lawn and Arthur raking it up. Dad was proud as punch as he and Shane washed the windows. Shawn was all by himself stripped to the waist and barefoot moving slowly as the belt marks stung across his back. It didn’t make me feel any better, nor did I take any pride in it, that he was the one filling mine and Arthur shoes. He had earned the payback and I hoped he learned a lesson.

But I also knew it would not be the last time we tangled, for I saw hateful revenge in his eyes. My fever only spiked once reaching 100 after mowing the front and back lawns. And sweeping the front walkways, I ate a big lunch after my third bath for the day; reading a new novel, since I had completed the other 8 last week and all three of the scriptures. Mom telling me she was going to have a hard time keeping me in books.

Hoping my schooling will slow it down a bit regardless if I was being homeschooled. Shawn would scowl at me. Mom would yell “you missed a spot” every time he did; having to start all over again. Mom asked me if I felt up to helping in the kitchen. Bring a smile to my face when she tied on my new white apron which said “best chef in town.” Dad grinned taking one of my double chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven moaning how good they were grabbing three more and large glass of milk. Mom placed her hands on her hips warning him not to spoil his dinner; Dad said. “Not a problem when you have the best chef in town cooking for you,” taking a fourth cookie and sat down opened his newspaper looked over at Shawn said. “You missed spot;” having him start all over again.

Even though I watched the whips burn, I still woke up scream in the middle of the night waking Mom, Dad, and my sisters as they came running to wake me before I harmed myself. Slashing with my fist in the air and banged my head against the wall as I fought my father and my mother off me. The tighter Dad grabbed me the more I screamed. It was almost an hour when I finally woke. I had bloody my noses and had a huge bump on the back of my head and long scrapes on my chest where I had dug deep with my fingernails. The only good thing was I hadn’t wet my bed, but I was covered with blood.

Dad telling Mom if I kept this up I’d be back in the hospital strapped to my bed like insane lunatic on death row. Dad placed me in the shower so he could clean me up instead of theorizing me, any more than necessary. Knowing I feared being drowned in this house. It didn’t matter who did it. It still caused me to panic having to force me to stay in the tub after a night terror. He thanked God it wasn’t storming or it would have been three times worst.

Mom didn’t have anything stronger in the house to keep me asleep and the hospital doctor didn’t prescribe anything either. No remedy worked without me vomiting it back up. Mom said I was running a slight fever but that might be for not sleeping three nights in a row. Dad laid in bed with me like he had done in the hospital while we watched the storm together. But soon as I closed my eyes when I dozed off another night terror struck blooding both of us. Dad having to pin me down on the floor until I woke to try very hard not hurt me while I struggled to get loose.

When I was calm and realized it was just him and not my parents. Having me repeat where I was and which monster I was fighting. He let me go letting me back up into a corner while he turned on the light. Confirming that my parents were not in the room nor did he have a whip in his hand standing and turning around in his PJs before I let him hold me again. We didn’t bother to try again opening the bedroom door so I could check the house. Fearing that he might be lying to me; when I was convinced, we watched TV together until dawn.

Shane was the first up seeing the light on in the family room Dad saying; “bad night.”

Shane nodded asking “worse than the hospital?”

Dad nodded said; “he really hates his parents and what they have done to him. He and Mom made it worst the moment he came to live with us.” Shane sat next to me and leaned me against him covering me with a blanket. Dad left to take a hot shower. Passing Shawn on the way; telling him not to go anywhere near me or there would be consequences, ones he’s not going to like. By the time Dad and Mom came back, I had fallen asleep against Shane’s bare chest. Shane didn’t move just put his arm around me whispering in my ear that I was safe. Shane missed his shower so I could least sleep until breakfast was ready.

Mom didn’t like the idea of me going without a shirt for church, thinking Bishop Lanwall was kidding; besides it would look ridicules and it wasn’t proper. Not in sacrament meeting. The hospital gown I had turned down stating I’d rather go naked than wear another one that made me look like a girl wearing flowers and dots. Both were not going to happen. Neither was missing church or the bishop’s appointment.

Mom dug deep into James closet of old clothes finding a shirt, but it was way too big and went past my knees. I ended up wearing one Shane’s shirt and one of his old tank tops to keep the blood from peaking through even though she plastered the bandages and the ointment. Saying “just three hours and we’ll take it off before we even get to the car.” Then changing her mind letting me wear the tank top and put the shirt on when we got there.

Dad and Mom argued if it should be two hours or three hours before we even got to the church house. Dad ending said; “we’ll play it by ear Karen,” making sure he had everything. Yelling to Shane he was in charge of me. Mom telling him one hint of a fever I’d better be home in that shower and in bed before either one of them heard about it or there would be consequences. But the Bishop Lanwall meant what he said dragging both Mom and Dad in the office with me.

Bishop Lanwall removed my shoes and socks and both my shirts and removing most of the bandages and draping his jacket over my shoulders.  Then handing Mom my clothes and kicking them out of his office said. “God doesn’t care if he only came to church in his boxers”. Slamming the door shut in their faces. Took a seat and asked how I liked being back home and I better dang well tell him the truth or he’ll tan my hide or have my grandmother do it. So what could I do? I shrugged off the jacket told him everything down to slightest detail.

Mom was almost in tears when he opened the door. Still holding my clothes begging him to let her dress me; Bishop Lanwall took them out of her hands threw them in his offices. Telling them it was my lucky day I get to sit with him. To prove to my parents that God doesn’t care. Dad's face turned pale and Bishop Lanwall said grinning taking his arm “and you can join him.” Making Dad take off his shoes and socks and his tie and his dress shirt and if he didn’t. He’d have his entire family do the same.

Dad said the wrong thing. “You wouldn’t dare?” Bishop Lanwall wasn’t playing around, telling his clerk to bring in Mr. Rothwell’s family in.

By sacrament meeting, the entire family was barefoot and all the boys were stripped to the waist including Dads undergarments; walking the long walk down the aisle with Bishop in front and brother Niles right behind them. Shawn and Shane were told take their positions passing and blessing the sacrament; having everyone else’s sit along the long row next to the podium, boys and Dad in front and ladies in the back. 

Mom's face was red from embarrassment having her boys and her husband wearing nothing but their dress slacks. Knowing if she said one more word they would be down to their boxers. The home was one thing, but a church of God this was unacceptable unless it was playing sports or basketball in the gym, which never happens on Sunday. After the sacrament, Bishop Lanwall stood and gave a talk on Christ and his atonement. Stating how he walked the streets carrying his cross in nothing, but his robe torn into a rag and tied around his waist. How he endured his prosecution still preaching with his last breath until he died.

“God does not care how a man, woman or boy or girl is dressed. The most important thing above all else is that they come to him. It is the world that thinks that people should be seen in all their finery. When all God wants is your hearts. We did not come into this world dressed in fancy clothes or given fancy cars and houses. We came in nothing at all. It is us and or pride that keep our hearts from God, thinking he wants these things. We should not care what a person wears on their back or what’s on their feet or who they are.”

Bishop Lanwall made me stand and walk to him turning my back to the audience. Dropping his jacket from my back; telling them to take a good hard look then turns me around with his arm around my shoulder, “This boy has been in the hospital for two weeks because of a severe fever from these wounds. It will be weeks or months before he can even wear a shirt in public or go to school. Yet he comes to Gods house on Sunday because God does not judge him, because he can’t.

“All he wants is his heart and soul to be filled with his spirit. I do not judge him or anyone that has some inflection. It is my job as his servant to provide the chance for that to happen, either in a home, hospital of some type or in church. I do not judge you if you can’t wear anything, but a simple housecoat or robe, and if you decide to come in your PJs or boxers. I will, like God will welcome you in my arms.” Bishop Lanwall hugged my shoulders and announced the next hymn “Come On To Christ.”  Having everyone stand, afterward brother Niles stood expanding on Christ Journey healing the sick and the inflected. Brother Sakes gave his expanding it on casting the first stone.

After the meeting, Shane and I went to Sunday school. Brother Sakes removed his shoes and socks asking everyone to do the same as he talked about Moses on the mountain and walking on holy ground before God. By priesthood, most of the boys were barefoot and shirtless walking the halls to their next class expanding on coming to Christ. Bishop Lanwall made an impact on my life and every boy in the ward. Membership doubled during his time in offices teaching “God doesn’t care and the pride of the world.”

Everyone in their life needs a reminder and Bishop Lanwall would remind them once mouth during the summer months. He would turn off the air conditioner and have the boys pass and bless the sacrament barefoot and shirtless. Far as I know he was the only bishop that did that, but it was talked about during Ward and Stake conferences when we had a member of one twelve LDS apostles speak to us, which is rare these days. He too came barefoot instructed the boys blessing and passing the sacrament to remove their shirts and shoes; giving the same talk. “God does not care.”

© 2019 Shep

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It's not fair the life some kids have to live. A strong and overwhelming disclosure.

Posted 5 Months Ago


5 Months Ago

true i should know i lived it.
Cherrie Palmer

5 Months Ago

When I was 19 I was a court advocate for twin girls that I knew, and I would set with them during .. read more
Hey Shep, ... the overtones of the boys trauma in PTSD is very palpable in the expressions of your character's experience. I cant help but feel the story hasn't ended I get the point of non judgement but the boys trauma is not rectified I understand it's something not easily rectified and that identifying the trauma is a most important element but it feels unfinished like the story still needs to unfold...

Posted 5 Months Ago


5 Months Ago

thanks so much for your review it means a lot to me it is true it unfinished but as you keep reading.. read more
Robert Trakofler (Bad Bunny)

5 Months Ago

Had a feeling that might be the case good soul

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2 Reviews
Added on April 8, 2019
Last Updated on May 10, 2019



Santaquin, UT

Updated Feb 09, 20 2019 In short I am a Male 52 years of age and Permanently Disabled due to a car accident and suffer from seizures and Sever PTSD. So I have a lot of time on my hands. One of t.. more..

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