The Imam gazed gently at tearful Jim.
“The true scandal (i.e. stumbling-block) is to see how many paths they are; in this context, to pick one and stick to it, would seem an arbitrary and ungrounded decision.
“But it is important to remember that there is no ‘view from nowhere,’ and no ‘path through nowhere.’
“If the idea of one path being more valid than the others is bewildering, how much more so is the view that one can somehow stand above all the Babel, indeed the Pandemonium, of competing, striving, contending voices?
“For this can never be.
“One must choose; even your Jean-Paul Sartre says the same.
“For even not to choose is still to make a choice.
“And didn’t the great German philosopher Hegel say that the only path to the Universal is through the Particular?
“Or what of the Chinese Sage, Laozi?
“One can only reach what cannot be spoken by what can. For this, surely, is the straight path, then. Is it not?”
Jim gazed up at the beautiful minarets.
The Imam gently squeezed his hand.
Sally offered an old, shrivelled note; the best, the only thing she had to give.
Or so, at least, it would have been.
“You have spent a great deal in the way of God,” the imam gently murmured, unprepared to accept the gracious gift.
“Peace be upon your house.”
Sally nodded, and lovingly, hand in hand with Jim, she moved towards the exit.
She inched towards the small church, dreading to see the fearful news.
Her worst fears were realized.
The place must have been derelict for many years already.
All of a sudden, Jim’s monotonous drawl raised up.
“Wherever you are, there also is the face of God.”
Sally gazed at her little brother in wonder.
“We’re on the way, Jimmy boy,” her husky voice intoned, as she gently stroked Jim’s flopping fringe.
“We’re goin’ somewhere good.”