“I’m not much of a Jesus guy,” Chadwick, in a quiet whisper confided in me. He had polished off one of our finest and well aged bottles of Merlot. It had been stored in our coffers for the past decade. The previous owner, my bosses grandmother, Venus, had picked the vines that made this wine herself. Venus was committed to her winery, a work of love she and her husband, Gomer, had cultivated for many years.
“Jesus is kind of,” Chadwick swirled the smooth red liquid in his glass around and around, “a means to an end. My wife digs him, so I figure if make like he is in my life it will make her happy. It’s no extra work for me. I just have to say hallelujah every now and then. Going to church is like going to a mediocre concert. It’s kind of entertaining. And there are plenty of folks in distress there, or who at least know folks in distress,” he paused, “with their homes, that is. I get plenty of deals through my network. She tells people at the church that Jesus blesses them in their need through ‘her Chadwick,'” he holds his hands up and makes quotes with his fingers.
“Jesus has been good for business, then,” I stated, rather than asked. Chadwick began to fade from my sight. “Have you ever asked why Jesus is good for your business but not for some guys goat farm in Ethiopia?” I imagined myself asking Chadwick that. He was but a blur now. “Have you ever wondered why Jesus blesses white people in America with money and fake cubic zirconia necklaces but doesn’t bless that black guy on that goat farm in Ethiopia with enough food to feed his starving kids?” I could feel the uneasiness of time slipping by as being sucked out by a vacuum. “Does this Jesus who blesses you get out of your neighborhood much?” We sat staring at each other. I thought of the questions I should have asked. But he was a guest. Chadwick, not being one who was comfortable with a void not obviously leaning in his advantage, broke the silence. “How ’bout you, are you a Jesus guy?”