“This is my Bible. It is the word of God.” “I’m glad you are reading it,” I said to the man. He seemed to not hear me. “People don’t like it when I read this book.” He picked it up, lifting it a few inches from the desk that spanned the space between us. He just looked at me. I felt like I needed to say something. I was leery of sounding too nice, as it might be construed as an attempt to pacify. “I’m glad you are reading it,” I said sincerely. I followed up with a polite dissent. “I’m not a believer, but I recognize that people have to have something bigger than themselves to hold on to and glue them to the human race.” He sat still, waiting for more. “Your bond with your God is a union with the rest of humanity, as your God loves all people, which commits you to do the same.” He leaned forward and over his Bible, which lay between us. “Those who believe not will go to hell,” he sternly said. “But I love humanity, the same that your God loves. That binds us as humans. The betterment of the human race is our common goal.” The man reiterated his statement that the non-believers would go to hell and left the table. I saw him later sitting on a couch in the office lobby, book by his side, fast asleep. It was then that I realized that he did not consider himself a participant in the human race. His book glued him to his God. Those who believed were on a journey to the afterlife with him. The rest of us were simply lost.

out of touch with humanity and so far from God…