You ever wonder what the world would be like if you or mama weren’t ever born? Jed asked his father while they sat up by the campfire.
–”Sure, You wouldn’t be asking me that question.” Tom strums his guitar
I guess not. How come you play guitar, daddy?
“I play guitar because it sounds good.”
“There’s something we got inside each and everyone of us, Jed, and it’s called your soul. You ever heard of the soul?”
“Well, good then. You got it. Your mama has got it. Even your baby brother Albert has got it. Some people even think that the trees got it. Well, in people sometimes it feels good to feel your soul, and I’m able to feel my soul through the playing of my guitar.”
So the soul ain’t real, is it, daddy! It’s invisible!
“Not real? Invisible? God, Jed, I didn’t realize how much you don’t know. The soul is the most real thing in the world. If somebody has no soul then you know it immediately.”
But I thought you said everybody has a soul.
“They do, but sometimes, if you do a bad thing, you can lose your soul. But I don’t think you lose it really. It just sort of goes underground. It goes into hiding. But no matter how far down it goes, with right living, and doing the right thing, you can bring it back up to the open air. That’s called forgiveness. That’s what Jesus talked ’bout, and your mother. No matter what bad you’ve done, if you ask Jesus to forgive you for it your sins will be washed away.”
How Jesus do that? Jed said.
“Jed, I’m not really sure, to be honest. I’ve always done pretty good at doing the right thing in this life. I’m sure your mother could tell you or if you listen up in church on Sunday they might throw you a hint. It’s a good question though…hmmm, wait, I think I know. That’s a damned good question, Jed. I guess, in some ways, Jesus sends his spirit down to watch over us when we don’t hardly believe we’re worth anything anymore. Maybe that’s what his angels are for. I guess the important thing, if you’re in a predicament of having lost your soul, is being open to those heavenly messengers. Now, they may not look like an angel or they may not seem like Jesus, but maybe they’re something that He does for you in some little way. Maybe he will send you a little bird to sit on your shoulder and tell you what to do. It happens in stories.”
Yeah, but those are stories. Let me play, daddy, Jed said.
“Are you big enough?”
Give me the guitar, dad.
“Here, I’ll teach you. This is how you play…you got your soul? “
Yeah, daddy, I got my soul. Gimme the guitar…
(He hands Jed the guitar and teaches him how to play.)