“What on earth were you thinking?” Craig’s grumble was menacing. His back was resting against the driver’s door to Troy’s truck and blocking entry.
“We fell asleep, okay?” Troy pulled his keys from his pocket and clicked the key fob to unlock the door. Still Craig didn’t move.
“No, not okay at all,” Craig said. “Do you realize how many people know your truck on sight? Everyone. You bought the most identifiable, customized, over-the-top, vanity display of a truck this side of Lansing and everyone in this town now knows that Troy Weller spent the night with Melissa what’s-her-name.”
“Melissa’s last name is Dalton,” Troy said in an unapologetic tone. “And it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. All that matters is that you’re embarrassed of me.”
“I’m not embarrassed of you.” Craig’s tone said otherwise. “I’m disappointed in you.”
“We didn’t have sex, if that’s what you’re assuming.” Troy folded his arms across his chest, mimicking his brother.
“It doesn’t matter.” Craig pushed himself away from the truck and got in Troy’s face. “The appearance of evil is more significant than the deed itself.”
“Oh, trust me, it’s not,” Troy insisted. “Or I wouldn’t be in physical pain this morning.”
“That is your own fault.” Craig narrowed his eyes and took a step back, shaking his head in disgust. “That woman has ruined you. She is a canker to your mind and body. She has turned my innocent brother into a heathen bound for hell.”
“I am not a heathen, and I am not bound for hell,” Troy said. “Melissa is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”
“Your baptism and commitment to the Lord should be the best thing to ever happen to you.”
“My commitment to the Lord is between me and the Lord. He knows my heart and he knows how strongly I follow his teachings. He loves me and he forgives me for my mistakes.”
“How many times do you think you’re going to be forgiven for making the same mistakes?”
“As many times as I’m willing to repent.” Troy lifted his chin in defense of God’s grace in times of weakness.
“I don’t see any admission of guilt or show of repentance in your eyes or in your countenance,” Craig said.
“Good thing God only sees what’s in my heart and not in my eyes,” Troy said. “Besides, all I see in your eyes is judgement. I hope for your soul’s sake that’s not what’s in your heart. And I would suggest you remove the beam from thine own eye before you attempt to remove the mote from mine. If you’ll excuse me, I have work to do.”
Troy pushed past his brother and opened the door to his truck. While Craig stood in Jamie and Melissa’s driveway with a gaping mouth, Troy gunned his engine and backed out of the driveway. As he headed south out of Lowell, he fought angry tears and lost the battle with one or two.
Book Club Discussion Questions: In what ways are they both right and yet both wrong?