The New Yorker has published another nice short story on Christian themes. Very much worth a read. "See the Other Side" by Tatyana Tolstaya. Originally in Russian.
A couple of teasers:
First this :
I wander from church to church along with the crowd. I listen to its muffled, multilingual murmur, like the rush of the sea; a slow human whirlpool spins me around, and tired, empty faces flash by—as empty as my own; eyeglasses glint; the pages of guidebooks rustle. I squeeze through the narrow doors of churches, push past my neighbors, trying, like everyone else, to get a better view, trying not to become irritated. After all, I think, if Heaven does exist it’s likely that I’ll enter it with just such a flock of sheep, of people—old, not all that smart, a bit greedy. Because if Heaven isn’t for people like us, then who is it for, I’d like to know? Are there really so many others—special people, people who are noticeably better than us ordinary, statistically average souls? No, there aren’t, so in all likelihood I will have to plod across those green meadows with a herd of American tourists, disgruntled that everything is so ancient and small. And, if that is the case, then Heaven must be awful and boring—which, by definition, seems wrong. Everything in Heaven should be utterly sublime.
Because we are just as blind—no, a thousand times blinder than that old man in the wheelchair. We hear whispers but we plug our ears; we are shown but we turn away. We have no faith: we’re afraid to believe, because we’re afraid that we’ll be deceived. We are certain that we’re in the tomb. We are certain that there’s nothing in the dark. There can’t be anything in the dark.