by Linda McCullough Moore
The Israelites grumbled in the desert and the destroying angel smote them. Smite, smitten, not quite the same. Smote them, with a plague; 14,700 of them died before Moses’ brother and Man Friday, Aaron, could get the incense out to stop the scourge. That's how much God likes complaining. Let’s construct the daisy chain: Everything that happens is God’s will. (I’m sorry, but it is. A god who’s just in charge of good must be a part-time, jury-rigged contraption.) So. God wills a thing to be; if we complain of it we’re spitting in his eye, implying, “You did this, and you got it wrong.” Cue the destroying angel. A man called Jack, yes Lewis, C.S. Ph.D. said even if eternity lasts only a million years, that a complaining woman would in less time than that become a demon, a nightmare grumble, and she as she would cease to be. I think he thought complaining might not be good for you at all. Might shrivel and demean, destroy you altogether. A caution. If later on this afternoon, somebody asks me how I’m doing, I’m going to tell them, “Fine.”
Linda McCullough Moore is the author of two story collections, a novel, an essay collection and more than 350 shorter published works. She is the winner of the Pushcart Prize, as well as winner and finalist for numerous national awards. Her first story collection was endorsed by Alice Munro, and equally as joyous, she frequently hears from readers who write to say her work makes a difference in their lives. For many years she has mentored award-winning writers of fiction, poetry, and memoir. She is currently completing a novel, Time Out of Mind, and a collection of her poetry.