Babylon Rising, Chapter 35
And now it’s time for some truly disturbing ideas about Hell and college counseling.
Laura Murphy is meeting up with Shari for lunch. Shari arrives in Talon’s rental car. Chuck is driving, but Talon is sitting in the passenger seat. Perhaps it is a sign of unsaved-ness to make the woman sit in the back.
We have a moment of real emotion here, as Shari steals a hug from Laura. Admittedly, Shari is caught in a pretty lousy situation here: her fresh-from-prison brother has moved in with her indefinitely, and is hanging out with some pretty scary people (Talon gives Laura the stink eye before they speed off). Despite Chuck not even letting Shari visit him in prison, he is now taking advantage of her good nature and Shari doesn’t have the spine or the heart to throw him out.
This is some decent stuff, here.
Which, of course, is all immediately spoiled by Laura’s reminiscing about how she first counseled Shari:
She thought back to the long sessions they’d spent in her office talking about the pain Shari still felt years after her mom and dad had died in a five-car pileup on the interstate, her dad at the wheel with half a pint of Wild Turkey inside him. How she’d tried to help Shari make sense of it all. Help her work through the anger she felt toward her dad and try to reconnect with the love that had once been there. Help her find a way of giving thanks for everything her mother had been and would always be.
Hey, that’s sweet and all, but let’s backtrack to Chapter 24 and remember something Shari told us:
They had never taken us to church, so I did not know Christ personally.
Shari’s parents were unsaved. Which means that all the time Shari was crying about how angry she was at her dad and how much she missed her mom, Mom and Dad Nelson were being slow-roasted in the burning pits of Hell.
I wonder how Laura helped her make sense of that.
And then, things start getting really messed up:
Chuck had been getting into mischief from the day he could walk, and by the time he was sixteen, the neighbors were no longer taking bets on how long it would be before he found himself in jail. Throughout his troubled adolescence, he’d treated both parents with everything from sullen indifference to outright contempt—and Shari was sure her father’s drinking was his way of numbing the hurt, while her mother’s heart quietly broke behind her ever-loving smile.
So, there you have it: if you get into trouble as a kid or have a “troubled adolescence,” and your father is an alcoholic, it is all your fault.
Honestly, do LaHaye and Dinallo even realize what they’re doing here? How they’re absolving Dad Nelson from guilt for causing a five-car pileup by driving incredibly drunk? How they’re blaming a child for his father’s alcoholism?
I’m just…there are no words. This is insane.
So, as Laura and Shari chat back and forth—she’s worried about Chuck getting into trouble, Laura worries that Shari’s not getting out enough—Mom and Dad Nelson are burning in Hell.
Which they never would have been but for the antics of their mischievous toddler.