TEC: Chapter 12: Let’s Go Fly a Kite
This chapter is another deviation from formula, as Murphy talks to Stephanie after class, rather than getting all hot and sweaty with Levi Abrams.
Bizarrely, Stephanie begins the conversation with an apology, for “coming on too strong” (how unwomanly of her!!), and expositions her own character:
“As an investigative reporter, I’ve always approached any story with skepticism. I use my aggression, hoping that it will make the other person nervous and reveal something that would incriminate them.”
She then says aloud what she was thinking the last time they spoke, which is that Murphy isn’t a religious nut.
Right. He went on a mid-school-year expedition to Ararat and claims to have found the Ark but has no proof whatsoever, and he proselytizes during both of the classes she has seen him teach. No religious nut here, no sirree!
Murphy laughed. “Maybe a little strange…but not crazy.”
The humor eased the tension a little.
Wait…that was supposed to be humor??? Yeah, who says RTCs don’t know how to laugh, amirite?
Stephanie immediately brings back up the subject of happiness, and Murphy drones on about happiness for half a page, with such platitudes as “I know some people who have very little when it comes to earthly goods and yet they are content” and “I think happiness is the end result of having a positive attitude toward life.”
Surely Stephanie could never gain such insight from anybody but a Bible-believing genius like Michael Murphy!
Hilariously for one so addicted to Wikipedia, Phillips then has Murphy attribute to “someone” the idea of happiness being a butterfly that sits on you.
Nathaniel Hawthorne said it. And although Murphy claims the butterfly lands “when we busy ourselves with our responsibilities,” Hawthorne said it lands when we “sit down quietly.” Then again, being quiet isn’t Murphy’s strong suit.
Stephanie then reveals that she is the typical “atheist” who just hates God. See, she went to church as a kid, then her father was killed by a drub driver, and “I guess I got angry at God.” Go figure.
Murphy is actually relatively understanding about this, at least for him, but nonetheless immediately posits that “God may be trying to talk to you.” To illustrate how God talks, Murphy makes a convoluted analogy about kite strings, Q-and-A-ing Stephanie about what happens when a kite goes super-duper high:
“When the kite was out of sight, how could you tell that it was still there?”
Kovacs looked a little puzzled for a moment. Then she said slowly, “I guess by the pull of the string. It meant the wind was still blowing the kite.”
“Right. That’s sort of how it is when God speaks to you,” Murphy explained with a smile. “You can’t see Him. He is out of sight. And you can’t audibly hear His voice because He is too far away. But you can feel His loving tug on the strings of your heart.”
Nope. Instead, his analogy just makes Stephanie cry. So “he knew he had given her food for thought.”
As we noted in Ararat, so many of these conversations are laid out as templates for converting people. So apparently making someone cry is a good thing. Keep emotionally manipulating her, Murph…she’ll become a good little Christian non-mistress in no time!