The Stand-In

They discussed Job at dinner Sunday night. The divinity student, Adrian, unintentionally introduced the subject. He’d visited the Church of the Holy Sepulcher during the day and was shaky, spent.

“God does not ask us to endure more than we can,” he said, his voice louder than he intended.

The dining room of the St. Andrew’s Hotel was stone, enclosed and cool. The single large table was covered with a crisp white cloth. Breakfast was included, but if the guests wanted dinner they had to tell the proprietress, Irene, or sign the registry before they left in the morning. Irene did not have an assistant and served the meal family-style.

The girl—the guests had heard her father call her Hannah—took up the subject with more enthusiasm than any of them would have expected.

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