Glade Creek, WV II

It is a slightly chilly gold and green Friday morning in the Appalachians. Long shadows mottle the landscape and dew simmers off gently blowing leaves. Denese, West Virginia is larger than most of its neighboring towns, offering a small convenience store, a Dollar General, and a small white post office. Inside the post office, the Subcontractor talks about how he accepted the Lord Jesus into his heart when he was twelve. This, he says, was his greatest decision, if not his hardest. Like many of the self-proclaimed saved, the Subcontractor frames his decision as one between heaven and hell, acceptance or rejection of God. When the choice is so obvious, why would one choose eternal damnation? "It's a no-brainer," the Subcontractor insists. He has never made a hard decision.

Was there a hard decision preceding the choice between heaven and hell? The Subcontractor's seemingly obvious choice assumes that the Bible is true, but surely, accepting the Bible's truth was a decision? A decision between evangelical Protestantism and a multitude of other faiths... or an outright rejection of faith? The Subcontractor answers another question that allows him to reiterate the strength of his conviction. His faith is everything to him, total to an extent that is impossible to understand without sharing his sentiment. He has no intention, perhaps no ability, to step outside of his belief and examine it as one of many possible options or as an idea that can be historically contextualized; to do so would be more insane than to rip out his own heart for self-examination.

His goodwill is total. He is sharing the truth, saving souls, a mere tool in the Lord's omnipotent hand. He never wanted a job In Denese, but he considers it his charge from God: "you must know of Jonah? I'm like him." After eight years of working in the small, white post office, he has finally saved his coworker. That alone may have been his purpose, he says, but he takes every opportunity to share the Word with all of the people he encounters to "get them thinkin" about their salvation. He especially likes the young because they are more receptive. "As you get older you just get stupider. You get harder. Accepting Christ ain't so easy." Later, he says that older people are more attuned to their mortality and are, thus, more likely to accept Christ. These statements coexist easily for him—maybe they have to. On the way out of town, a large red-on-white plank is taped to a speed limit sign. The plank reads: God Loves You.