Home » Friday Fictioneers » No Sanctuary – Friday Fictioneers

No Sanctuary – Friday Fictioneers

OMFG!  I cannot believe I accidentally flushed my original story that was soooo hard to write.  Sigh.  That’ll learn me to pay attention when, on my phone, it says update post.  Where my text went, I know not.  How the text both above AND below the picture vanished, is beyond me.

And YAY!  How Rochelle had it in her phone is beyond me.  I’m calling it some kind of divine intervention.  You Rock Rochelle!!  Thank you, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

©Roger Bultot

Click me to play!


No Sanctuary

Death was next.

An entrepreneurial spirit, he’d turned his habit into a successful business by 22.

Snorting coke to stay alert, drinking booze to pass out, he lived this illusively, exciting life. Till he lost himself.

At 23, weighing 125 lbs, he found himself homeless. Desperate, he knocked on the church door, seeking assistance.

The priest looked down, repulsed; “You are beyond help,” and slammed the door in his face.

Years later, he was now a sober, successful man. His wife beside him as he drove past, he pointed and spit out bitterly, “That’s the church that turned me away.”


157 thoughts on “No Sanctuary – Friday Fictioneers

    • Dear Rochelle,

      Very sad. Good thing he was able to find the help he needed elsewhere. The church is not always what we think it is.

      Shalom and lotsa love,



    • Very sad, Russell. Yes, he did. He was determined not to die. And was in the small percentage who didn’t. Well, not of that anyway.
      Thank you so much!


  1. I like it when you play with fire, metaphorically of course. As for writing, I didn’t know one can write with an end in mind. For me I learn more if I stumble through the darkness. Not a better way, just more life-like. The real diamonds in life, the true gems, more often than not, is coal. Black coal. So it all makes perfect sense, this story ‘NO SANCTUARY’.

    Ouch! I think I was struck from a piece of mortar falling from the Basilica. If only they built them from bricks of benevolence and not of opulent stone.

    They say fight fire with fire so how about https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJAfLE39ZZ8 to fuel the darkest hours.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yanno, I didn’t realise I was playing with fire. And I didn’t plan to start with the end. And it didn’t go where I thought it would. It was not my story to tell, so I just let it go. That always blows my mind. I think I’m in control. Hah! Not.

      Let us just say that piece of mortar contains so much.

      Excellent choice of song. We have, it would seem, a compatible taste in music.


      • “Behind every picture hides the true story. You just have to be willing to look”, an over used and often incorrectly paraphrased. Yet, in creativity there is truth in it.

        Regardless of length, behind every story, is another story, and behind that still more stories. And eventually in ‘degrees of separation’ form, it come from somewhere – from with in . Look into the eyes of anyone and you will see the lives of one’s heritage., ten, hundreds, thousands of people and all that comes with them. For better or worst. as the adage goes.

        Liked by 1 person

        • This is a truth uncontested by me. This is a true story, matter of fact, which you have figured out.

          And that is also true. If one takes the time to look into others’ eyes…


  2. Your story turned out really interesting and gives a lot of food for thought.
    The first that crossed my mind was, as others expressed, “How sad; the one who should have helped didn’t.”

    Then I thought, “But one grouchy priest is not “the church.” I’m sure there are many who do help when asked.

    Another thought, or excuse: “That priest was just having a bad day.”
    Excuses we often make. “I was having a bad day…mind on other things…didn’t take him seriously. My plate was full…couldn’t handle one more needy person.”

    So your story reminds me that, even when I think I’m having such a bad day, someone still may seriously need my help. A pretty good lesson in 100 words. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Christine, I tend to take over the blogs of my friends, ask Dale – you beautifully expressed my feelings. So much better than I would have done!
      Hero Husband and I are living in France and honestly, we didn‘t think that it was possible, in a highly developped European industrial country, to see such discrepancies of (financial) well-being vs poverty! We own a house here and when we invited some of the poorer ppl for a BBQ and feast, we opened a can of evil worms. After we did that twice, we were moved into a category of ‚family‘ to them we couldn‘t have imagined. We were asked (demanded!) to give them money, stuff, whatever. We did for many, also because we REALLY had so much in comparison, but didn‘t like it to have become the sort of ‚rich uncle‘ to some….. It was a harsh wake-up call and I can since then much better understand the ‚biblical‘ but not very Christian reaction of ‚My house is full‘ 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’m sorry those lessons of life were hard for you. There’s a mentality among the poor and I understand it because my birth parents had it. Live for today, for friends, for good times. Help others and expect others to help you. One time my Dad used their rent money to buy a fur coat for a street lady he felt sorry for. Consequently there was no money to pay the rent. This happened enough times they were finally evicted.

        My daughter encountered a young man with a story of woe, he lost his job, had no money for rent, his girlfriend was pregnant, he needed help and a pastor refused him. So now he’s homeless, his girlfriend’s left him, and he’s bitter at Christians who don’t help. Christians are supposed to give to the poor (like me) and are damned if they don’t.

        In fact, cash “just to get over this hump” would have been a band-aid that wouldn’t have gotten him very far. Like the fellow in Dale’s story, he needed a wake-up call, a mirror to take a good look at himself, and a lifestyle change. Would he have been willing? Did the preacher even suggest something, but he rather wanted cash? On the surface his story is sad and the pastor hard-hearted, but what all lies beneath?

        Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Christine. I never expected to be giving a good lesson but in this case it was definitely an additional obstacle to changing his life. Maybe it’s what he needed to be directed to the right place (we can justify things as we need as well)
      Glad it gave you food for thought.🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is one heck of a dark story. I for myself couldn‘t say that such a reaction is likely to be, it doesn‘t seem very christian 😉 But it‘s also a heck of a good story, albeit a bit sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We seem to remember blatant rebukes more acutely than undeserved kindnesses… You’ll notice he didn’t make mention of all the people who helped him get where he was today.. And believe me, even though you cannot get clean for someone else, you cannot do it without anyone’s help either.. Excellent write Dale. Very unique take on the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That we do. And maybe later we realise that the rebuke was a kind of help to redirect us to the right place. And he knew that it was up to him to get clean, which he did, via various means.
      Thank you, Violet. I appreciate your appreciation! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Nicely done, Dale. Not where I thought it was going–because from your first sentence I thought Death was the character. Hahaha. I read that one wrong.
    I’m glad this man got his life turned around. We see lots of hypocrites who wrap themselves in religion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know, I almost took it out completely…then couldn’t because it’s when he realised that he would die if he didn’t do something that he sought help.
      Sadly, yes. There are many who do.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow! Sadly, that exact thing happens far too often. The one place where one can hope to find Hope turns it’s back. It is a far too too sad reality. Great story.


  7. Great story, Dale. Too bad the church didn’t open its doors to this man. The priest had an opportunity to show this man God’s love but he didn’t. And it wasn’t up to him to decide that the man was beyond help. The fact that he showed up the door was a good sign. Sadly, some of those who profess to be Christian aren’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh! Heavens! Or more truthfully, hell! I didn’t expect that. Yay for the man to redeem himself, but my guess is some spirit inside him helped, just not the god of that man’s church. By the way, that was AMAZING. All that in 100 words! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Q,

    Sad but not surprising. Both in fiction and reality, the church has done just as much harm as good. I mean, it’s a house the same as any house- with people good and not so good within its confines. I think what ruins it for most people is the hypocrisy such as this. You are SUPPOSED to be doing the Lord’s work, and instead, you run it like a pawn shop. But like I said, it’s sad but not surprising.

    The triumph is in his survival, self driven. When the church turned him away, he found his own strength. That’s how you show the pompous bastids! And it’s a powerful lesson you doled up inside 100 words.

    Religious experiences are not confined to a church, after all.


    Liked by 1 person

    • B,
      It is and it’s not surprising. You’ve hit the nail on the head because, yes, it is a house. And the inhabitants of the house are human and the human race includes both the good and the bad. What you are supposed to when you are part of this house is a whole ‘nother level of expectation. And I think that is what made him so bitter about them.

      Now, that said, his survival was completely self-driven. And maybe because he was turned away he became ever more determined.

      Amen! (And thank you for a very reflective response.)


      Liked by 1 person

      • The church turned me off for wholly different reasons. It was a country club mentality. Religion to me is personal. Sharing it with others does nothing for me. Church peeps don’t like when you give THEM the look away, but oh well.

        It’s up to the individual whether you sink or swim, no one else is going to do that for you. His lesson sustained him, like a self fulfilling prophecy.

        Thank you for a resonant post!

        Liked by 1 person

        • You and I have had our discussions on the church and you know how I feel about the “business” of religion. To me, as well, spirituality is personal and I have a lot of trouble swallowing their doctrine.

          Absolutely. No one can do it for them. This is a personal journey – yes, one can go and get some help but basically, it is up to them.

          Glad it resonated.

          Liked by 1 person

  10. Someone has wisely said that when a hypocrite stands between you and God, he’s closer to God than you are. I love it that your MC took his rotten reception from this “religious” man and let it compel/impel him to become successful again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Francine.
      Good question… inlikebto think he would have directed him to a rehab centre directly instead of leaving him to make it on his own. That shutting the door was surely a death sentence for others not so strong.


  11. Nice story, Dale, although sad. I would hope no priest would do that, but unfortunately, I’m sure some have. I don’t blame him for his bitterness. I found this one a bit hard too, which is why I’m only posting today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, David. It is, unfortunately, based on a true story. I like to think this was a rare case of turning away…
      Such a beautiful picture but, right, if you don’t want to go any obvious route, it’s a bit of a stumper!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. There is a moral in your tale. Religion tends to be exclusive for some. So much for helping the improverished of mind body and soul. Had they helped him, would he have been able to help himself? I wonder. Perhaps being turned away was the right thing. This is a hard one to answer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is indeed. I like to think if they had helped him, it would have been to find him a rehab centre or whatever. So, instead of getting that extra little push, he went on his own.
      It is a double-edged sword and one may not want to see the positive in being turned away but there was one, I think. But I’m on the outside looking in.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Look into the ‘My Sites’ WP Admin Portal. With a bit of luck you’ll find a version in the drafts.
        But count this as a review because I did read it, just not yet commented and now I can’t remember the details… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  13. OK now here we go the story’s back and I like it even more on second read. The self-righteousness of those who, if they really followed, should be compassionate and humble is well described with the priest.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Gabi! You know, I was starting to try to rewrite it when Rochelle came to my rescue with my original text!
      Sometimes I wonder if he would have succeeded had he had that help. I like to think he would have been given the resources sooner…

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I love this so much, I cannot even tell you. Years ago I called the Catholic, asked if they could help a lady I worked with. They told me “Only if she is part of our congregation.” It angered me so much.

    Thank you for a great thought-provoking post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Lady C. It is a sad state of affairs when those who are supposed to promote love, choose who to give it to. He was so angry against that specific church, right up until his death. He never really forgave them.

      Thank you for reading and sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

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