Give Me Something Real

I grow annoyed by religious fools. God this and god that, the mumbo jumbo of the weak. Give me the facts, the real things you can feel and smell, the man who puts his money where his mouth is.

I’ve been yelling this for days, alone in this valley, just begging for someone with the courage to face me. Oh, they make a big noise up on their hill, posing at a safe distance, but every step toward me is a step toward reality, and they won’t come.

And this god of theirs. Not just their own brand of hocus pocus, but – by their telling – the one god over all the world! Well, I’m proving that wrong just by standing here, mocking him to their face.

There is a stirring in their camp, a shout. I glance at my armor bearer and laugh. For forty days, I have demanded a warrior to kill. Perhaps we will finally get satisfaction?

And, yes, someone is passing through their line. He starts down the hill, moving from rock to rock in light, graceful hops. Even at this distance, I can see he is young and thin – the armor-bearer for their champion, I suppose, but he bears no armor and does not look back. He flits down the hill like a cat on a stroll, not even looking at me.

His appearance confuses me and seems to confuse them, too. For a moment, they cheer, swords clanging against shields, but this quickly falls into a jumbled mutter. Their army and mine both stand still, watching the boy approach me, shaking their heads in wonder.

As he splashes across the stream and draws near, I see he is smaller than I thought. He carries no weapon unless he means to throw his little shepherd’s stick. Ah, I think. This is their plan. The boy is fleet and a small target. They wish for me to hurl my spear and miss, to swing my sword while he darts in and out of reach. He will dodge me for a minute or two and then slink back to his line with a sort of victory.

The blood of rage rises to my face. Mock me? We’ll see about that.

I lift my head and roar. “What’s on your mind, oh foolish king, sending me a child? But then, this little man befits your little god, who is barely big enough to fill your foolish minds! Watch now as I snap him like a stick and feed him to the birds!”

The boy stops just out of range and lays aside his staff, draws from his bag a stone, and fits it to a leather sling. I smile at this toy, imagining the clink of his pebble against my armor. I pick my target beneath his throat, lift my spear, and ready it to fly.

But I am distracted, for he raises his curly head to meet my eye, and shouts. “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands and the whole world will know there is a God in Israel.”

I really had to laugh. God this and god that, the same old mumbo jumbo of religious fools. I am still laughing as he trots toward me and sets his pathetic little sling twirling.

Give me something real, I think, raising my spear to finish the job. Something I can fe….


This story is a dramatization of events recorded in 1 Samuel 17. (

Young David was a mystery to his own army and to the Philistines, neither of whom recognized the objective reality of God, who creates and sustains each one of us and the incredibly intricate universe we inhabit.

In one way, Goliath was right. Religion that does not align with ultimate reality has no value. Unfortunately for Goliath, David did not come in the name of religion.