I sat down at the Co-op table for my between-class, over-priced lunch with Jeezus Christ (the savior of the earth for those of you previously unaware) on the other side, happy to be able to partake in conversation with someone for whom I and others have so many questions. As soon as we finish our food—Pad Thai noodles for me and a large yellow bag of Pirate’s Booty for Him—I start, knowing that Biology would start promptly.
“First and foremost, Jeezus, do you control my destiny? Am I that feather in Forrest Gump, or do I have control of the reins on this ride? Am I going to die today? Or tomorrow or the day after or the day after the day after?”
And the Lord told me, dusty Pirate Booty bits spurting from his lips: “I am the way and the truth and the path and divine and the best and your lord and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Kudos to those whom are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“Great……. Also, did you ever meet someone in heaven named Virginia Woolf? You see, she is one of my favorite writers and it would be a legitimate real shame for someone as inspirational as her to be puttering around in purgatory. Did St. Peter let her in, even though she waded into that river, her pockets full of stones, taking the life you gave her? I really am intrigued.”
With a single finger raised, pointing to the sky, and two others being licked clean of snack, He told me “A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. Except that prick in your Pre-Calc class, I hate her too.”
“Before this next question I want to thank you, Jeezus, for your helpful certifications. Ok, I really hate to be an apostle Thomas and a jerk here but let me tell you: this ‘Zanadoo’ in the sky that you have conjured is difficult to believe. Your evidence is significantly lax to say THE least. Do you understand what I’m saying, O Savior of the Earth?”
“Yeah. Furthermore, come unto me, all you that labor and are carrying a lot of crap, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you all shall find good, rest unto your souls,” Jeezus told me while noisily popping open a recently-conjured bag of Doritos. The lady at the cashier glared at him disapprovingly, probably not for the noise but for eating such an un-co-op-y snack.
“Wonderful. Thanks a million. One last thing, Jeezus, I think I have figured it out for myself. Our only chance of a Utopia is to have happiness emerge from the constant struggle of lamentable and remarkable events. My life here on earth is just so; it is perfect because I do not receive all that I want at any time. This world on this planet is perfect just because it rarely is. Considering these thoughts, your proposed ‘perfect heaven’ sounds of claptrap, hogwash, rubbish, bunkum, humbug. Celestial skullduggery, if you will. Tell me, Christ, even if your castle in the sky is actually “there,” how is it a “heaven” better than what we have on earth? Why must I suffer now just to not suffer later?”
Jeezus continued, looking directly upon me: “And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is most bodaciously profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. Never forget this, because if you steal something with your right hand, self-mutilation IS the answer…ask Hamurabi.”
“My lord, perhaps Luis Bunuel was right: you are a bit of a joke…akin to Sarah Palin or Scientology or my high school geography class (where is Africa located?). It is difficult to take you seriously. I need your assurance that this is not so, otherwise I just can’t listen to you…”
“Remember, blessed are the merciful: for they shall get mercy from someone…unless of course they don’t.”
“You have greatly disappointed me so far, Jeezus. Your blatantly abstract fuckery…I talk about one, you blabber on about the other… please Jeezus; I’m on hands and knees (I wasn’t really). Be relevant to my life here on earth and my intellectual dilemmas. I need you to be relevant to me and all that surrounds me. At the moment you are only an old, old book. One weathered and worn that plays with language, develops an interesting plot and attracts my interest, but in no way connected to anything AT ALL in my life. Be important, be there for me.”
“But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek that you swallow all the rude actions that swell deep in the depths of your soul and those you would normally engage in… and settle for giving them the finger. Or the classic ‘up yours’ if it wasn’t really that bad,” the carpenter’s son told me whilst wiping orange Dorito digits along the sides of his gleaming garment.
“Huhhhhhhhhh… Jeezus Christ! Whoops, sorry,” I say as He looks over at me, clearly puzzled. “I was just cursing, wasn’t actually talking to you.”
“It’s all good.”
“Cool…” I offer, sensing the futility I expected to feel at the beginning of the conversation. But still….
I glance at the clock on the wall: 11:35, already late for Biology. After explaining to Jeezus that I was in fact again late for class and my presentation on the evidence of evolution (of course he grimaced), I said my goodbyes:
“Thank you for your amazing help, Jeezus. You helped me better understand the world. As you do every single Sunday.”
His mouth filled to the brim with Double-stuffs, he gave me the double thumbs-up. I smiled meekly, waved good-bye, and trotted to class.