As I have watched all the death and destruction in Iraq, and then way too much coverage of the hurricane mess, I’ve wondered where the cavalry is. I’m not talking about FEMA or the National Guard; I’m talking divine intervention.
Many of us wonder how God—assuming there is one—fits into this picture. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why does our holy parentage let so much suffering happen?
Unlike many people who ponder these questions, I don’t have certified answers. I only have divine inspiration swishing through my neurons.
What would it look like if Jesus came into town to warn the populace about an impending disaster—another killer hurricane, earthquake, tsunami, tornado, war, alien invasion, or cable TV?
Most likely, no one would take him seriously (although they might seriously consider psychiatric help.) You’ve got millions of people who fervently believe in a guy who wouldn’t get any credence in modern society unless he first performed a bevy of stupid pet tricks.
“In three weeks, a killer hurricane will wipe out 900 square miles of Florida. You’d better leave your house and head north.”
“Yeah, right, Bud. Pass the Twinkies.”
Just how would the masses recognize a divine savior anyway? What if s/he does not return as a white guy with long hair, beard, robe, and stylish Birkenstocks?
I like thinking of Christ returning in the body of a rotund black wheelchair-bound female. There’s great irony about how that would fly here in the USA. On the other hand, having Christ return in the body and shoes of a Paris Hilton would intrigue me, too. Let’s give sexism a spin around the block.
If the iconic Jesus returned, would he go through an image make-over, starting with a shave and haircut? It’s still an enigma to me how most men who praise Jesus wouldn’t be caught dead grooming and dressing like him.
Would Jesus convert to designer labels? Would he get corporate endorsements? Would he chant a slogan? “Got God?” “M’m, m’m, God!” “Just say God!”
Would Jesus pay attention to opinion polls? If the critical masses didn’t like his classic appearance, would he flip-flop and conform to the focus group standard?
Would s/he buy a snazzy car and live in a multi-million dollar showplace estate? Or would being the Daughter/Son of God carry enough status?
If Christ popped into earth life one day, who would get him/her on a talk show first? Larry King? Oprah? Charlie Rose? Katie Curic? Rush Limbaugh? Howard Stern?
One great advantage of having Jesus appear on talk shows is that he could finally speak for himself. I’m tired of people telling me what he says.
Reverend Pat Robertson proclaims, “Well, Jesus says...”
“No, I don’t,” Jesus retorts.
“Well, it’s written in the Bible.”
“I’ve evolved since then.”
Wouldn’t that be a riot?
Meanwhile, would divine presence warrant freedom from commercials? Or would we hear this: “Jesus explains how he’ll save our planet right after these stupid messages. Don’t go away.”
These days, the big names in cosmic woo-woo get tons of marketing help spreading the word. Celebrities like Neale Donald Walsch, “the Conversations with God” guy, charge big bucks for their seminars. Makes me woozy thinking of the fees the bona fide Son of God could charge, especially if greed kicked in.
My juiciest thought about the return of Christ is wondering how s/he would respond to the current state of religion and politics. In my heart of hearts, I can’t see Jesus being wildly pleased with the evil that has been perpetrated in his name.
Would Jesus still be welcome in the White House if he opined that a preemptive strike on Iraq wasn’t a great idea? Indeed, what if he thought it was a really bad idea—as love thy enemy suggests? “What about ‘Thou shalt not kill’ don’t you understand?”
What if Jesus announced that same-sex marriages were fine with the Higher Authority, the Big HA? What if he blessed any kind of intimate behavior as a gift of spiritual opportunity?
I suppose I could reach Heaven’s Induction Center and be shocked to learn that the religious right was right after all. “God loves you, but where did you get the crazy idea that He loves unconditionally? He thinks just like Pat Robertson, and Pat Robertson wants you to toast. Get a clue!”
Nonetheless, I wonder what will happen when the cavalry arrives. Talk about a media frenzy.