Hey there, y’all! What a week this has been! I am trying to get ready for the spring cleaning, packing up stuff for donations, and working around the clock at home and at my job. And, I managed to get in some writing. It’s a miracle….
Speaking of miracles, I recently had a religious experience, which is strange because I am not the most religious person, or the most regular church-goer, and I’m sure I could be a nicer person (hahaha!) but the Lord works in mysterious ways, and who am I to argue? ‘When the Roll is Called Up Yonder I’ll Be There’, but I’ll be late because I’m going to stop off for a glass of Kendall Jackson first. Maybe two. Anyway….
I’m not sure where to start, but I suppose it’s all a result of my cynicism and natural tendency to skepticism. It’s my nature to question everything and be stubborn about it. I guess it dates back to that crazy woman in Hollywood, Fl, who claims that she saw the Virgin Mary in her grilled cheese sandwich. Remember her? She ran to all the major networks touting the spiritual properties of her 10 year old sandwich that she believed held the image of the Virgin. Nonsense, y’all. I saw that sandwich and it’s Marlene Dietrich. Trust me, those two do not resemble each other, and I know my old Hollywood stars. No dice.
The thing that made me REALLY question her motives is the fact that she told CNN that the sandwich was soaked with the power of the Holy Spirit. The only thing soaked was those idiots who paid 28 large to purchase the sandwich. And no one has ever heard from those people ever again. After the whole Jonestown thing, I guess they knew not to drink the kool-aid, but no one told them not to eat the grilled cheese.
So I’m at work the other day, being my usual ray-of-sunshine self and my friend Kay calls me to come to her desk ASAP! Of course I go thundering over there across the building like a wounded buffalo to see what the problem is and there sits Kay, staring up at the wall.
What’s wrong? I gasp.
“It’s Jesus, up on the wall, floatin’”.
Honey, how long have you been without Kendall Ja, I mean, sleep?
“No! Look at my computer screen and try this thing. How does it do that?”
I looked at the monitor and realized at once that someone had sent her one of those old-as-dirt emails with the optical illusions in it. You know, look at the lines against the pattern and try to tell if they’re bent or straight, candlestick or two faces, and on and on. The illusion in question was a photo negative with four dots down the middle. After staring at the four dots, you look up on the wall towards a source of light and you’ll see Jesus. Damn, if I stare at anything too long, who knows what I might see. So I told Kay my best explanation of this phenomenon.
"No. It’s Jesus, on the wall. I think this is a message from the Bible.”
Kay, baby, I’ve read the Bible, and I am absolutely sure there is no verse anywhere in the Bible that makes reference to the big kabuki floatin’ head o’Jesus. She would not be dissuaded, so I went back to my desk, vowing to go to church more, and drink more chardonnay. It’s okay, y’all, I think of it like communion wine. Really, like when Jerry found a cheeto that he said resembled Jesus. I ate it. You know, bread (or Cheetos) of Heaven.
Then we have some guy in the news, also from South Florida, who had chest pains and went to the ER for an x-ray. All well and good, until Mr. Man decided that he saw the image of Jesus in his x-ray. Now, mind you, the doctors and nurses really couldn’t see it, and the news people who reported the story said they couldn’t see it, but my natural curiosity made me take a look for myself. I found the pictures and knew immediately he was delusional, or heavily medicated, or both. You got somethin’, mister, but that’s not Jesus. I think it’s either TB or MRSA. That being the case, I guess he better look for Jesus, quick!
Don’t misunderstand my meaning here. I believe in God and I pray all the time. I just can’t abide the exploitation of religion and faith for financial gain. It’s rampant, folks.
So imagine my own surprise when I got a letter this week in the mail with God’s own prophecy for my life. The fact that I have read the Bible matters not to these scammers. So I got this letter, with dire instructions NOT TO OPEN the prophecy, but BURN IT UNOPENED unless I was willing to fill out the enclosed card and send a donation. Let’s face it, I’m not much one for following instructions, so naturally, with no intention of sending these fools anything, I opened the prophecy and sit there, jaw on the floor, in amazement.
First, I got a small paper prayer rug, only slightly larger than an index card. I was instructed to take this prayer rug, go to a quiet place in my house, and kneel on the rug while I feel the power of the Holy Spirit move through me. Hell’s bells, I have a five year old so there IS no quiet place in my house. And the only thing I would feel after lowering my fat, middle-aged body to the floor is the pain of every joint and muscle in my body going into a spasm as I try to hoist myself up off the floor with some piece of pseudo-religious foolishness stuck to my sweaty knee!
I got this nonsense one other time back when I was living in South Florida, from this same devious group. Only that time, there was no prophecy, just a postcard with a picture of Jesus (at least that’s what they told me). He was a light purple color, eyes closed. I was instructed to send money and then stare at the picture, whereupon I would see the closed eyes of Purple Jesus open and I would know all of the secrets of Heaven. What I have learned from the Bible is that the secrets of Heaven will revealed in God’s time, and in his way. I am also pretty sure that He will reveal His secrets and messages to me, not some flunky hiding behind religion to swindle me out of my hard earned money. I’m pretty sure salvation comes from merging of our hearts with God’s will. That’s how I see it, and I’ll stand by that.
Strangely enough, I remember when I was in college at a private Methodist Women’s college and we used to go to fraternity parties at the nearby Baptist co-ed college. Phi Delta Theta used to host an event called “The Old Couch Party” which involved all of us drinking heavily and then jumping off the roof of the fraternity house onto old couches that had been strategically arranged along the roofline all around the house. We would mix up some vile, 800 proof mixture in rubber garbage cans and we’d sip on it all night, the irony of all this being that this nasty, deadly concoction was called ‘Purple Jesus.’ In addition to all of the alcohol it boasted, it was full of grape juice, so we’d get drunk, jump off the roof, and scream “I don’t care if it rains or freezes, ‘long as I’ve got my Purple Jesus!” And then, we’d land with a resounding thud on the couch, and the only prayers were those of thanks the next day that we were still alive, and especially that the pounding in our heads would stop.
So here I am with my miniscule prayer rug, false prophets, and memories of Purple Jesus in a garbage can. I have searched through the Bible for ‘Floating Jesus’, ‘Big Honkin’ Purple Head of Jesus’, and ‘Jesus on an old couch’ and I have come up empty handed. And if I donated money to any of these idiots who hide behind false beliefs and predicate a testament of fear over faith, I would be even MORE empty handed. So be careful how you donate your money. And pray, because it works. Finally, party, because it’s fun, and it’s okay to celebrate.
And if you’re out and about, and you see Purple Jesus?
Run like Hell!