Monday was a nasty cold day. Clouds, heavy as a cow’s teat, hung overhead, threatening to drench anyone at any moment. I put on some sweats and thought about going to the club to workout but then figured, why bother? This is the sort of day Jesus would pick to bust the sky wide open and come on back.
So I stripped the sheets from the bed because Mama taught me that if you are expecting company you’d better have clean linens. I’m not at all sure what Emily Post would say on this matter, but being southern and all, I think it’s only hospitable to ask Jesus to stay the night whenever he gets here. The distance between heaven and earth can seem so very great some days, I expect Jesus might be worn out when he arrives. Even if he can’t stay the night, he might appreciate a clean bed and a nap.
I was going to start work on a new book but then I opened the web browser and saw another story about the disaster in Japan. As usual Evangelicals have taken this opportunity to point out the obvious — Jesus is coming soon. Franklin Graham reportedly said “as a woman gives birth to a child, those labor pains as they begin they start intensifying with more frequency.” Glenn Beck, who considers himself some sort of Evangelical even if the rest of us don’t, said he thought the devastation in Japan was a message from God.
What’s the point of starting a new project if God is going to show up any day now with a pink slip informing us all: Your time here is up.
So instead of writing one, I started reading a new book. It’s okay if Jesus returns while I’m in the middle of a book. I have stacks of books I have never finished reading, usually because like all those editors in New York keep telling me about my writing — I couldn’t get engaged with the characters, plot, dialogue, narrative arc, the geographical landscape, the dog or the blind giraffe.
I didn’t bother making supper tonight because we had plenty of leftovers from Sunday dinner and the last thing anyone wants to be doing when Jesus arrives at the back door is cleaning out the refrigerator. I leave that to Tim and Poe, who by the way has figured out how to open the frig using just his snout. I bet Jesus will get a kick out of that.
I waited around for Jesus most of the day but when 6 o’clock rolled around and he was still a no-show, I decided to go ahead to the gym. I had my cell phone with me and told Tim to ring me up if Jesus showed up.
But here it is bedtime again, and still no sign of Jesus.
If Jesus is watching Anderson Cooper or Glenn Beck talking about how everything is falling apart on Planet Earth, I completely understand why he stays away.
Or maybe Jesus is simply worried about having to share the headlines with the likes of Charlie Sheen and Rob Bell.