I email God.
The response is prompt and clean. Thank you for your email. I am out of the office until Kingdom come. I apologize for any inconvenience. For immediate assistance, please contact St. Peter or St. Paul (x4501).
I dial the extension and a tired, tight-knit woman answers. “Department of Theological Inquiry, Heaven,” croaks the voice, disembodied. “How can I help you?”
“Yes, hello,” I say. “I’m looking for St. Peter or St. Paul.”
“Sorry, they’re in a meeting, hon.’”
“I can call back. Any idea when they’ll be done?”
I hear a cough-like laugh on the line. “God only knows. They’ve got reports to give and memos to write. And there’s cheesecake. They always take longer when there’s cheesecake. But hold on – let me transfer you to voicemail.”
After three rings, the crackle of absence meets my ear. Then: the crinkle of a click, but maybe it is nothing after all.
And then: “You have reached the office of St. Paul. I am currently away from the body and present with the Lord. Please leave a message and I will return your call at the Resurrection. For information about the Lord’s Supper, press 1. For a theology of women in the church, press 2. Press inquiries about my response to the New Perspective and current Jewish-Gentile relations can be directed to Sheri Gibbon at 245-876-3412. Thank you and have a blessed day.”
I hang up, open my computer. I go to my blog. To God: An Open Letter, I type.
I guess you’ve gone on vacation. Maybe you’re having a nap in a hammock on the Isle of the Blessed or maybe you’re just taking your jolly time in the office john. Let me know how that cheesecake turned out. Nothing beats a good New York Style with a mass of strawberries on top.
I read that memo you sent around (most of it, anyway). You almost had me. It was sort of making sense. Not all of it (what the hell is a “bridegroom of blood?”) but the big stuff. The Jesus movement stuff was making sense. Even the martyrdom – sad, but all heroes die, right?
But, yeah, then you lost me. I called your office and they said you’re out. Did Peter and Paul pay off their secretary like the disciples bribed the soldiers at the tomb? I thought so. Good choice – he’s smart as a whip, that Paul. I nearly believed his rhetoric. All that talk about Jesus dying and rising and living in my bread.
My advice? Next time you want to start a movement, try answering your email.
Save. Publish. Share.
Barely six minutes pass before the comments roll in like boulders. Fourteen ‘likes’ tells me I am not alone. The comments are a different story.
“Okay, first off, there’s loads of evidence for the historicity of the resurrection,” writes ReformedAndIKnowIt. “Would the first Christians have undergone martyrdom for something they didn’t believe in? And there were lots of eyewitnesses (Paul talks about this 1 Corinthians 15). Second, Jesus is not living in your bread. That’s kind of sacrilegious. He’s seated at the right hand of the Father, but is made spiritually present in the sacraments of bread and wine.”
“I’m praying for you, sister,” types Stand4Him92. “Sounds like you’ve got a lot on your plate.”
“Yeah, I emailed him, too – got no response,” writes Filibuster85. “I knew it was all in vain, but I thought I’d give it a shot. Personally, I think it’s all a MacGuffin cooked up by that secretary. I mean, has anyone gotten a call from Peter or Paul or the old man, himself?”
BiblicistMama always puts things in perspective. “You’ve got nothing on Job. He complained for twenty-eight chapters.”
My fingers itch with words, with possible responses. They rise to fly across the keys – when below me comes the sound of my husband’s voice, calm and emoticonless.
“Dearest, come down, please. Let’s eat.”