by Jeff GoodeGodburger by Jeff Goode (copyright © 2002)
(A WOMAN is preparing a casserole.)
So I was talking to God, right?
I mean, don't get me wrong. I'm not some wacko who has "visions". Of golden tablets. Or angelic, whatever, "manifestations" circling over my head. While the whole heavenly shebang sings, I dunno, George Michael's "You got to have faith faith faith. Ooh, got to have faith faith faith. Baybay!"
It's not like that.
When I talk to God, it's like anybody else does. End of the day. Hair up in curlers. Down on your knees. "God bless Mommy and Daddy and all my brothers and sisters, and while I'm on the subject: What is with Carol Anne?"
And not - I want to make this clear - not because I want God to strike her dead because of something, I dunno, that she did to me, or said behind my back. Or in front of my kids. That now I'm gonna go running to God and say "Oh, boo hoo, look what Carol Anne did that's so awful and sinful, and could you please send her straight to hell?" Because, first of all, that's not what prayer is for.
You do not tell God. He tells you.
Not literally. Not like a voice in your head that tells you what to do like some schizo. That's not what I'm saying at all. It's more the feeling when you go to God in prayer to ask him a question or something, right? But you already know the answer. That's what it's like.
So if you open yourself up to God - To receive his will - And he happens to say, hypothetically, that Carol Anne is a little bitch who deserves whatever she's got coming to her. Well, that's out of your hands.
And in fact, if he did say something like that - and I'm not saying he did - you can't even question that. It's not your place. That's the will of God. You just accept, or you can forget about, whatever, that nice loveseat you wanted for the rec room. Or getting your husband to lay off you when he comes home drunk after one of his deacons' meetings.
The will of God is the will of God. Especially if it doesn't make compete sense at the time. Especially then. Because maybe you're being tested. Right? Maybe it's a test of your faith. And then you're screwed. Because how do you know? You don't. That's the point. So you just do it.
If God wants you to take some drain cleaner, and roll it in hamburger, and give it to your neighbor's dog because it's constantly barking all the time. Sure, that maybe sounds cruel. But maybe your neighbor's being tested, too, for all you know. Did you ever think of that?
Maybe he's an ASSHOLE for not keeping better control of his animals. And he's going to hell just for that alone, to burn in everlasting torment. But maybe this one incident, and the sorrow of losing his pet will somehow, I dunno, show him what it means to suffer and maybe that will bring him to a better understanding of Jesus, and how he suffered on the cross. And is that something you want to stand in the way of just because the small part you have to play is unpleasant or distasteful to you personally? Of course not!
God says "Burn that porno." You do it. God says "Bomb that clinic." God says "What the fuck is that lady doing sitting at the intersection when the light is green already." You say, "Go! Goddammit, bitch!"
God knows she's a bitch. He doesn't care if you say it. As long as you've got Jesus in your heart. That's all that matters.
Some people don't want to look at it that way, I know. They find this hard to accept. But, honestly, you could be a rapist or a murderer, as long as you're doing it for the right reason. As long as you know this is what God put you on this earth to do.
And I know how that sounds. Crazy, right? But I'm not trying to be some radical leftwing nut. If you think about it, it's really true. I mean, that's what War is, right? Because you have to know in your heart of hearts that God himself wants these people dead. Or otherwise it's clearly "Thou shalt not kill" and you have to start thinking about civilian casualties and children. But as long as you open your heart to God in prayer, he will guide and direct your bullets or your bombs so that the only people they harm will be sinners and atheists, and the children of sinners and atheists.
And that's what I think about every time I see someone crying on the news. Whether it's an earthquake or a bombing or a traffic accident or an airplane. That's someone who didn't open their heart to God in prayer last night. You can see it in their eyes. All they're thinking about is themself. "Why me? Why am I bleeding? What did I do?" I'll tell you what you did. It's what you didn't do.
You didn't talk to God before you got on that bus. You didn't talk to God before you went to that bar mitzvah. You didn't talk to God before you came home drunk again and asked me what's for dinner.
But I did.
And that's why Carol Anne's coming over for dinner tonight. And we're having hamburger.