Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Christmas and the Divine Dread

The son and his dad were watching television.

The dad had the remote (there were shows he didn't want his son to see) and kept scrolling through the channels, but they were all showing the same old stuff: events that had happened, were still happening, and would continue to happen. 

The TV didn't interest the son much. He was restless, and something was bothering him.

"Dad," he said. "If I'm going to become an Earth human, can I choose my entrance?"

"Son, history is a sealed book, a closed canon, if you will, and always has been. You've already been an Earth human, you just don't remember it, because I deleted that part of your memory for your own good. So we're not in a position to change anything."

"But if anyone could change it, you could."

"Some things are beyond my control, son, and you of all people should know that. Do the words 'black plague' ring a bell for you?"

"I get it. Also, blow-flies, shingles virus, and Breitbart. But I'm asking only for a change in method, not in intent."

"Talk to me."

"Having watched the History Channel, I know that gods have descended on the planet in numerous ways. A swan comes to mind, for example, in that kinky commercial-free Leda episode. And when Zeus mated with Europa -- "

"That one is a lot of bull, but I get your point. So, just for the sake of argument, how would you like to enter?"

"Dad, it's mainly how I don't want to enter. I don't want to enter as an infant, whether my mother is a virgin or not."

"Granted, being a human baby is very trying, very stressful, but that's part of the plan. Even though you're a god (you're actually me, but that's a story that took centuries to develop, and we haven't watched that episode yet), you are going to experience what will be called 'embodied solidarity.' You will suffer all that humans suffer, beginning with the terror of the birth canal, a colicky stomach, diaper rash, teething and weaning." 

"I'm not afraid of that. I will do anything for your creatures, even though some of them are pretty sick -- either that or Netflix detective series are products of a truly twisted imagination. Like when they found that one guy's intestines -- "

"That's enough, son. I saw the episode. In fact, some humans are serial killers, arsonists, pimps, CEOs -- they're not perfect by any means, just forgiven. Now what's your point."

"Wait a second. How do they get forgiven?"

"We'll talk about it later, son. Make your point, let's go."

"It's that Friday thing that will come later."

"Okay, I see. I knew we would have to have 'the talk' some day. Man. How do I explain the doctrine of Atonement in a nonthreatening way? Hmm. Maybe I should begin with the story of Abraham and Isaac."

"God, no! No! Anything but that. That is undoubtedly the most terrifying of all the stories."

"Uh, hmm, clearly you haven't heard them all yet. Let's put off the Atonement discussion for now."

"I have this premonition, or maybe it's a postmoniton, in which I picture huge crowds in a violent frenzy, I hear their cries of desperation. a veritable stampede for justice, their needy arms outstretched, faces contorted, the ripping of the veil, . . . oh God, the humanity, your beloved creatures, and somehow, I can feel it, it's my fault, I'm to blame, something about being born, being a baby. Please let me find another way!"

"My beloved son, you are far too young to start worrying about Good Friday, even if it has already happened."

"Dad it's not that Friday . . . not Good Friday -- that doesn't sound so bad, whatever it is -- the other one, it's a color, it's -- " 

"Oh my God! Black Friday! How did you find about that? That's disgusting! I'm sure I hid that story between my Divine Mattresses!"

"It's because I was born, isn't it? Well, I never asked to be born! Find another way!"

"Well, uh, we'll uh, we'll talk about it. Look at it this way: Those masses are just trying to show their love for you by buying things for their friends and family. You gave them a gift, and now they are giving to others. What looks like vulgar, irresponsible, violent and sometimes deadly mob behavior, is really a kind of communion, your spirit (and mine, too, I guess) moving people to acts of generosity and kindness. So, yeah. Think about it like that."

"Whatever. You never listen to me when I need you! I'm going to my room to watch the fishing channel!"

"Fine. But could you turn off one of the stars while you're up? Earth humans won't notice it's gone for a few light years anyway."


[Dad shakes his head knowingly.] "Kids (yesterday) today (and tomorrow)!"