He hasn't been around much, lately. On the rare occasions He pops in, He looks tired and sad. I don't like to mention it, because I would rather He view this place as a peculiar kind of sanctuary where He may simply rest and be Himself.
I can't help, it though, I worry, and so I speak up.
"You look tired and sad, JC. What's up?"
"I could say the same for you, dear Witch."
"Well, I'm human and have a whole mess of terribly human concerns. You, on the other hand, are half deity at least and shouldn't be worrying about mortal concerns."
"Well, I'm responsible for all of the wrong done in my name, or done and then repented. They say that's why I was nailed up by the Romans."
"And here I thought it was because you were considered a criminal."
"Is that why you welcome me?"
"Yeah, I always did like the bad boys." That gets a wan smile. "So, come on, spill it. You know whatever you tell me is between you, me, and The Blue Nowhere."
"You've seen what's going on in the world lately?"
"Well, a bit. I don't watch TV, take the paper or most magazines, and try to avoid all the anger and hatred bubbling up on the Internet, so I am not always exactly current."
"I wish I could avoid all of that, but the things people do in my name..." He falters, sighs, stares into the distance. "How is it so unclear, my word? When did I say to hate or hurt for my sake? When did I say I only loved a few souls who followed a very narrow and particular set of rules written by men hundreds of years after my death? Did I not say to love one another? Did I not say to forgive? Did I not encourage compassion and discourage judgment? Did I not say that what is done to the least is done to me? Did I not heal without asking who the afflicted loved, worshiped, or voted for? Did I not strive to help all who asked without demanding they qualify for my help?"
He is agitated, now, up and pacing in the room in my mind, the room that always smells faintly of incense and cinnamon and tea but never quite looks the same twice.
"JC, you can't help what people do. We're such ridiculous critters. Folks are afraid, and they turn fear into anger and anger into hatred, and they turn that hatred on anyone who makes them feel uncomfortable. You offer peace, but humans want more than forgiveness and peace. They want to feel stronger, better, right. Your Daddy laid down some crazy rules before he had you and mellowed, and some folks like those rules because those rules tell them who to judge, that it's okay to judge, that by following those rules they are better,more favored. Those weird, ridiculous rules that should have been negated by YOUR words and actions (what with them being the more recent and clearly sanctioned by your Pops) let people feel powerful. Those rules let people feel powerful and superior, and right now? Oh, JC, there's hunger and hurt and fear, so much fear, and people need something to hold onto."
"So why can't they hold onto each other?"
"Way less satisfying to hold out a hand and pull someone up than to stomp them down, I guess. The righteous can't stand the idea that anyone less righteous should be equal in your eyes, equal in your love."
"It doesn't have to be so."
"It isn't, always. Plenty of people all over the world acting in your name, and not in your name, are doing incalculable good. People feeding the hungry, healing the sick, striving to help those who need help without judgment or reserve. Lots of people who, even when they don't worship or even believe in you, embody the same ideals you were created to embody. Like you, they give unstintingly of themselves and seek nothing more in return than that those they help show the same love to others when they can."
"Why do you understand this? Why do they? How is it that so many who claim to be MY children have turned so far away from me?"
"Maybe because they ARE children, children in a world full of shadows and monsters, and they need to believe in a supernatural hero who can save them all from the ugliness because the realization that we, and we alone, can fix all this is too damned much for them."
"Pfft. Damned. Dammit. Jesusmotherfuckingchristonamotherfucking cracker!"
He grins. He can't help it. He knows I love him, even in my irreverence, even though I don't worship him or his father and don't hold myself to their printed standards. "But still, it's not as if I was unclear..."
"No, but self-reliance and accountability are difficult and unpleasant. We like the easy path. Judgment, disdain, superiority...they're so much easier."
"It hurts to know that people are considered less than, in my name...that they are denied their love, their freedom, basic human rights...because of me."
He needs a big old hug and I oblige. "Sweetie, they aren't doing it because of you, not really. They are doing it because of the illusion of you made by a church run by very human men (for the most part) who have very human desires to have power and control others and force the world to behave in a way that pleases them. If people who claim you could really know you, really follow your example, really understand what kind of pure, unadulterated joy and love you embody...they might burst into flames from it, or they might simply drop dead from the shame of who they've been and what they've done, or maybe...maybe...maybe they'd shake themselves a little and get right with you, reconcile themselves, move forward and be their Very Best Selves, do right by you.
I suspect, though, that as long as you keep showing up in MY dreams and nomming imaginary sweets (Snickerdoodles this time), talking to me, and not smiting me with lightning or plagues or whatever the going smite-y thing is, people will continue to be angry and smug and superior and all judg-y. Of course you'll forgive them, it's what you do,and of course they will continue on and wonder how come I get to blog about these things and all they have are troubled, restless dreams that tell them something is missing but they don't know what or why. And they aren't all bad, your people - I kind of like that new Pope of yours."
"Hmph. Look how he's marginalized by his own church and followers! I bet he knows how I feel, a little. Maybe I'll go see him later, bring him a Snickerdoodle. Pass me the cookies."
He doesn't want to talk about it any more. He's worn to the woof, disappointed, and as dispirited as a spirit can be. He'll keep striving, because he can't NOT, and he'll keep hoping, because he IS hope, and he'll keep haunting my dreams and asking for baked goods from time to time because even a Messsiah needs a break once in a while, and maybe I'll keep blogging about it and maybe it'll make a difference.
I hand him a bag of cookies to take with him. Sometimes one can bear up a little better when there are cookies. I hope the Pope like 'em.
Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!
"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One
For old quotes, look here.
For old quotes, look here.