A moment or two ago, I was hunkered down in an old Chevy van with two women I admired but didn’t know well. We were finessing undercover maneuvers to abolish some unfair hiring practices. And in the fragile and fractional ways of justice, we succeeded. I didn’t know it at the time, but they were God.
Faith was the slender, quiet one. A shaman. With the help of heavenly beings, she planned her own starvation and left for higher ground. Grace was outspoken. Irrepressible. She had a breast removed as a token of her love. “Statistically, I’m stepping up so seven other women don’t have to do this,” she joked, framing it as a willing sacrifice rather than a curse. These are the ways of the cross as I understand it.
But there is so little I understand.
The drivers of the machines of destruction let their engines idle when they’re not full throttle. I despise this ignorant, highly polluting practice. They are overweight and complacent; their masters are neither. Humans now move more carbon each year than Nature, even when earthquakes and floods are factored in.
Game on, humans. I think to myself as if I were God. You won’t win this one.
“Excuse me.” God emerges from the paralyzing fog of nostalgia and dismay, eyebrows knit downward. “I’d like a word with you, young lady.” Looks like he’s going to grab my arm and drag me somewhere out of sight for a scolding.
“Well, I’d like a word with you, too,” I answer, knitting my eyebrows to match his.
“Word,” he says.
“Word,” I answer.
Fed by riotous tributaries of living words, the clear lake of infinity pools up at my feet. I strip off armor, shelter, clothing, and body; I shed ideas, hopes, fears, longings, and memories. I dip everything in the sacred water, hang it all up to dry, and jump in.
But I’m cold and uncertain. I have no idea if I should try to swim in my condition.
“And what condition might that be?” God asks, floating by on his back. For some reason, this makes me think of Kenny Rogers and the First Edition.
“Decrepit,” I say. I had been filled with self-pity, but something about that song makes me smile. God shakes his head and points at the shoreline where there are rows and rows of old Chevy vans. And so many smiling people.