Almost every day, God and I sit in a ratty blue recliner angled toward the window and sip beer. God expects me to hold still and listen. I try, but it seems nonsensical—an inefficient and unreasonable request.
Then I remind myself that efficiency isn’t the only road to success and not everything worthwhile is reasonable. The ability to reason is one ingredient in the soup that defines us, but it’s not the entire recipe. There’s sausage, kale, and wonderment. There’s an extravagance in creation that can’t be explained. Abstract thought and scientific inquiry may be the pinnacles of evolution, but pinnacles need foundations. Humans rationalize cruelty as readily as they eat that second donut.
“Working on some interesting similes and metaphors this morning, aren’t we?” God teases, sliding from chair to mirror to window to bird, sashaying to music I can barely hear.
“I’m thinking about foibles and do-overs,” I answer, happy that God seems loose and crazy today. “Could I have the last ten minutes back? I went down the wrong rabbit hole.”
“Nope,” God says. “Why do you even bother to ask? You know better.”
“No, I don’t,” I say, gleeful and untethered. “YOU know better.”
God winks and pulls me out of the chair. We do a four-pig jig creaking around the room in old bodies. We dance straight through the newly purple wall and fall, barriers breaking like bones.
I am blissfully unaware of dinosaurs, dodos, and all the hapless creatures currently facing extinction before they even have a name. They can all be Adam. They can all be Eve. I love them fiercely, but I can’t save them. I can’t even save myself (and truthfully, I don’t want to).
God’s reading glasses fly off while we’re cavorting. They shatter against the edge of a light green piece of granite I keep nearby for thermal mass, and small pieces fly everywhere. But no worries. The dangerous shards gather themselves into a coarse form of collective compassion, willing to return to the fire from whence they came. The fire from whence we all came. The fire to which we will all return.
“Sorry about your glasses,” I say. “I could read to you until they’re fixed if you’d like.”
“I’d like that very much,” God says.
“Do you mind if I start in the middle?” I ask. “I’ve already read the first chapters.”
“Not at all,” God says. “I suspect I know the plot.”
“I’m sure that’s true,” I say, oddly defensive. “But the descriptions are spectacular. And the details matter.”
“Yes, they do,” God agrees. “They really do.”