Saturday, June 5, 2004


Struggling with a recalcitrant spreadsheet, I grumbled a few choice words under my breath. A perky head, attached to an equally nosy body, floated its way into my cubicle. “You know,” murmured the head as it slurped its decaf, “Jesus loves you.”

“Jesus?!” I squawked, spooking the head and spilling its coffee. “Thanks for sharing. But right now I could really use somebody who knows Excel.”

“It doesn’t matter,” the head continued its catatonic monotone, “None of it matters. Jesus loves everyone.” The hand attached to the head put the dripping coffee cup on my desk and wiped itself on the head’s pants. Apparently Jesus takes his coffee very hot.

“If Jesus loves us so much, how come he let you get burned by your coffee? How come he didn’t say ‘Yo, don’t go near that chick with the spreadsheet or she’ll startle you and you’ll burn your hand?’” As the words left my lips, I realized my mistake. The head perked up, all ready with a canned reply. I’m sure they teach this comebacker in “Born Again 101.”

The head beamed, “Jesus sent me here to save you. It is God’s will.” I began to wonder how the head had gotten past security.

“I think Jesus would have wanted you to use a coaster.” I was starting to get the hang of this game – hang an aura on your head, and you get to tell other people what Jesus wants them to do. Sorta like “Simon Says,” only with a Super-duper holy guy calling the shots and eternity in hell waiting for you if you screwed up. I assumed the holy melancholy and intoned, “And Jesus would love you more if you and your holy mocha got the hell out of my office.”

It was soon evident that this couldn’t be a two-way game. Only one of us could claim to broadcast the Jesus channel. The other would have to settle in as blind-faith patsy. But I was confident that my Jesus could kick his Jesus’s butt.

“So, you say you know JC,” I sidled up to the head, as much as you can sidle up to a head. “How long have you known him?” First shot fired right across his bow.

“Since May 4th,1998.”

“Well, I was born knowing Jesus,” I strutted, “And after all this time, he’s never once mentioned you.”

The head bobbled a bit, then shot back, “To truly know something, one must first distance oneself from it to gain perspective. Only then can one truly and knowingly embrace it.”

“Fair enough,” I conceded. “Ecclesiastes?”

“Fortune cookie,” he replied. “Look, I’d love to stay here and chat, but my boss will have my head if I don’t finish my report tonight. And I need to get something on this burn.”

“Nothing else matters,” I smiled. “Because Jesus loves you. And I do believe the burn was God's will.”

Head hung low, he sighed. “I’d appreciate it if you don’t mention this conversation to anyone. I’m supposed to attempt a few converts a day. If I fail, I fail. But I don’t need to get my butt handed to me like this.” He hesitated at the door. “Your the third column, 5th row, your macro is missing a paren.” With that he was gone.

A bright light shone upon my monitor, my rows and columns flowed in quiet exuberation, and the left and right lobes of my brain let loose great waves of relief as the truth revealed itself. “Thank God.”

No comments: