It was on a Saturday morning, in his comfortable suburban home, just after making the kids pancakes and before driving his oldest son off to soccer practice, that Bob was first visited by God.
The visit came as suddenly and as unexpectedly as one might expect, as long as that individual–like Bob–had never been visited by God before.
It all began when Bob rose from the breakfast table and nearly tripped on a pile of toys that his kids had left piled up next to his chair.
As he struggled to regain his balance and to refrain from the very strong urge to curse out loud at his kids, Bob suddenly became aware of a glowing white light hovering on the opposite side of the kitchen.
This was not the microwave or an open refrigerator or even the sunlight glinting in off the back deck. This light was ethereal, transcendent, warm and all-encompassing.
Bob suddenly felt a sense of peace and self assurance, like everything he had been struggling against for so long was about to come to an end.
A voice came shimmering out of the white light. It was as smooth and sonorous as one might expect from the Almighty.
“Bob,” it said. “This is your Father.” The voice hesitated for a second. “Well, not your Father in the biological sense. I mean, technically, yes, since all men were created in my image one could argue that you are my son in the grand genetic scheme of things. But in this context, I am speaking mostly in religious terms. You are my son like all children are my son”
Bob, his jaw still hanging wide open with the wonderment of being approached by the Almighty, nevertheless managed to raise a curious eyebrow as he listened to God fumble through the first sentence. Surely, the good Lord would have this whole speaking thing down by now, right?
But Bob knew that his place was not to question. “Yes, my Lord,” he responded. Bob wondered briefly if he should drop to one knee, but then he remembered that the kids had scattered toys all over the floor, and he didn’t want to sour his first meeting with his Holiness by dropping a curse word if he knelt on a Transformer.
“Bob, you have always believed in me, have you not?” God continued, clearly warming up to his speaking role.
“Of course,” Bob said. “Marie and I got married in the church, and all the kids are baptized. I know we don’t get to Mass every week, but we always go for Christmas and Easter. For sure.”
God snorted. “Ah yes, the twice a year plan. Very commendable. Well, I can’t say that I blame you. I’ve been to a few services myself and they do tend to say the same things over and over again. And what’s with that incense anyway?”
Bob’s faced flushed bright red. Was God testing him? Those words sounded awfully familiar. In fact, he had probably said similar things to Marie on many occasions. Had the Good Lord been listening in to their private conversations? That hardly seemed fair, even if God was the all-knowing and all-seeing.
Bob began cautiously. “If this is about me not going to church enough, then I can change. I mean, I will change. I want to change.”
The white light that was God flashed brightly in the kitchen. “Did you really think that I would come all the way down here just to tell you to go to church more? Don’t you think I have more important things to do? You realize that there are like 6 billion people on the earth and each of them is praying to me every day? There are illnesses to cure, disasters to prevent, tragedies to avert, television shows to save from cancellation, magazine subscriptions to renew. My work is never done.”
Bob spluttered out. “Of course not! I mean, I didn’t mean to presume anything, your Lordship. I am sure that your visit is of the utmost importance, and to assign only the most noble and sacred of duties. Forgive me of thinking of myself. It is only human frailty that blinds me to your larger purpose. Whatever it is you have in mind for me, I will carry it out with a full and rejoicing heart. What is it you command, my Lord?”
The light grew softer and to Bob’s untrained eye, it seemed that God was pleased. “My son,” he said. “I’d like you to start banging some black chicks every now and then. Just to keep it interesting, you know?”
With that, the light disappeared from the kitchen and Bob snapped to with a start, as if awakening from deep dream. He could suddenly hear the sounds of his busy household again. But his mind was racing. Did that really happen? Did God really visit him? Did God really want him to sleep with black women? If he did, would God say it like that?
Bob sighed. Five minutes ago, he was angry about toys on the floor and worried about getting to soccer practice on time. Now he had to figure out how to break this news to Marie without getting clubbed to death in his sleep.