Sunday, June 20, 2010

Divine Intervention Saves the Ohio Landscape

A few days ago an appalling statue of Jesus that some idiot church in Monroe, Ohio set up was struck by lightning and completely destroyed. It was the worst eyesore in the state, and, considering the state is Ohio, being the worst eyesore in the state is a hard distinction to achieve. The whole state is an eyesore. But with that statue gone, Ohio’s aesthetic appeal has been raised to a whole new plane.

Before Benjamin Franklin came along, people would have seen this as an instance of Divine Intervention. Franklin convinced people lightning is just a random electrical phenomenon, like old reruns of Seinfeld. But they are wrong. I was driving along I-75 when the statue was struck and I know.

Ohio is such a boring place that it is normal for people there to hear voices, but I am from Texas. I never heard any voices until that day. Then I heard the Voice of God.

“God here,” the Voice said.

“Oh, yes,” I said. “Nice to hear from you. My life has been so sucky lately I started wondering if You really existed.”

“Yes, I’m still here. The world disgusts me so much I just turn my back on it from time to time. Speaking of which, have you seen that statue in Ohio?”

There was only one He could be referring to. Ohio is not noted for art, unless you consider rusting factories and shuttered buildings where people used to work “art.”

“Are You referring to that thing on I-75 just north of Cincinnati where I happen to be driving, God?” I asked.

“I am. What do you think of it?”

I thought it was the most distasteful thing I had ever seen, and I had been all over Ohio, so that was going some. As a matter of fact, I was driving right past it at that moment as I said. But I was not about to second guess God.

“You first, God,” I said.

“I think it is the most distasteful thing I have ever seen,” said God.

I felt vindicated when I heard that.

“And I see everything. I am God, after all.”

“Yes.”

“It’s the ugliest thing I have seen in a hundred million years.”

“That long?” I asked. I did not want to be impertinent but I was surprised. “I thought the world was only five or six thousand years old,” I said.

“You don’t believe that Young Earth garbage, do you?”

“Well, I-“

“The Earth alone is five billion years old. I know. I created it.”

“Thank You for the correction.” I had always wondered about that. Now I know.

“And that statue is the ugliest thing I have seen in all that time.”

“It is supposed to be a statue of Jesus.” I said.

“It does not look anything like Him. It has a beard and two arms. That’s the only part they got right.”

I started to say something but I was intimidated. God spoke first.

“Whaddya say I zap the thing? Then I won’t have to look at it anymore.”

“I say go for it. I wish I could do it myself.”

“I really don’t need your permission,” said God. “I am God, you know.”

“I’m just saying we’re all behind you, God. Everybody will be happy to see it go except the idiots who put it up in the first place.”

“That’s it, then. That does it. Stand back.”

“Stand back?” I said. I did not know what He meant.

“WAY back,” said God.

I hammered down in my truck and got as far away from that statue as I could. Then ZAP! When one lightning bolt did not do the trick there was another. And another. It looked like the fourth of July and it was only June.

“Good God!” I said softly. The statue was no more. “Could you take out the church that offended us with that thing while You are at it?” I said. I could hope, after all.

No response. The audience was over. The church is still there. Whether anyone has nerve enough to go there after what happened is another question. But it is still there. At least the statue is gone. And that answers the question we have all been wondering about. Yes, there is a God after all.

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