2017 05 07
After sitting in church for several hours,
listening to the preacher on stage talk
about Jesus as a supernatural god
who came to Earth as a beautiful man
who loves every person in the whole world,
Angela stands and asks where he is now,
so when the preacher exclaims with loud voice,
while pointing upward, that King Jesus dwells
in Heaven where he will take us all soon,
if we accept him as our lord and savior,
she runs outside and looks up at the sky.
Shading eyes under brim of her white hat,
Angela scans the sky looking for signs
that Jesus is watching her from his throne.
"Where are you, Jesus, sitting up in Heaven?
I read stories about Jesus in the Bible,
I see paintings of Jesus on the walls,
and the preacher says Jesus lives in Heaven,
but when I look up at the shining sky
I see nothing but vast blue emptiness."
Young girl in white dress, lace gloves, and white hat,
who clutches small white Bible in her hands,
walks away from the church by busy road
and climbs high green hill toward lone willow tree,
following gleam of sunlight through its leaves.
"I imagine Jesus in my mind, tall,
big green eyes, long brown hair curled on his shoulders,
wearing long white robe, gold crown on his head,
and both arms open wide to embrace me,
but I have never seen Jesus in the flesh.
I would call to you, Jesus, and ask you
to come down from Heaven on bright rainbow,
and stand before me in body of light
so I can see that you are real in person,
but I suspect you will never appear.
I know the preacher says that you are God,
by which he means that you are everywhere,
surrounding us in the air and the dirt,
even claiming you are inside my body,
and thus the pulsing energy of atoms
that compose this body I call myself.
However, if Jesus is God, and God
is everywhere, why do they picture Jesus
as a tall white bearded man with long hair?
I think, Jesus, you really were a man
who walked this Earth two thousand years ago."
Angela laughs while staring at the sky.
"Maybe you were alive once, long ago,
over two thousand years ago, they say,
but you must be dead now, gone from this world,
and nothing more than a doll in our minds
that people conjure through stories with words
to beam the image of your body clear
in our minds, so we think you are still real.
How strange they all think he is still alive,
believing this story their parents tell
since they were little children like me now,
and never stopped to think that he is dead
and nothing more than idol in our mind
that lies preserved in words of ancient stories,
and only springs alive when people read
those stories, deceived to think he is real.
I am real now, alive with flesh and blood,
awake and breathing the air that swirls thick
around the spinning world, aching for love,
but they all stand in that building each week
and sing about some man who is long dead.
They all worship nothing more than an idol
of Jesus, a fantasy that exists
nowhere but inside the dream of their minds."
Angela stares at the vast empty sky,
clasping the sides of her head with both hands,
and laughs at the absurdity she feels.
Lying on grass under the willow tree,
Angela smiles with joy that floods her heart,
and watches birds flutter wings as they mate.
"While lying here alone under empty sky,
I see true vision of this changing world,
how atoms interact to generate
living creatures with envisioning minds
who worship mortal human beings like Jesus
because they taught us how to live through love.
People attend church on Sunday each week
because they must rejuvenate with prayer
idol of Jesus glowing in their minds,
otherwise that idol will disappear,
and they will feel lost without guiding light
in winding maze of this meaningless world.
Any belief that must be kept alive
through constant prayer and sermons about faith
is nothing but illusion based on lies.
Allowing illusion to dissipate
from my mind, I will base meaning of life
on treating other people with respect,
because there is nothing beyond this life.
I will base the performance of my life
on generous interaction of exchange
with living people in drama of hope.
We are all hungry and we need to eat
to live, so we work together in groups
to grow food and celebrate life with feasts,
singing and dancing in the hall of stories."
Skipping back to the church by busy road,
Angela strides inside to join her family,
then claps her hands and sways in harmony
with the congregation while they sing hymns
about the man who taught us all to love.