“You know,” he said, as he sat in the old wooden rocker, watching the fire. “People talk about the perseverance of the Saints as if it’s a good thing. I’m not so sure it is.” The old man stared at the flames as they danced around the logs. “I mean, sure. ‘Once saved always saved,’ and all that jazz, but wouldn’t it be better if we could lose our salvation?”
“How are we even certain of our salvation in the first place, Jim? We’re told that good fruit comes from good trees, but then at other times we’re told that all the trees are rotten, and only one thing can rid the rot. Where’s that magical tipping point?” Jim didn’t answer.
“‘Confess with your mouth and believe in your heart,’ Jim! That’s what they used to say. They also told me that I couldn’t do anything. ‘Not by works, old boy.’ ‘God is love, son;’ that’s why He burns the rotten trees that couldn’t grow anew. I mean, you can’t allow the infection to fester. What about when God plants the trees, Jim? What then? What if the infection is sown by the Doctor? The Doctor sure doesn’t like to see His patients suffer. That much is clear. What Doctor would? At what point do the sick become the condemned, though? I just don’t know, Jim.” Jim just sat there.
A fiery avalanche in miniature tumbled into the ashes. Sparks cartwheeled and floated, seemingly of their own volition. The air expanded and exploded, and Jim just sat there.
“I really want to believe in a loving God, you know? I can’t believe that there is no God. Sure, perhaps our idea of God is wrong. I could be a deist, but then there’s all those stories. God is love. Jesus loves the little children. He healed that woman who bled; He deigned to touch the lepers. Love your enemies and, bless those who curse you. The peace that would result from such an attitude, Jim! But I suppose that forgiveness requires wrongs, and wrongs require a Right. Malice needs an object, Jim. How do we get around that?” Jim looked over for a minute, but he didn’t say.
“An all-powerful God is a terrible idea, Jim. A loving, all-powerful God is a thing of beauty. A just, loving, all-powerful God is what they posit, Jim. The justice supersedes our idea of love! God’s justice requires Him to destroy evil, and we are evil! I didn’t want to be evil, though, Jim. I didn’t have a choice in the matter. I want to be saved; who doesn’t? I want to do good; only the truly sick don’t want that. Only those in need of a Doctor, Jim, not a Binary Judge. Why would the Doctor-Judge make His patients his defendants, and then try them before treating them? Jim, I don’t mean to be blasphemous, but the idea of a loving Father does not mesh with the idea of a fickle King who casts his subjects into a fire. The judgement is always the same. ‘You are sick. You shall die.’ How do we know when we’ve won the cosmic lottery, Jim? Do we want to?” Jim stood up and began to pace.
“Come on Jim. Let’s go for a walk.”
Jim wagged his tail.
Read the rest of this entry »
There once was a dog, who lived near a bog, and wondered his life away.
Never he thought, of the good in this life, and often he went far astray.
One day he read, of a new kind of bread, that made one as happy as Ghandi.
He went to the store, and said “give me more!” and then bought a copy of Blondie.
Of course the comics, for this poem are, quite in a way, nugatory.
What really we’re worried, about is the dog, and the way he continues this story.
Bad puns aside, and for comments less snide, we’ll continue this poem forthright.
I’ll tell you right now, forgetting the how, of what happened to Rawl Contryte.
You see, my good friend, I won’t even pretend, to tell of the glory he found.
The wonders, sensations, and great expectations that met with that night, our hound.
For there in the package, he bought at the store, that marvelous bread of lore.
Was a quaint silver wrapper, and nice shiny foil: within, a fantastic score.
He wriggled his nose, and thought of great prose, (much better than is written here.)
What is it he found, in that wrapper so quaint? I’ll tell you, just lend me your ear.
For there in his paws, (and some in his craws), he reveled in strawberry wonder.
For a love he held, and glory he smelled, in that pop tart he had burst asunder.
So you see here my friend, you’ve just heard tell, of a canine that once was quite down.
But a magnificent treat, soon had he to eat, and all happiness therein he found.
~ Xanthus Kidd