By William J. Furney
How’s it going?
From your vantage-point in the sky, or perhaps another dimension, since those barbaric Romans crucified you over 2,000 years ago, how have you been feeling about how things have developed over the millenia on your former home, Earth?
Do you think the humankind you so selflessly saved by being tortured on a cross has progressed and is becoming more like you: gracious, all-loving, the true embodiment of your father on this tiny and inconsequential planet in a nondescript galaxy of a handful of celestial objects?
Or do you reckon we’re in need of saving all over again? Have we gotten it terribly, drastically, horrifically wrong — not only murdering each other but destroying everything around us, including our beautiful world?
Anyway, what have you been up to all these long years? Do you still have long, messianic hair? I bet you do; it’s a great look. Are there barbers in heaven? Is your skin white or brown? In the Western world, you’re depicted with the former but you originated, via a seemingly implausible virgin birth, in the Middle East, which has lots more sun and, therefore, olive- or brown-skinned folk.
Do you get bored? Is eternity a major pain, stretching out before you like an elastic band that has no end to its elongation? Here on Earth, we have loads of questions! We’d love to hear from you. The Christians anyway; not so much the Muslims and other thought-factions.
Back when you were around, there weren’t many people around — but does it blow your mind that the human population has exploded in the last 50 years from almost to 3.7 billion to over 7.7 billion, and is forecast to keep on growing?
Is this not a humankind success story? We have been busy proliferating. It turns out we can’t keep our hands off each other (except when we’re throttling and killing each other).
No matter how many souls are now existing on Earth — where do the additional ones come from? Can you give us a hint? Is there some kind of galactic soul factory?
But, Christ, I’m afraid to say that we’re all in trouble. So much so that we’re desperate to get off this rock and to somewhere like Mars, if multibillionaire rocket-man Elon Musk gets his way (he’s South African, and now living in the United States, so he may be deluded). Will you be devastated? Will you have gone to all your trouble for nada? (Do you love Trump, btw, or are you repulsed by the MAGA man and glad he’s on the way out?)
It turns out that if we don’t become an interplanetary species, it may well be the end of us — and then, what would all your ancient troubles have been for? Do you have any advice at all about what we should do? Perhaps your dad can have a word with us, via whatever means would benefit the global population (prayer is probably not the best option; maybe a planetary PA announcement would be best, as it might wake us up).
Because it seems like we’re caught in a vicious, extremely negative cycle of hate and death and destruction: different God-beliefs can’t get on and attack and kill; we have little respect for animals and eat them at will, leading to untold cruelty and unnecessary death; and we don’t seem to have much respect for our home either, which, due to climate change, is in rapid decline. Is God terrifically upset that we have no care for his creation, only for the ways in which we can use the planet to make tons of cash?
You valiantly tried to save us, Jesus, but it may turn out that we’re a hopeless cause that cannot be saved. We are toxic, destructive and just cannot get along with each other.
Anyway, we can’t be loitering around on this planet forever, because in about 7.5 billion years, our lovely nuclear reactor in the sky (aka sun), whose benevolent light we all crave (sun holidays are a big thing), will run out of fuel and die, and in the process of fading away will expand enormously and engulf Earth, burning our spinning orb to a crisp and destroying our home — who came up with that design?! (And can you please speak to your dad about it, as we kinda like it here? (Mars so barren.))
It’s coming up to the anniversary of your birth, and if you don’t know, you’ll be pleased to hear that after all these years, we’re — the Christians among us, and many others who are not, but are envious of our traditions — still crazy about Christmas — the Mass, or Birth of Christ!
Slightly tragically, however, I’m afraid to report that the Christmastime celebrations in recent times have dissolved into something of a gluttonous, free-for-all extravaganza of wild abandon and excess. And many who can’t wait for this time of year and wish it could be Christmas every day are not religious at all and have no interest in you or your birth. It’s sad and shocking but nonetheless true.
Never mind the Big Bang — this year, our planet has been battling a Big Bug! You may have heard about it on the news. It came from those irreligious people in China (communists) — ones who were eating bats, of all things. Can you believe it? Not a turkey in sight, or even a vegan dish. I, myself, am vegan, dear lord, and I wondered if you might be too. Do you eat in your otherworldly realm, or exist on pure forms or energy or something? (And can you let us in on what happened before the Big Bang? Any clues would be terrific. We’re all kind of exhausted trying to figure out this unending cosmic puzzle for ourselves. Shouldn’t there at least be a guidebook, or online tutorial? Do you get the internet in heaven, and if so, what’s your connection speed — that of light?)
How is the Prophet Muhammad getting on up there? Are you all big friends? Do you gather around to celebrate Idul Fitri, Christmas and all the other Big Days? I bet you do.
It must be great.
But, meanwhile, we’re in so much bother down here. Apart from all our unending conflicts, including in your former home of the Middle East, with Jews and Muslims as each other’s throats, as per usual, we’d really appreciate it if you could send us a big Earthly gift to mark your birthday this year, and banish the vile novel coronavirus. Just beam down some kind of rona-busting bolt and we’ll all be happy. At least for a while — till we get back to killing each other again.
You won’t want to have gone to your crucifixion woes only for millions of people to have died from this weedy microorganism. And you’re so hardcore on the cross, dismissing that wine-laden sponge; if I’m ever crucified, that will be the FIRST thing I not only reach but scream out for. Kudos, though.
I’d like to ask you, Jesus: Did you rejoice when one of us — actually, a Jew, of whom you are King — worked out what gravity is, due to his General Theory of Relativity, and also managed to deduce that energy and mass are interchangeable, thanks to his e=mc2? Was that, really, a crowning achievement for humankind, in snaring the answers to the Big Questions and what reality actually is — instead of, say, fairytailes and pixies in the sky? (Speaking of Einstein’s most famous theory, what did you make of the deadly atom bomb, which was twice dropped on Japan, killing around 210,000 people?)
What did you and your dad make of the two world wars we’ve suffered through, with the loss of an estimated 115 million lives, including military and civilian casualties, Hitler’s persecution of the Jews and his mass concentration camps to purge anyone deemed unworthy; and of the Holocaust? And other mass genocides, like in Rwanda, Armenia and Cambodia, claiming many millions of lives.
Did you not hear? Perhaps you were busy elsewhere. Or do you not care?
Lot of us do, about us and you and your father and the ethereal holy spirit that makes you all a “holy trinity” that’s hard to fathom.
What did you all make of Charles Darwin’s working out that we didn’t, in fact, suddenly appear here but are part of a process of evolving creatures and descended from apes? What did your dad say about that bit in the bible about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden? Was that a mistake? How about a revision?
How are Mary and Joseph? (Your parents, in case, after all this time, you’ve forgotten.) What are they up to? Do they look back wistfully at those embryonic days in the sparse stable in Bethlehem? Your birthplace has been a war zone in recent times, between the Israeli Jews and Palestinian Muslims, both of whom cliam it as “theirs”. What would the Three Wise Men make of it — do you have any contact?
Do you all have a celebration at this time of year in heaven, and what does it look like? Do you have a tree? Lights? Do you have any time for “Father Christmas”, aka Santa Claus or St Nicholas (or just St Nick), or do you think El Gordo (The Fat One) is an impostor?
Do you believe in fairytales?
Do you have a great, big Christmas dinner and stuff yourself so much that you can hardly move and feel like you might explode? (Have you evolved to only eat vegan, therefore helping to slash all that suffering you died to ease?) And then have Christmas pudding, with lit brandy on top — and dig in for seconds, and maybe even thirds? And drink until you don’t know what’s going on or where you are or what it’s all about?
We’re so curious to know your thoughts. It has been a very long time! Is heaven all it’s cracked up to be? Do you ever have a brain-achingly boring afternoon when you just don’t know what to do with yourself? Are there tawdry, salacious affairs (and if so, among whom? Does God ever get tempted — and does she/he/it have the equivalent of a husband, wife, thing (us?) or, perhaps, a combination of all?)?
Do you really all love each and every one of us, made, as we are told, in your dad’s image? And is that not a bit egotistical anyway? I mean, I wouldn’t want BILLIONS of people looking like me. I’d be super-creeped-out, but that’s just me.
Are you all really all-seeing and pervasive and know everything we’re up to every second of every day? Because we have enough guilt as it is, so could do with a break, thanks.
What’s your plan for the (endless) future? Do you have any ambitions, apart from having saved humanity? Or do you feel like it’s all downhill from here? Is there really a hell, and is it packed? Are they able to make applications to get into heaven, if the poor souls have reformed?
What do you do all day? Bet you don’t even have days! Are we a pet project? Are you all getting bored? Has it failed? Do you have other projects, and if so, where and what are they about? Are you married and with kids? Do they do it (sex) up there? Are the streets linked with gold? Is it totally awesome and you never want to leave? Do you drink, smoke, take the old wacky-backy and totally trip? Or is it All Pious All the Time? You are, after all, Salvador del Mundo. (How’s Mother, er, Saint Teresa, and Pope Saint John Paul? How are they and all the other saints getting on? Do they have Big Fights, albeit in heavenly fashion?)
What’s the meaning of life? Are there multiverses? Is superstring theory the answer we’ve been searching for, reconciling general relativity and massive objects with teeny and strange quantum mechanics? Can you please give us a clue as to what dark energy and dark matter are, as we’re racing to find out if they make up the missing, huge chunk of the universe we’re in. Sadly, we’ve only been able to detect 5% of matter; and we call those two and so-far-elusive properties “dark” because we can’t see them, or at least our instruments can’t. You have to forgive us, as we’re quite simple — we also call the orgasmic birth of our universe the Big Bang.
We probably have billions of questions for you — because there’s billions of us lol!
Anyway, drop us a line and let’s know what you think. It would be great to hear from you. Unless you’re planning a Second Coming, that is, to sort us out, all over again.
Happy Birthday! (Even if, apparently, you were born in October.)
PS Don’t forget to write back! We now have email, WhatsApp and direct messaging on social media apps, so there’s no excuse 🙂 xx
- Title photograph, of a Nativity scene on sale in a Chinese shop, by William J. Furney.