IF YOU DON’T GO TO GOD’S HOUSE NOW,
WHY WOULD HE LET YOU INTO HIS HOME LATER?
“Maybe because his house smells like old diapers and grape juice,” I said to my Someone as we walked by. “Besides, my house is cooler. He should just come to my house.”
The church sign up the street from our friends’ house where we are parking in Western North Carolina took a dramatic downturn since we’d arrived two weeks ago. We pass it every morning when we walk our dog– sometimes twice. It seemed to be the first effort made since Easter.
“What was wrong with ‘No Bunny Loves You Like Jesus!’?” I pressed.
“Now that was a winner,” my Someone affirmed.
“I just don’t think that tactic works on me, anymore,” I said.
“The one that bullies me to do something right-now-on-my-terms-or-you-get-nothing-at-all tactic.”
We tried out different scenarios.
“If you don’t eat this dinner I made you right now, I will never make you dinner again!” I yelled.
“If you don’t come play with me today, I am never ever going to ask you to play again!” my Someone yelled.
We started down the hill. It didn’t match up with the God Of Second Chances. It matched up more closely to an abusive parent. Ultimatums are not the work of the angels, it seems. They are the work of a kid who feels upset that no one is playing with him. They are the work of a bruised group of people who need to be right– just this once. They are the work of people who don’t seem to feel particularly loved– or at least don’t seem very secure about it. I’m not all that interested in that House of God. It sounds a little too decrepit with a vague odor of cat pee to be able to host me and all my pals. It sounds like a club I never asked to join– but it’s sold to me like the only club I’ll need to look good on my celestial college application.
The problem, it seems, is that the sign was created not for passer-byers to feel welcome, but rather for the inhabitants to feel safe. Inhabitants that can’t quite get it through their heads that No Bunny Loves Them Like Jesus.