You can buy a sign like this for less than $300.00. $299.00, to be precise. There’s an old joke, not too old because it’s as young as computers, but old if you’re old and sick of computers and desperate for an old preacher joke. The joke goes something something computer programming contest in heaven, Jesus vs. Satan, they both furiously program and right when the time is almost run out, the power goes off. The power comes back on, Jesus reboots and finishes his programming and Satan is furious. His work is gone. “What?!! All my work is gone because the power went out. I was almost done!! It’s not fair!!” And the punch line as Jesus turns on his beautifully running, now completed computer program: “Jesus Saves.”
Today in my daydreams I have added an accoutrement to my bunker. Over the bunker door, I have an imaginary Deon sign. Which is not as bright as a neon sign because who wants to attract that kind of attention? I guess Jesus does, because that sign is bright. All my readers would be invited to the bunker for my Friday night bash. You know how I’d run that: Bring your own basher, z-whacker, club, shillelagh, nightstick, bludgeon, or quarter staff. And bring a bottle of your favorite refreshment. Because if hundreds of people show up and they’re all thirsty and water just won’t do, Mrs. M will be really angry if I go to the liquor store and just buy up the place. Because Mrs M is trying to be more like Jesus.
She’s trying to save.
The other impediment to my 4 day Independence Day bash is that we’ll be going out of town to retrieve our little darlings, orphans, hooligans, spoiled brats, or teenagers. Teenagers mean, for now, an extra car so far, extra insurance bills, extra layout for their clothes, activities, etc., and have you seen kids EAT?! I remember being described as a human vacuum cleaner, as long as it was food. I’d love to save. But I can’t. I DO care about the kids, so I spent it on them. Not to mention, I like to eat still, even though I have long outgrown the teen years. Thank God. It’s bad enough to be broke and married and depressed. If I were broke, hormonal, pimpled, and single again, I would be an even bigger complete disaster.
I can’t be like Jesus. I want to be, but to be more like Jesus I’ll need one of two things: 1) Less expense, so I can live within my budget and still save for retirement, or the kids’ inheritance, or whatever, or, 2) More income, so I can eat something besides leftovers and rice and ramen noodles. Wait. There’s a third option. If all my friends could come to the bunker and bring their own bottle and one extra bottle and $2, I could have, umm…
…$4. Or maybe $6 or $8. Maybe. Depends if they all show up. And if they all kick in. And if they all bring a friend of theirs who can kick in. That math made me disappointed. Not in my friends, but in their potential to help me out. But my friends, like me, are broke, and can’t save. Which suggests I need friends like Jesus, who already save. But I like my friends. They aren’t all pretentious and pious. They’re real. Which is probably why I have only a very few.
I reflected on the comments from my last bitch-fest. And it occurred to me, if I had cash I’d have lots of “friends.” Yup, I said “friends.” “Friends” like you because of what they can get. Friends like you and don’t expect anything. “Friends” are happy as long as you’re happy and then disappear when your taps are dry. Friends stick by you no matter what.
I’ve probably got two. And
Assuming one of you isn’t a drunken hallucination. I’m not drinking. I can’t afford it.
For those of you who want to be a “friend,” when I get the cash flow I’m planning for, I planned out what to do. The bunker door is already locked in preparation. But for those of you who are really friends, the Deon sign is lit up, and the door will open just for you. The bunker will look the same, because my heart won’t change when I get the cash.
Come on in.
So I’m already a little like Jesus. Or maybe like Dorothy the Dinosaur. Yeah, I’m reminiscing about the kids’ childhoods. Dorothy was from “The Wiggles.”
“It’s my party, and you’re all invited.” If you’re my real friends.
In that way, I am like Jesus. He says that if you’re his friend, he’ll throw open the gates of heaven to welcome you, just like you were a part of the family. But if you’re just a “friend,” you won’t get in.
Jesus told Nicodemus in the gospel of John, “God loved the world so much he sent his one and only son, (himself, Jesus implies), that whoever believes in him will have eternal life.” Not “life,” the plastic that evaporates like a dead body or a dry cash flow. The real thing. I’m waiting excitedly for a good eternity and I hope all my friends are there. This temporary thing sucks.
I don’t hold the keys to heaven, but I know the guy who does. And I hope you’ll all be there. Organized religion, even Christendom, including Catholicism, doesn’t hold the keys. They tell us traditionally who made it into heaven and who didn’t. And I don’t necessarily agree with the official church positions on certain things. I also don’t agree with the faddish, popular churches positions, which may be why I’m not a pastor earning $400K a year.
A friend of mine asked me if I thought Judas was in hell, like all the church traditions seem to hold tightly to. I said I’d think about it, because he was thinking about it. And I decided, I think Judas repented of his sin. Therefore, as a repentant sinner, if I get into heaven for my faith in Jesus, so does Judas. I think we all have a shot, but we have to put our hearts in the right place. Not living in guilt about our sin, but honest about it. Understanding that Jesus is the one who can forgive, no one else. Honest to Jesus, Honest to God, about our sin. And trusting that Jesus will forgive us. Jesus saves.
I so hope you’ll be there. Not just at the bunker door to join my temporary pity party. But with me and Jesus in eternity. If you’re not sure how to join the party, let me know, I’ve kind of got the hookup. Because,