I’ve always wondered what a conversation with God would be like. Being a Christian I view God in a holy, reverent, respectful and fearful image, that being said I also believe God is love, grace, forgiveness, wisdom and everything else that is good and just. Along with that is the “paternal” side of my God who views me as his child, worthy of saving and instinctively curious about “things”. I suspect that when I finally do meet our Creator that I’ll just be “happy to be there” and be overwhelmed by Him and His Creation that all of my human curiosity will be erased by the granduer of it all. Anyway, I came up with this story a couple of months ago and held on to it until now. I think Easter is a good time for dialogue and self examination of your relationship with God, with that I give to you…
a conversation with God
I was tired…in a literal “dead sleep”. I didn’t even remember going to bed, but there I was…looking down from the ceiling at a sleeping ‘me’. I’d never seen myself sleeping before and the only thing bothering me more about the whole deal, besides seeing myself drool on the pillow, was I was looking down from the ceiling at me! Holy cow! Was I dreaming or dead?! Then my perspective changed in a heartbeat, as I was no longer in our home but…at the entrance to Heaven. “I liked the drooling Richard better!!” was my first thought, but then took a look around at my surroundings. Eternally bright light and (I’m dead serious here) the nicest place I’ve ever seen. It was all that I’ve heard about and more, with lot’s of singing-thousands upon thousands of voices all singing the best gospel songs that I’ve ever heard, but no visible choir singing. Just me, and the light. Incredibly blinding light. Let’s just say that I was in over my head and knew it. But why was I here? I hadn’t remembered dying (cripes, did I die and not even know it?! This is so like me to DO something and not remember doing it. Man is my wife gonna be mad if I died in bed and she has to buy a new mattress and box springs! Or did I get shot in an armed robbery? Good luck getting me to fill out those workman’s comp forms! HA!)
Anyway, I noticed a terrific smell…the smell of frying bacon! Mmmm…bacon. Then I felt a WONDERFUL PRESENCE. Warm, luminescent, glowing, and HOLY, like being submerged in a warm ocean of love that penetrates to your core. Best feeling, EVER. I knew I was in His presence, the presence of God
Rich- God…is that you?
Rich- before I look at you and get struck dead, is there anything I should do first?
God- don’t concern yourself with being ‘dead’. I wouldn’t bring you up here just to kill you. I’d like a word with you.
Rich- can I look up?
God- sure, you won’t see Me. I’m too holy for you to perceive just yet.
Rich- what do you mean…”just yet”?
God- I’m sending you back to earth when I’m done talking.
God- you have questions that you’d like to ask.
Rich- yes Lord. They’re not conventional questions…per say.
God- The smell of frying bacon in Heaven?
Rich- that’s one of them. The Jews and Muslims consider pork unclean.
God- they got that wrong. Just look at the pig. I created the perfect “meal-animal ‘ in a pig. Short, compact, tender, fast growing, procreates quickly, eats anything. Too stinky to keep as a pet, and no fur to make it look “cuddly.” Much smaller than cattle, it’s great BBQ’ed, and you can use their hide to make footballs. Breakfast ain’t breakfast without bacon.
Rich- Wow…you like BBQ?
God- Richard…mankind was created in My image…I love BBQ.
Rich- I never thought of you enjoying food.
God- I don’t need it-but it’s something that I use to relate to my children.
Rich- like the bread and wine of Communion?
Rich- did you ever consider beer & BBQ?
God- no…bread and wine is easier for churches and no one can argue about which “sauce” they like their BBQ communion with. Sweet, smokey, hot, tangy…you get the idea. And beer…well…wine was the drink of choice during Jesus time on earth.
Rich- yes sir…that would spark arguments for sure.
God- you argue enough down there.
Rich- yes sir.
God- I’d like you to stop with the fighting and gossiping. Understand?
Rich- sure, but I don’t fight and gossip so much any more.
God- are you sure about that? What about your daughters? You’re co-workers?
Rich- my girls? Lord, I’m just instructing them to do right.
God- not all of the time you’re not. Your bad day at work gets taken home in your heart and unleashed onto your family.
Rich- okay, I can buy that, but I don’t gossip God. It’s not gossip if it’s true, right?
God- does it build up My Kingdom? Does it lift others up to Me? Are you a reflection of Christ?
God- Are you?
Rich- No God. I’m not. I see what you mean.
God- Everyone does, eventually.
Rich- My life is hard Lord. I know others have it much more difficult. What am I supposed to do? I fall short of Your Glory everyday, early in the day.
God- know that I’m always with you, loving you. At times carrying you.
Rich- all the time?
Rich- in good and bad? ‘Cuz I’m mostly bad, by Your standards.
God- know that I’m with all of my children, in good and bad times. In sickness and health. In happiness and sorrow.
Rich- but why the bad, sickness, death and sorrow? You’re the Creator of the Universe. You created all of the galaxies, the oceans, all the grains of sand, the stars, the wind, the mountains, snow, rain, humans…Your children. Why do we have to go through such things as war, famine, disease, abuse, addiction, violence, loneliness, etc?
God- I could just say “trust me” and that should be enough. I don’t answer to man, understand, he answers to Me. I’m sovereign. That being said, Earth was once perfect, man ruined it with his disobedience. Many things are just a result of mankinds poor decisions and Me letting things take the course that I’ve designed to work towards My plan. My Creation will work towards My design, not what mankind thinks it should be.
Rich- so…I still don’t get it…I do, but I don’t. Cancer? That’s whose fault?
God- Man-kinds. I’m faultless, remember? You were once perfect, but no more. Smoking and poor diet don’t help matters.
Rich- so we just live with the hand that’s been dealt to us?
God- I made you to worship and serve Me. I made you mortal; you’re not supposed to live forever on earth. Trust me, you’ll love it up here.
Rich- I trust you, God. I mean…I have faith in you.
God- Good. You’ll need it.
Rich- Oh now com’ on…what’s that supposed to mean? Is something bad going to happen to me?!
God- I blessed you with three daughters, Richard. Need I say more?
Rich- No Lord. I thank you for them. Any chance of them not being so sassy & stubborn?
God- they got some of that from their mother’s side.
Rich- I knew it!
God- They got the sassiness from you.
Rich- Ouch! You’ve got great comedic timing Lord.
God- I should, I created it.
Rich- why are there so many churches claiming to be “the way” to You?
God- it helps different folks find Me in the different voices & customs of their different churches. I love all of My children, even My lost children…your brothers and sisters. They need to hear that I still love them. You need to show them that love-reflected in the Image of Jesus. You know…feeding my Children physically and spiritually.
Rich- I’m not real good at that kind of stuff, Lord.
God- I gave each of you the ability and means to serve Me in your own capacity.
Rich- Yes sir. Can I ask a couplea more questions God?
God- Yes. The answers to your questions are: no. not yet. no. yes. 1970, and no, that wasn’t a Bigfoot outside of your tent in 1975.
Rich- What was that then?! A bear!?
God- Your brother Brian.
God- Yes…Brian. He tripped over the fire pit on the way to the outhouse.
God- anyway…It’s time for you to go.
Rich- go?…where…I really like it here. I mean, LOVE it here with you Lord!
Rich- and do what?
God- tell others about Me. I wasn’t kidding around. I AM COMING BACK. Everyone will be HELD ACCOUNTABLE.
Rich- Yes sir!
God- Also tell them I love them, about Jesus, about the grace and unconditional love I have for them. You know, the “do unto others” scripture lesson, the Gospels. About how everyone has been given gifts and talents to serve Me, through serving others in My name.
Rich- That’s a lifetime of work…er, service Lord.
God- Yes, that’s why you need to leave now.
Rich- and will you be guiding me?
God- yes…I’m with you all, remember? Just pray and listen.
Rich- I’m no good at either of those God.
God- You just got better at both.
Rich- Well…yeah…meeting You will do that to a guy!
God- See you soon Richard.
Rich- Lord! Wait, where are you going?
God- The Episcopalians have a BBQ joint just north of purgatory that’s excellent.
Rich- So there is a purgatory?
God- just for the Catholics.
Rich- why just the Catholics?
God- They prefer it. Guilt-ridden Catholics have prayed for centuries for it, so I gave it to them, out of love.
Rich- how long are they in there?
God- fifteen minutes.
Rich- that’s not very long.
God- it is when you’re not with Me.
God- anyway…the Episcopalians are terrific cooks. They have the best potato salad. I don’t know what they put in it, but it’s wonderful. Well, honestly, I do know what they put in it. I’m God. Paprika, quarter teaspoon for every quart of salad. It puts just a little extra “zing” in it, ya know?
Rich- I’ll take your word on it God.
God- That’s a good start. Keep your faith and focus on Me.
That’s when I woke up, the alarm clock hadn’t gone off yet. I was still alive and Connie wouldn’t have to buy a new mattress and box spring after all. I had work to do, the Gospel to share and last but not least, some paprika to buy.