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Monday, August 16, 2010

Post from beyond the grave.

It seemed a strange way to begin the afterlife. He was sitting in the dark, staring at a computer. He kind of thought the coffee would be better. Instead it had that nutty flavor it got when the coffee pot needed cleaning. He would have to throw that in the dishwasher more here in the New Life. He had only been reborn for a half an hour and he already had chores. Clean the coffee pot, shoo scavenger cat away from the recycling, the only semi-holy thing he'd done since rising from the dead was pray for a minute. He had wanted to do this right. He had wanted to dedicate this second life to God. He thought rising up from the dead should start in prayer and meditation like a monk in the lotus position upon a windswept seaside cliff, instead, he had said, "grace" over bad coffee.

Maybe being resurrected meant that he didn't have to force it. Was he closer to God now? That seemed a dangerous line of thought. People who thought they were closer to God seemed to him the type who could justify any fool thing they did and call it "blessed." Like medieval popes, since they were God's emissary, whatever they did was sanctioned. Down that path lay madness. God asked for humility. The Bible called it "fearing" God. Blithely assuming that he and the Big Guy had an understanding now didn't sound like "fearing."

This new life still included scrubbing pots, nocturnal nuisances and breaking wind, what was different? How was he different? The cursor stayed still for a long time after that question. To pass the time it blinked. This is how eternity would be marked, by a steadily blinking cursor next to a question mark. A great, black carpenter ant tried to skitter across the keyboard to remind him that this was not eternity. The forces of decay and destruction were still at work. He had been reborn only to die again some day. So what was this New Life? Again, what made it different from the old life?

The sky beyond the window began to lighten. Somewhere the Sun was rising. The scavenger cat came back and meowed for mercy. Soon he would have to stop writing and go do work that people actually paid him to do. Work that would need to be cleaned and maintained and even so, carpenter ants would eventually devour it. Only the intangible and invisible was eternal. To be seen and to be touched was to be able to be destroyed. Just ask Jesus.

What did Jesus do when he rose from the dead? He made his bed, folding the grave clothes and laying them neatly on the stone. He played peek-a-boo with his friends, serving and sharing meals and talked with them. Then, about a month later, he just flew away. He had just stuck around long enough to prove he lived, to be touched and to be seen and to say his piece and his peaces. Were they new words or did they just have added weight from being said by a formerly dead guy who now lived? Do the words of the resurrected have more impact or are they just more focused from a new point of view?

The writer guessed he could only write some words and find out.

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