A Taste From My New Book
It's 1971, and Christine Taylor has just died in a plane crash. In Chapter 9, she meets God for the first time.
I will post Chapter 10, tomorrow, and you will find out exactly how God feels about those that harm children. Enjoy....
“This …is…God’s house?”
“That’s right.” Harry Moss said, then knocked on the door as Christine stood behind him on the stone pathway.
The early morning air was cool and pleasant. Insects buzzed about the dewy grass on the closely trimmed lawn. Frogs croaked in the shadows and a friendly neighbor waved as he collected his newspaper. Christine stopped short, realizing who it was.
“Harry…is that Oskar Schindler - ”
“Hmm? Oh, yes. We go skeet shooting occasionally. Don’t get him started about saving the Jews, though. Goes on and on.”
God’s house wasn’t what she’d expected at all. A tiny summer cottage set on a rather large piece of shaded property. The hedges and flowerbeds were well-tended, the home was charming and cozy-looking, but she’d been picturing a mansion in her mind. The illusion was further shattered by the sounds coming from inside. Pots banging and children screaming at the top of their lungs wasn’t what one thought of at God’s front door.
What would God Himself be like?
She’d imagined an elderly father-figure with warm eyes, dressed in flowing white robes with a long beard. God would be stately and sophisticated - ancient, but enduring. A timeless rock of forgiveness.
The result, though….not so much.
The door swung open and a Swedish man appeared with a small girl clamped to his shoulders. Father God…the Father God - in the flesh, so to speak.
And although His eyes were a fetching blue with flakes of amber, crinkling with kindness and understanding - every single one of Christine’s expectations ground to a screeching halt.
“Oh, hello, Harry.”
“Good morning, Father God.”
“Come on in.” God held out a hand to Christine. “Good morning, young lady. Don’t mind the mess. Trying to get the kids off to school.”
As God shook her hand, Christine figured out what all the fuss was about. Worries fissured and cracked, falling away like brittle glass. Fears and perceived shortcomings were chased away like a wolf in the night. A warm, comfortable calm wrapped around her heart – snuggling her in the same way as a worn wool blanket. She felt worldly concerns flitter away as a massive seismic upheaval shifted her state of mind.
God loved her.
God had always loved her.
And He always would.
There was more as well…much, much more.
God’s love was infinite, without reservation…total. The universe couldn’t contain His love, it was simply that encompassing. Christine steadied herself, realizing with unexpected pleasure that God’s touch had just rocked her world…and that was no accident.
He had meant to.
Christine sighed - shaking hands with Father God beat sex any day of the week. And that was no mean feat.
But then…a question suddenly intruded into her mind without bidding…an uncomfortable question considering the vast reaches of God’s love.
Who had He pushed away, never to know what she was feeling? Who didn’t qualify for God’s epic forgiveness?
Christine was about to find out.
Christine and Harry followed God through the sparse living room, with bookcases overflowing with tomes - to the kitchen. A teen girl was cooking eggs and bacon at the stove while a young boy juiced oranges – with several smaller children running haywire around their legs.
An ancient Bang & Olufsen radio in a Bakelite cabinet played rock music softly from the counter. Ladybird books and toy Coorgi race cars were scattered across the floor. The house was, quite frankly, a mess.
The little Russian girl bolted to God’s back bit His ear as He tried in vain to swat her butt. She covered His eyes with her small hands, causing God to trip over a few misplaced toys.
“Irina! Behave yourself!”
This divine order, even though it came directly from God, had the opposite intended effect. Irina pummeled His head and bit playfully, shrieking with laughter.
Christine, thoroughly stunned, noticed that God had the strong hands of a sailor, and a full head of sandy blonde hair streaked with gray. He seemed to be around fifty or so, but still in very good shape - again, like a sailor. God appeared – at first glance - to be the exact opposite of mankind’s interpretation of the Holy Father. This would have been a big surprise under normal circumstances.
Circumstances were far from normal, however. Christine’s eyebrows shot up as a small boy of five zoomed into the kitchen like a heat-seeking missile and grabbed God’s leg.
“Yes, Gustav?” God said, still fending off Irina’s attack. “How can I help you today?”
“What’s a penis?”
“Where did you hear that word?”
“Bao Lin said it.”
God seemed flummoxed. “Err…that’s a…type of lizard only found in the tropics. Not to worry, young man. We don’t have any around here.”
“Okay.” Gustav seemed satisfied and ran off to relay the information.
“Medicine time!” The teen girl called out loudly from her place at the stove. Christine turned at the patter of feet.
Two Chinese girls, no more than four, tumbled into the room and forced God into a chair at the kitchen table.
Irina slid off God’s back and joined the children who were cooking. One of the Chinese girls had her sweater on backwards, mismatched socks and five ponytails pointing in all directions.
Christine still gave her credit for trying, laughing.
Apparently the routine was perfectly normal as one Chinese child fed God vitamins and the other doled out blood-pressure medicine. Irina helpfully supplied a glass of orange juice.
Father God frowned at one of the girls. “You’re not the boss of Me!”
The Asian child pushed in pills…then grinned broadly – revealing two missing front teeth - and stuck a gold smiley face to His hand.
The teen cooking bacon looked over at Christine. “That’s Bao Lin and Hui-ying. They make sure Father God gets His pills each morning. He wouldn’t take them otherwise.”
“They’re adorable.” Christine said.
“Oh, Hui-ying is far more than that. She has an eidetic memory and an IQ of around 240. There isn’t any possible way God could say no to her. Plus, He only gets a smiley face sticker if He behaves.”
Christine was still digesting the Chinese child’s intellect when Boa Lin held out a large, dark plastic pony to Christine for inspection. “My horsey!”
“Christine,” Harry said, “please do not ask the horse’s name.”
“What is your horse’s name?” Christine asked mischievously.
Bao Lin jumped up and down. “His name is Dicky! He’s big and black, and I like to ride him!”
For once, Christine didn’t know what to say.
God stood and shooed the kids. “Harry warned you. Why don’t you two help Me herd everyone outside so we can eat breakfast.”
The backyard was beyond gorgeous. A honey-colored limestone piazza overlooked the sea. Trees of every variety dotted the lawn - huge drooping willows, coconut palms, white oak trees, lemon eucalyptus, pittosporums, and Canary Island pines.
Pebble pathways led through graceful bell arches. Hand-built stone fountains gurgled water, gardeners and masons tending the various projects with care around the property. Christine exhaled in pleasure at the sight.
“I’m Pilar.” The teen girl from the kitchen had approached Christine from behind. “It’s lovely here…isn’t it?”
Pilar was a beautiful young gypsy girl with dark hair wearing an off-the-shoulder white blouse and cargo pants. She was bare-footed with rings on every toe, and dozens of jangly metal bracelets decorated her olive arms.
“Unbelievable. I’m Christine. It’s nice to meet you.”
Christine accepted a plate of eggs and bacon along with juice from Pilar with a nod. Several tables were set up, all with large umbrellas. She sat down and dug in as the other kids filed out. Until that moment, Christine didn’t realize how hungry she was.
Pilar pushed over a basket of biscuits. “You just arrived?”
“Uhh…yeah. Is it always like this at God’s house?”
“Like what?” Pilar said as a dozen yammering children from several different continents speaking several different languages swarmed the piazza, attacking plates of food like a plague of locusts.
“Err, overrun by kids…I guess.”
“Well, these kids need some special attention for a while, at least until they are adopted into a family.”
Christine was puzzled. “What do you mean?”
“No one was waiting for these children when they came home.” Pilar crunched a piece of bacon. “So God takes them in after their demise.”
“We are all murder victims, Christine.”
Tomorrow: Chapter 10
You can read Chapter 10 here
You can read Chapter 10 here