I didn't ask for the pastor to come over. I would have much rather been left alone to watch daytime TV. True, I was beginning to feel I little isolated, but some sissy-voiced holy man I hardly knew wasn't going to make me feel any better. But it was standard policy to notify the church when one of its fold has been hospitalized, for prayer requests and all that mush, and when the pastor heard that I was already home, he felt obligated to visit, as if seeing my swollen, drooling face was somehow doing me a favor.
If only I could have had the surgery a year ago, when I still believed in God, but the surgeon made me wear these braces first, buying me plenty of time to attend my freshman year of college. The first class I took was a religion course, Literature of the Old and New Testament. Although I'd always considered myself a Christian, I had never taken time to read the Bible, partly out of apathy and partly out of fear, until that class. During the semester, with my bliss of ignorance lifted, I discovered how barbaric the Christian faith was. I learned of the scores of men sent to die by David's hand so he could learn a lesson about lechery, of the Egyptian corpses floating in the Red Sea. There was also the famous "sacrifice Issac" prank God pulled on Abraham, and the office pool between God and His Accuser to see how long Job could be toyed with before he snapped. Worst of all, a brief tour of Revelations revealed that the Devil might have been the product of a fever dream taken too seriously and that the only real Evil in the world sprang from the hands of an arrogant, pissy God.
Mom was busy tidying up the room, dusting this and that so the church didn't think we were total slobs. She s...
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...dren's Motrin. God may have crushed Jacob's nuts, but a warrior God was still the only god worth praying to.
The prayer began with a brief request for the Lord to watch over me, which turned my thoughts once again to the little brass Jesus in the recovery room. I had secretly missed the little Jesus since the day I checked out, but as the pastor was praying the same old Christian rhetoric, I realized that I didn't need him anymore. The real Jesus was watching over me. Don't ask me how I knew, but I knew. Jesus was watching over the entire world, protecting it as if it were His younger brother. Protecting it from an abusive Father.
As the pastor left I flicked on the TV, more to have something to stare at than something to watch, and to the low, lulling drone of newscasters covering a political scandal, I silently wondered about the last time I attended church.