“You know what you should write about next?” my buddy Amanda said. “You should write about the Rapture.”
Am I really the best person to discuss a religious topic? You do realize God has smote me with lightning once before, right?
But since this is a tiny blog, and Amanda comprises roughly one-tenth of my readership, I figured I should give my audience what it wants. Since my religious grandmother makes up another tenth, I also figured I should approach the topic as delicately as possible.
So, the Rapture happened last weekend. How’s that working out for you?
Yeah, it’s about that way for me too.
I am somewhat relieved that I’m still here: When I heard the Rapture was allegedly imminent, I was more concerned about Game of Thrones than my own eternal fate -- “If the Rapture is today, does that mean they won’t finish the series? I'm only up to episode 4, after all!” -- until I realized that with the abundance of boobage on the show everyone involved in it, including the audience, wouldn’t make the cut. Crisis averted.
As you can imagine, I’m not overly surprised at my continuing presence on this lesser plane. If you were to graph my life, with “Religious Activity” on the Y-axis, and “Age in Years” on the X, you’d have a mighty steep slide, suitable for any amusement park.
Many of my friends feel the same way. One night over dinner, Matt listened politely as I discussed religious degradation over time with our friends Alex and Sarah. Matt found the topic especially interesting because he’s never been particularly religious. “When I was a kid, I only ever attended church on Scout Sundays,” he said.
“I’m surprised you turned out so well,” Sarah said.
Matt shook his head. “It’s a lie. I live in sin and iniquity,”
I laughed and said, “You were a goody goody before we met! I’ve led you into more iniquity than you ever got into on your own.”
After a moment’s thought, he said, “You’re right.” Pause for comedic effect, completely straight face: “You whore of Babylon.”
I said, “I do believe that’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said about me.”
I was raised in a religion that does not embrace the Rapture but that instead believes in a Second Coming where we'll all still be here on earth, and we have a lot of work to do to get the house in order for company: vacuum thoroughly, put clean sheets on the guest bed, delete any bootleg torrents of Game of Thrones that happen to be on the hard drive. Mind you, by “house,” I mean “the whole planet,” and by “company,” I mean “Christ and all his saints.” It’s supposed to be the best thing ever, like an unexpected visit from your favorite person in the world.
When I lived out of state, I once got a call from one of my favorite people in the world, the aforementioned religious grandmother, saying she just happened to be passing through and wanted to stop by. I only had time to quit what I was doing and drive home before she arrived. “Sorry about the mess! I didn’t clean or anything!” I said.
“I came to see you, not your house,” she said. She truly meant it.
In that vein, given a choice between the Second Coming, where His Holiness drops by my house without warning, or the Rapture, where I am invited to His house on rather short notice, do I have a preference? Not really.
Like my grandmother, God is, of course, welcome to drop by my house at any time with or without calling ahead. I’ll greet Him the same way I greeted her. “Come in! Sorry about the mess! Would you like some tea?” and I’ll be too delighted in His company to worry about the state of my home. If He loves me unconditionally, He won’t care either.
However, if the Rapture did occur last week and God didn’t invite me, He’s not the friend I thought He was. That’s okay. From the looks of it, he didn’t invite my iniquitous husband either, or my grandmother, or my buddy Amanda, or a number of my other favorite people in the world. That’s okay. We’ll have our own parties. We can have them at my house. I may even vacuum first.