So, I still don’t think you exist in objective, temporal reality, that you put humans on earth to ride dinosaurs, that you live in the sky or that you’ll suddenly appear to me in front of the convenience store in the body of the Virgin Mary or Morgan Freeman or even Clément, the nice Rwandan convenience store owner who believes in you and vaguely resembles a young Morgan Freeman. Let’s get that out of the way right now. But who really knows? Not me.
Religion is a bit like cooking, isn’t it? You can take a recipe from the book and follow it step by step (like Catholics do). you can slim it down to make it easier and healthier (like Reform Jews) or tweak it to make it more authentic and old-fashioned (like the Amish). You can pick and mix from a couple of different recipes (like neo-pagans), combine two old favourites (Vaudou) or add your own special, local ingredients to the basic batter (like the Hindus and the Ancient Romans). You can make a new version of an old favourite and spend your life arguing about which of the two is better (like certain groups of Muslims). Or you can go into the kitchen with a vague idea in your head (“stew,” “cookies,” “relationship with the divine”), roll up your sleeves and see what you end up with. Hey, all great recipes started out that way. Wicca, the Baha’i Faith, Communism….
So getting back to you, God. In the outside world, I still don’t think you exist. In the kitchen that is my perspective, you are represented by an imaginary, genderless thing that resembles a miniature teletubby. I think you’re green. You don’t really care what I eat or whether I deck you in flowers (and what is there to deck in flowers anyway, air?) and I can carry you in my pocket. You listen to me, primarily. Then whatever you do after that is my business.
So, my dear imaginary handheld God, a few polite requests:
*Help my Pierre get over his malaria. And let him know I love him.
*In the meantime, keep Félicie from going insane doing the work of five people on her own. Get her someone competent to help her. Preferably Bosco, if you can manage it? He’d like that.
*Make sure my ex-friend never treats another woman in the repulsive way he treated me in Brussels.
*It would also be nice if you made those cheques for work I’ve already done come sooner rather than later, and kept me from getting robbed again in the meantime.
Thanks a bunch. Sorry to trouble you.