Saturday, January 19, 2008

On the Rapture of Morons

Today I was stopped behind a vehicle at a red-light. Plastered on the back of this vehicle was a sticker that said: “Warning! In case of rapture, vehicle will be unmanned,” as though slapping the slogan on the back of your Ford Explorer is all that’s required to secure a blissful, heavenly eternity.

Now suppose this person were smugly driving along one day, returning from a fruitful visit to a Christian bookstore or something, when suddenly people all around begin to vanish. As the mailman bends down to unlock the front of a big blue mailbox, he amazingly disappears, the ring of keys clattering on the empty sidewalk. A clumsy housepainter slips and falls from his ladder, but before he hits the ground he’s vanished into thin air. All around the driver, people are being liberated from their corporeal existence, leaving empty cars to roll lazily to a stop against buildings and one another, leaving screen doors banging open and closed on porches and dishwater spilling onto floors as the water taps keep running.

Within one second, the bustling downtown becomes vacant but for a few lost souls, who appear to have been thrown to the ground at the height of the rapture. But the driver is still sitting in their car, bumper sticker firmly attached. What would they do? Would they even remember they had stuck such an inane thing to the back of their car? Would they become embarrassed, jumping out and distancing themselves from the vehicle, hoping no one saw them? Would they try to rationalize away the disappearance of most of the town, frantically fabricating alternate theories, already deep in the throes of denial? Anyone who took the rapture and the word of God seriously enough to knowingly lower the value of their vehicle in His service certainly wouldn’t be excluded when the time finally came for the great ascent, right? Surely there’s a scientific explanation for what just happened.

Now suppose the driver had been stopped in a line of traffic at a red light. As they look around, trying to gain some perspective on the immense event that just took place, their eyes settle on a little Jesus-fish stuck to the back of the car in front of them. Only this Jesus-fish doesn’t say “Jesus,” it says “Darwin.”

The car is empty, its left turn signal still rhythmically flashing.

Can the Christian brain even parse this sensory information? What sort of unnamable emotions would begin welling up in the driver? How could someone bear such a jarring, painful shift in what they believed about the meaning of their very existence? What feeling of doom could ever surmount that which is present in our tragic driver?

This, this is why putting a bumper sticker on your car is a terrible, terrible idea.

No comments: