I would like to tell you a little story about a quick-build which occurred over two decades ago.
Remember those? Are those still a thing?
Forty eight hours of selfless slave labor – sorry, indentured servitude – all for a warm fuzzy feeling of community and a complimentary generic-brand juice box.
You know the drill. Get back to work, brothers, and start that brick passing chain!
With that prospect in mind, my best friend and I weaseled our way into security duty, which entailed sitting in a car all night with nothing to do but sip lukewarm coffee (I will vomit you out of my mouth!), talk about hot sisters’ ankles, and hotbox one another’s farts.
We did not know, however, that we were to be joined by a master storyteller, who would regale us with a wild tale I have remembered to this day.
It was a humid evening, and we could hear the crickets chirping in the nearby fields that had not yet been developed. I was sitting in the passenger seat, up to my usual – spinning dirty limericks. Let me tell you, as a Canadian there is no end to the creativity a name like ‘Regina’ will provide. It just rhymes with all the right stuff. I had a contented smile knowing I would be “too exhausted” to go to the meeting the following day. Yes, there was an afternoon meeting too, but I worked really, really hard.
Suddenly we were jolted by a tap on the window. A bespectacled fellow with a head the shape of a potato, and skin slightly less impressive, was leaning towards the car with a toothy smile and a thousand yard stare. We rolled down the window.
“Hi Brothers! Good news! No, not that good news, just that I am going to be on security duty with you tonight!”
It took one glance to immediately identify this guy as a Witness nerd. Jehovah’s Witnesses are already nerds by virtue of being Witnesses, but there is also a sub-category of hyper nerd. A Witness nerd. We will explore this phenomena in another article.
We motioned to the back seat – it was at least a twenty-year-old two-door vehicle, and the doors were extremely heavy for some reason – and our new brother awkwardly squeezed himself in, narrowly missing strangulation by the front seat seatbelt.
“I’m Colin!” He had a nasally voice. We introduced ourselves.
“I’m a ministerial servant, and a pioneer. Are you?” The classification of hierarchy began. My friend replied yes, and I replied no. Suddenly I was no longer a brother of interest to Colin. He turned to my friend, with squinted eyes.
“How old are you?”
My friend replied. Colin breathed a sigh of relief – he was younger.
We already know you are Colin. You are, after all, a Witness nerd. For, if one does not hit MS status by 19 well … how will one ever get to Bethel, and then Gilead, and then become a circuit overseer, and then a district overseer, and then a committee member, a governing body helper, and then, Jah willing, a bona fide member of the governing body? These are the steps one must carefully navigate, should one ever want to know the sacred location of where the “in case of Armageddon – break glass” box is.
“Wanna hear a hilarious story?” Colin asked with a punch drunk grin.
I like funny stories – with the one proviso that they are actually funny. I looked at my friend. My friend looked at me. I saw the familiar sparkle in his eye. He has a sort of Spidey sense for when something really awkward and good is about to happen.
“Yes Colin. We love hilarious stories.”
It was akin to accidentally putting up your hand to read a scripture you have not prepared ahead of time, and it is littered with words like breasts and intercourse. But hour after hour of sitting quietly in meetings had taught us how to stifle our laughter like Zen masters.
Colin was visibly pleased.
“I live with four other pioneers, and we each take turns making dinner for one another.”
Colin’s eyes widened. This was going to be some story.
“Well, one day, all of us went for a full day in service. We started early by witnessing to people leaving for work in a condo parking garage (ie. annoying the hell out of people). After a full day’s service, all the brother had cooked was one cob of corn for each pioneer!”
We waited patiently for the punchline.
Then, “Can you imagine? One cob of corn? After a full day of pioneering?” He over-emphasized the word ‘pioneering’.
Oh. That was the punchline.
We looked at one another, and in an act of perfect synchronicity sang, “No Colin, we can’t imagine.”
After a glorious session of combined laughter, Colin sighed to himself, and we spent an evening transfixed on his fascinating stories, ended by a raucous session of don’t-you-hate-it-when-it’s-your-turn-to-clean-the hall.
I have since dusted off that two-decade-old story and given it some thought:
You would be angry too. If you came home from a day of walking around in ill-fitting wool suits on a summer’s day watching worldly people trying not to make eye contact and diving under their couches to avoid confrontation with someone who believes the meaning of life is:
An eternal god who sat around playing solitaire on windows ’95 or something before he decided to create reality. Although, because he is omniscient, he really couldn’t decide anything because he would already know what he was going to do in the future, thus negating free will. But, do not think about that because Jehovah is really shiny and if you look at him, you’ll die. True story.
Jehovah only created Jesus. A son! You know, when you have lived an infinite regress of eternity and decide you suddenly want to play with a little boy. I’ll leave the interpretation of that to my more clever readers.
Then came Jesus creating a hastily cobbled together universe with everything created in a confusingly counterintuitive order.
It’s all there in Genesis.
Everything was good. Not great. But good.
Then Jehovah decided he wanted a whole slew of minions to serve him – so… poof!
One of those minions was super hot and wanted people to know how hot he was, so he stuck his supernatural fist up a snake’s ass and made it talk like a sock puppet.
The snake actually told the truth – reread that nonsense in the Bible – but the first woman who had no concept of right and wrong decided to eat the very special fruit that belonged only to Jehovah. Jehovah was super pissed.
Look, I get it. There is nothing I hate more than catching two naked people hanging around my favorite pear tree, hence my fenced backyard. So, yeah, get a job and buy your own pears Adam and Eve. Silly hippies.
Jehovah decided to allow suffering for six-thousand years to prove that his way was the best way.
Yahweh or the highway, I suppose.
Instead of using his WORDS – like I ask my 3 year old daughter to do when I catch her incoherently whining for something – it was easier for an omniscient being perfectly capable of explaining why his system is better to just do sweet nothing. He was tired and needed a rest. Or something.
Then lots of angels make weiners for themselves to do the hot earthlings.
Then giants who steal the helpless little humans’ fruit baskets (yes I have My Book of Bible Stories open).
Then a global flood that for some reason rescued mosquitos and got all the marsupials safely to Australia.
Then Abraham hears voices in his head, which probably could now be tempered by a healthy dose of Quetiapine, telling him to sacrifice his son.
Then a bunch of gay sex, fire, and genocide.
Maybe we should finish our ‘truth’ later – I have a cob of corn boiling over.