Thursday, March 18, 2010

Anarita and the Little Jesus in Your Heart

Anarita had a little black and white TV that got fuzzy UHF channels with preachers on them. It even got channels between spaces on the dial that picked up half of cordless phone calls. She had never seen a cordless phone yet, but she eventually deduced that was what she was hearing. She spent hours playing spy, listening to one side of calls between people she didn't know, trying to determine what the other, inaudible caller was saying in the silences.

Many of the preachers kept talking about inviting Jesus "into your heart". If you did that sincerely, it was supposed to save you. People came on the shows and talked about how their lives changed forever when they were Born Again by this invitation. Then the preachers would put their hands up, palms out, as if reaching out to the people watching, and tell them to come put their hands on the screen and pray for Jesus to come in their hearts so they could be saved. The preachers would close their eyes tightly, and you were supposed to do the same, with your hand on the screen.

Anarita didn't want to go to hell, but this all seemed a bit silly. Still, she wanted to be saved and wanted to know and love God. She wanted that "relationship" those preachers always talked about it. So, she put her hand on the screen and prayed along, keeping her eyes closed except for those peeks to see if the preacher was keeping his eyes closed, too.

She had this mental image of a tiny Jesus, wearing a white or blue robe and having a long brown beard just like in all those Jesus wall pictures. The tiny Jesus came and knocked on her sternum, and it had a tiny door knob. He twisted the door knob and opened her chest cavity up, revealing an empty, red fleshy altar where the heart was expected to be. She had no heart, just a hole. A hole perfectly sized for the tiny Jesus, halo and sandals and all, to climb in and sit.

So now that Jesus was in her, she expected to be changed like those people on the TV. But she felt exactly the same as before. She must've done it wrong. So, she tried again and again with different preachers on different shows and different channels. The preachers were weird, a little creepy, maybe. And what was that tiny Jesus doing sitting in her heart hole all day anyway? He must've got out to go do stuff, and that's why she was the same old Anarita. Or maybe he was never really there at all.

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