Jesus used to get the same listless attention reserved for taxes – something that needs to be done, but you can always get an extension.
My childhood church preached forgiveness and love in a dispassionate sort of way, as any any lukewarm, un-charismatic Christian, middle-class North American home church would. Hell fire and brimstone was reserved for the end of the quarter when the church needed to make quarterly earnings for the Board of Directors.
Anger was frowned upon, because you can never fully be angry, you have no reason to be angry; you can’t complain because you have no real reason to complain – I mean, we’re not in Africa, for goodness sakes. You get into a groove with work, some play, mostly church-going Sundays and reasonably decent, walking-dead people that look a lot like you, all around you. My group was the typical sort of suburban inbred bunch, all were raised together, same private school, same church. My family was several tax brackets below most of my friends, but that didn’t seem to affect my family, because everyone needed a charity case to get into heaven. And who doesn’t like a little charity?
One day I looked around, fire behind my eyes, looking for something more, but not sure what. One thing was certain, no one likes their charity case starting to ask questions or, heaven forbid, start having visions of Jesus’ arms giving you a hug on a bad day. Laughed and scorned, pride drove me into the world to show those hypocrites.
Pride and the world chewed me up, and spit me out. Fifteen years later, three failed businesses, two divorces and no f*cking pear tree, broken and afraid, I became an accidental Jesus fan and I finally got the hug, I had only visions of.