JESUS THE FRIENDLY GHOST

By John Thomas Tuft

It came to pass that the StoryGuide took them up to a high mountain, where they could look out over all the land. To the west, was the smoke from great and fierce fires. To the south, dark clouds brewed severe winds and a deluge that devastated the land. To the east, rose the groans of the people under the weight of a plague which was plaguing them. To the north, rose the cries of those seeking justice and freedom from fear because they looked different than those who ruled over them. And he told them a story saying: Sarah Jane woke up as the sun peeked over the hills, as she did every morning and when she walked out into the living room she discovered a gift had been left for her on the carpet. Wondering at this gift, she picked it up and took it to the nearest church, The Home of Jesus the Friendly Ghost.

“Welcome,” said the good people of Jesus the Friendly Ghost. “What is this?” asked Sarah Jane, holding out her hands. “Should I be afraid?” “First,” said the people, “do you know Jesus the Friendly Ghost? Because he knows who you are. We’re all special because we know him. He is a kind of round, white happy go lucky boy who hovers nearby. His is an amazing backstory that just makes you feel all gooey inside, like a marshmallow. See, we keep roasting sticks on the wall to remind us of that feeling.” Sara Jane asked, “Will he take my gift?”

“Not if you don’t know him like we do,” said the good people of Jesus the Friendly Ghost. “Ask him to make you special. Then live for king and country. In fact, give your gift to the king and he and Jesus the Friendly Ghost will be greatly pleased. Just bow your head and close your eyes and the Friendly Ghost who hovers nearby will listen to you, and you only. That’s what makes us special. Don’t you want to feel better about yourself? Don’t you want all the best that life has to offer for your very own self? That is what Jesus the Friendly Ghost wants for you.” And Sarah Jane returned home, still holding her gift.

Sarah Jane woke up as the sun peeked over the hills, as she did every morning and when she walked out into the living room she discovered a gift had been left for her on the carpet. Wondering at this gift, she picked it up and took it to the palace of the Mad King. “What is this?” asked Sarah Jane, holding out her hands. “Should I be afraid?” “Do you know who I am?” asked the Mad King. “I made this country great for people like you.  Bringing me gifts shows how much you love me.” Sarah Jane said, “The good people of Jesus the Friendly Ghost said to live for king and country. Will you take my gift?”

The Mad King looked blank for a moment. “You could give it to me on live television. I could gather all of my family and all my serfs and serviles so that everyone could see me accept your gift like the one and true upholder of the kingdom that I am. The good people of Jesus the Friendly Ghost will love it. Absolutely love seeing their king receiving this gift, all the best people. We could do it across the street in front of that old building. That will make me look like a good king.” And Sarah Jane returned home, still holding her gift.

Sarah Jane woke up as the sun peeked over the hills, as she did every morning and when she walked out into the living room she discovered a gift had been left for her on the carpet. Wondering at this gift, she picked it up and started out the door. At that moment her beloved returned from his long journey. “What is this?” asked Sarah Jane, holding out her hands. “Should I be afraid?” Her beloved stifled a sigh and mustered a smile. “No, Sarah Jane. You do not need to be afraid.”

He gently took her by the shoulder and led her back inside. He saw the literature on the kitchen table from the Home of Jesus the Friendly Ghost, alongside the official stationary of the palace of the Mad King. Brushing them aside, he prepared a tub of warm water and soap. Then, ever so tenderly, he cleaned Sarah Jane’s hands and arms and face and feet, putting her gift where it belonged. When he finished the story, someone in the crowd asked the StoryGuide, “Well, what was her gift?” And he looked upon them and loved them, saying, “Her brain is broken with disease. Every morning she steps in her own excrement. Her gift is her feces. She has Alzheimer’s and is like a child. Now go and do likewise.”

And the evangelicals and self-hating Republicans, realizing that he had told this story against them, pushed forward to cast him from the cliff. But, as in all good cliffhangers, he passed on through, and left them to clean up the mess.

Words are magic and writers are wizards.