Though this is definitely outside of what I normally write, I’ve decided to publish a novella entitled “The Church.” From Nov. 30 to Dec. 15, I will be publishing the work of fiction in 15 parts. Each day, I will publish a part of the story of Christian and his quest to plant the largest progressive church in the world. I will publish the entire work at the end. Today, I’m publishing PART 4 entitled “THE SERVICE” Enjoy!
Have you ever woken up in total bliss? I did that day. The pillow felt softer than it’d ever felt before. The sheets were the perfect temperature. The mattress floated under my body. The Holy Spirit filled the room. I began to speak in a language I’d never heard before. I raised my hands to the sky. Electricity shot about the room. In the midst of it all, I could hear the voice of Jesus saying, “Plant that damn church Christian!” Distracted by a hot wet tongue traveling up my leg, I shot awake in bed. My new dog Harvey was just sitting there staring at me. Was it a dream? I didn’t have time to think about it. Today was the day. It was time to get ready for the service.
Preparation looks different for different preachers. Today, I needed some deep prayerparation. For over an hour, I went to God for every person who might walk through the doors of my apartment. I prayed so long that I think I even heard God say, “You’ve already named them twice.” I guess even God gets worn out. Regardless, I was ready to stop praying and start walking. Passing through the kitchen, I rebuked the food for tempting me to end my fast and rushed down the stairs. When I got to the car, I looked in the mirror and felt like I even looked like Jesus today.
Do you remember that old story about the wedding feast? I was praying that our church service would look something like that. I thought about Jesus coming up on a group she loved and wanting everyone to have a good time. When the alcohol gave out, Jesus gave them more. I bet Jesus could dance with or without the alcohol. I really can’t but that’s another story. Jesus got these folks drunk and showed them what love looks like uninhibited. Can you imagine Jesus twerking? I bet nobody then or now had ever seen a robe bounce around like that. The Lord’s moves are always divine. Over and over, I kept thinking about new things I’d need to make happen tonight. A short trip turned into most of the day, I had to hurry. After I packed everything into the car, I raced home. I didn’t notice the blue lights. While it is usually a good idea to stop for the police, I was tired of being targeted for my sexuality. I knew I wasn’t going that fast. I was now. Praying to God, I reached some of the fastest speeds I’d ever driven. The Holy Spirit was so thick in the car that I felt invincible. Then, it all ended. The squad cars peeled off and let me go. Driving away, I couldn’t figure out what happened. When I got home, I turned on the television and saw that the biggest donut shop in town was on fire. I realized that the Holy Spirit sent that fire to distract all of the officers who were chasing me. Praise the Lord!
With just a few hours left, I rushed through the door. The smell was terrible. I looked around and saw a big pile of shit. Seconds later, I found Harvey hiding in the bathroom. I knew the connection. Regardless, I didn’t have time to deal with it. Jumping in the shower, I washed off and tried to keep from getting any friction in the process. I didn’t need any distractions. Jumping out, I dried off and went for the body odor killer. While at the mall earlier, I purchased some expensive cologne. Trying not to get carried away, I held myself to six sprays. Running back into the kitchen, I managed to get all of the food and drinks out. As the time drew near, I grew nervous that no one would show up. Seconds felt like hours. Then, the doorbell chimed. Harvey barked loudly from his cage. I opened the door and it was Professor Price. “I wanted to see what this church plant was all about and decided to bring some friends.” Behind her, were four other dinosaurs. Together, they stomped in and sat down in the living room. I offered them all food and drinks. While retrieving their requests, I heard a scream. Running back in, I realized that Professor Price’s friend Donald sat in Harvey’s shit. I assured him that it was chocolate and gave him a pair of pants to wear for the rest of the night while his were in the wash. The doorbell chimed again, Tony and Roy came in together. Behind them, came a bunch more people. The doorbell rang incessantly. Before I knew it, I had over forty people ready for church to start. I couldn’t even remember how I knew each person. I didn’t care. When the musician arrived, we kicked it off singing some funky hipster Christian lyrics with our hands up. Crying and singing, I knew something magical was happening.
Right before I got to the sermon, I heard a bang on the door. Apologizing, I went to see what was going on. True to his word, Charlie barged in with over a hundred people. “How did you get all these people here?” I figured it out quickly when Charlie placed a big block of marijuana on the table. Communion began early. Even Professor Price and her friends took a few hits. It’s probably an understatement to say that everyone was mesmerized by the sermon. I didn’t disappoint:
“Love is God and God is Love. When we make love we are making God. In the beginning was love, love was with God and love was God. Without love we are nothing. With love we are everything. For love so loved the world that love gave love’s only begotten love that whosoever believes in love will not perish but have everlasting love. Make no mistake, love will win my friends.”
One by one, people started standing up chanting over and over, “Love! Love! Love!” Everyone seemed so happy. I couldn’t resist. I decided to give an invitation. “Who wants to accept the power of love tonight?” The whole room was ready. The Holy Spirit was strong in the place. We sang and sang and sang. I think I even gave communion three times. By the time the night was over, I’d collected everyone’s information on clipboards and knew that I would need a much bigger space for the second week. I got Donald’s clothes out of the wash. Before I could apologize, he told me not to worry about it and that he’d even tasted a little bit of the exquisite chocolate he sat in. Looking around, every shred of food in the house was eaten and every drink was drunk. I even realized that someone had eaten half of a roll of paper towels. I gave everyone a hug and found myself alone with Charlie. “Do you want to make some of that love you were talking about and have a victory fuck?” I was very tempted. Then, someone banged loudly at the door. “Open up! It’s the police.” Charlie was gone before I blinked. The last thing I heard him say was, “I’ll take care of Harvey.” I opened the door. “You are under arrest.” Trying to run from the cops finally caught up with me. Though no one from the church remained, I yelled out, “I’ll be back next week.”