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Sunday, November 4, 2007

CHAPTER 35 – COME AGAIN - Excerpt From Johnny Oops

Johnny lay in his hospital bed bemoaning his fate. He was weeping silently, but you could see the tears rolling down his cheeks. He was thinking, “Oh God, what have I done wrong? Why am I so cursed? I have always believed in you. I have always had faith. Why have you deserted me?” There was no answer. For once the Prophet did not have the ‘word’.

Jody sat quietly by his side holding his hand. They didn’t talk. There was nothing left to say. Johnny had ruined everything. He knew it. She knew it. Why berate him? He was a broken man.

Johnny Junior bounded happily into the hospital room. He had his latest bimbo on his arm. He said. “I just stopped in to say goodbye. I’m off to live in the Himalayas and study with the Buddhist Monks. The High Priest of Zen has personally invited me to be his guest. I intend to sit at his feet and learn the true faith -- no more of this Prophet bullshit for me. I’m off to find my soul. Have a nice life mis famila. Don’t miss me. I won’t miss you. Adios.” And with this he was gone. Johnny Junior now stood seven feet tall. He was a giant of a man who had no feelings for his parents, for his girl friend, or for his life. He was part of a new generation of meaningless miscreants who valued nothing, lest of all themselves. In search of his soul indeed, he was so shallow, there was no room for a soul. Buried deep down inside him was a whole lot of nothing. He was an empty, unfeeling, vacuous young giant who found no meaning in anything, and no reason to have the faith he was secretly desperately searching for. With Johnny Junior what you saw was all there was; a large attractive mass of absolutely nothing worthwhile at all.

After Junior left, Jody stared into space and started to weep silently for herself and her lost son and her spiritless, broken husband. Patting her other hand, Jason tried to console her. It was impossible. She was lost in an ocean of grief and self-pity. “What happened to the promise he had,” she moaned?

Suddenly with a start Johnny Senior, who had appeared so out of it that he hardly noticed his son’s leaving jumped up in bed. His eyes were clear and he had a serene smile on his face. “I have been reborn. I have received the ‘word’. It is my purpose in life to suffer these calamities so that I may understand why bad things happen to good people, how sinners find grace, and why good goes hand in hand with evil. That’s it, that’s the reasoned exercise of faith I have been searching for. Now there is new meaning and purpose to my life. May God give me the grace to deliver the ‘word’? Redemption is at hand for all that believe in it. Redemption is at hand for all that follow the path of righteous spiritualism. Redemption is at hand for all the poor souls that are insecure and terrorized by the calamities that befall us all. Thank you Lord. I am saved. I am reborn. I am rededicated to delivering the ‘word’.”

Johnny was truly inspired and truth be told he was inspiring. Nurses from all over the poverty ward where he was staying gathered to listen to his eloquent speech. Patients wheeled themselves over to his bed to listen to him. Those that weren’t mobile craned their necks and strained to here the ‘word’. As they listened a strange feeling of contentment overtook them. Suddenly the fear was gone from their eyes; many were smiling for the first time in weeks.

Jason and Jody couldn’t believe the miracle they were witnessing. The Messenger had returned, and he had the ‘word’. This time it consisted of message after message that was specific to the needs of the people: no more shallow soothe saying bullshit, just the plain simple ‘words’ of a man of true faith, who had been reborn and who had seen the light. He rose from his hospital bed, and dressed only in a skimpy hospital gown addressed the gathering crowd, which now included Doctors and clerical staff who had left their posts to listen to the message.
He bowed his head as if in prayer for a moment, and then raised his eyes to look directly at the beginnings of his newfound flock, and commenced his first sermon as the newly reborn Johnny.

“If we want to find true contentment we must learn to care about others. If we want to find redemption we must truly want to do good. If we want to find inner peace we must trust in the one God. He has reasons for everything he does. It is not up to us mere humans to question his wisdom. It is only incumbent upon us to follow in his path. Be kind to everyone. Be of good faith. You will find inner peace. When you discover the true beauty of your self you will fear no more. You will be insecure no longer. You will find grace in accepting the wisdom of the Almighty. Search for redemption and you will find it. Follow me and we will search for it together, for I am a sinner who has seen the light, who has heard the ‘word’, and who has come again to deliver the message. This time my friends in faith it is the message that is divine not the Messenger. Come join with me and we will receive the ‘word’ together.”
With that Johnny asked everyone to join hands in a spirit of caring and kindness. Slowly the crowd responded. They were mesmerized by Johnny’s ‘words’. There was no clapping or cheering. Only a holding of hands bore witness to the broad smiles of contentment that spread across the faces of the gathering as they clasped hands and became believers. Jody and Jason joined hands with Johnny and the others. A new movement called ‘The Order of Clasped Hands’ was born. A feeling of peace transcended all its followers.

Oops, Johnny had come again. Is this the second or the third rebirth? Things were moving so fast; it was hard to keep track. How many chances does a Prophet get? He better do the right thing this time. Even Prophets have their limits. No fear or doubt plagued Johnny or affected his determination to spread the new ‘word’. He was convinced that for all those that had faith and believed in redemption – salvation was at hand. Johnny was out to spread the ‘word’. And the ‘word’ was that a new and improved Johnny was back.

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