You know the old saying: You can’t begin to understand another person until you’ve spent some time in his shoes.
Today, I’m casting off my usual self — that tired, old liberal whose heart leaks blood and oozes sympathy, the woman who plans to send money to the disaster in Haiti and has never managed to vote her pocketbook in decades of elections. Enough with her.
Today, I am Pat Robertson. I am wearing his shoes. They are Ferragamos.
10:17 AM I wake up. I am very tired. I pray. God tells me I am exhausted from doing His work and should go back to sleep. “Thy will be done,” I say and turn over.
11: 44 AM I wake up again, more refreshed. As usual, God was right. I have been dreaming of the earth churning, buildings collapsing, people dead. Could it be — o, praise the Lord! — Armageddon? I am ready for it, Lord! Unfortunately, I am a bit deaf and may have difficulty hearing the wails of the damned. I pray for God to improve my hearing.
11:46 AM I turn on Fox News. I am bitterly disappointed. It isn’t Armageddon, after all. It’s just the continuing story of all those worthless sinners in Haiti getting wiped out. How long will the news media (even Fox!) keep up its endless bleating about this “tragedy”? Make a note to pray to God to send an earthquake to Cuba next time.
12:01 I see I am in the news once again as I labor selflessly to speak about God’s will and His righteous wrath toward the despicable and loathsome. It is my cross and my duty; I accept it, Lord — even the calumny. “Why doesn’t God strike down the rich, the comfortable, the smug, instead?” my persecutors cry in a clammy chorus of self-righteousness. Oh, ye of little faith! Don’t you see that God is always testing the best of us — even me? That is why we have a Negro in the White House.
1:30 PM I go outside. It is a beautiful day. This is because God loves me.
1:31 PM Unfortunately, I am in New York City, the center of all things heinous, wicked and vile. You see what I mean? God is still testing me. I go to lunch at the Four Seasons. I am meeting that new Fox commentator, Sarah Palin. When we get a really good table, I realize I am doubly blessed.
1:32 PM In a loud whisper, Sarah announces she thinks our waiter is a homosexual. Since there are no homosexuals in Alaska, Sarah says, she used to have trouble recognizing them. After spending more time in this God-free zone of iniquity, though, she can now spot them in a fast, unerring way: Any man who doesn’t desire her is a sodomite. She and I bow our heads to pray to God to smite them all, just like the Haitians.
1:33 PM After we say amen, I mention to Sarah that I desire her. She winks at me and says she isn’t surprised, since I don’t look like a faggot. We hold hands and pray again for strength not to sin.
3:02 PM I walk through Central Park. I am filled with loathing. All these idlers sitting in the sun, ignoring the fact God is going to be punishing them for eternity any minute now! Those shameless, lust-filled couples who can’t wait to get back to their apartments and fornicate! Those godless toddlers in their prams whose mothers are clearly too busy pursuing their own tawdry, self-aggrandizing careers to bring up their own children, so they have left them in the dark, unseemly hands of their hired help, who are doubtlessly illegal aliens.
3:33 PM I recover from my tortured half-hour of doubting God’s plan for the world. My suffering has been so great! I make a mental note to alert the INS about all the nannies in Central Park. I will also loudly urge Yale Law School, my troubled alma mater, to stop admitting women into their classes so they will criminally neglect their future children. Praise Jesus.
4:17 PM I am still in New York, so God is still testing me. I recall my wonderful talk with Sarah about God sending a message to New York City on September 11. If God hadn’t wanted to punish godless liberals, then He would have had the terrorists attack a righteous, God-fearing metropolis like Oklahoma City, Sarah said. She is such a brilliant, insightful woman! I pray for her to outlive Katie Couric for a long, long time.
5:03 PM I arrive back at my hotel. I am sick of the iniquity, the atrocity of the secular world, the untrammeled sin! I turn on Fox news and they’re still talking about Haiti, Haiti, Haiti. Thousands may be dead, the Fox newspeople say. They try to look serious, but I know they think it’s as amusing as I do. I pray, once again, for Armageddon to occur in the waning moments of my lifetime. (Perhaps Haiti is only a start!) Then I take a nap, for I am tired. I sleep the deep, untroubled sleep of the just.
(Copyright 2010 by Ruth Pennebaker)
Read one of my favorite posts about Elizabeth and John Edwards