I don’t mean the “Jesus wept” bit that’s in the Bible, that verse every kid wants to memorize in Sunday School so he gets credit for remembering something – I mean, the guy sat in the dirt and bawled his eyes out. Sprang a leak. Cried like a girl.
He showed up on a Tuesday, see – He figured that hey, Tuesday was a good day for it, since most people had a chance to recover from Monday, and they’d be paying attention to the tube like good little zombies. Monday was a bad day, because even though people might appreciate the Second Coming just in time to rescue them from a bad week at work, some of them would be trying to get over partying from the weekend. Wednesday would just interrupt the flow of the week, so that’s out – Thursday, well, by then people were anticipating Friday, and Friday wouldn’t do at all.
After all, “thank God it’s Friday” was a common enough expression as it was. No need to add emphasis there.
So Tuesday it was! Jesus figured he’d do the unexpected and fulfill what people thought He’d do, showing up in a great white arc of light somewhere from the middle of Orion’s belt. Some people felt like they’d predict that He’d do just that, trying to make sure that He actually wouldn’t (because the prophecy was that He’d do the unexpected, which itself set an expectation to be denied.)
So that glorious Tuesday, Jesus rode a beam of light out of the Heavens, competing with the Sun in brightness and glory. In fact, “competing” is the wrong word. He trounced the Sun. The Sun might as well not have bothered, except for the fact that it gave out heat as well as light – Jesus left heat to other heavenly (or not-so-heavenly) bodies, if you know what I mean.
Down He rode, to the surface of the earth, making great curves in the sky, like some celestial windsurfer. There wasn’t a place on the earth that couldn’t have detected His descent, just like the prophecies said. If He was going to show up, well, He was going to make an impression.
When His feet touched the earth – for the first time in well over two thousand years – He had to admit that it was a little quiet. He expected throngs of people, on bended knee, chanting or screaming or clapping. He wasn’t really into the rock star thing, despite his longish hair and hippie beard, but hey – arrivals like this just didn’t happen every day. A little overwhelming appreciation would have been cool.
Maybe humankind was a little jaded – after all, they’d had Seinfeld, the New York Yankees, a few really big wars and lots of tiny little ones, plus they still had to get over Paris Hilton. It made sense that His Arrival might not make the splash as originally expected.
So Jesus waited a little bit – maybe thirty minutes. Maybe people were just cautious.
Then He realized that things had changed a little. For one thing, it wasn’t just quiet – it was silent. No motors in the distance. (And He had good ears.) No birds in the trees. No sheep in the fields. Nothing.
He then started paying a little more attention to His surroundings. Sure, he was wearing a robe and some sandals – but it was cold. Really cold. Cold enough to wonder why there wasn’t a lot of snow.
So Jesus figured that, given his status as the Son of God and all, He’d see what was up. Hit a few population centers, ask people what the H-E-double-hockey-sticks was up. First stop was Los Angeles – Jerusalem was where the action was, to be sure, but Jesus didn’t want to wreck a cool first impression by showing up just to ask questions first. And the Los Angelenos surely needed a good dose of Jesus.
Los Angeles was empty. Known for a slight lack of precipitation or inclement weather, Los Angeles had nobody in it. At all. Nothing. Nada.
Jesus figured maybe they’d all hopped down to San Francisco, for Gay Pride week or something, maybe just to see the Bridge. Why not, He reasoned. He’d not seen it with his own eyes recently, might as well check it out. So San Francisco was next.
He had a little trouble finding it. He knew where it was, of course… but it wasn’t there. “I’m having an Alderaan moment,” he thought, “where I’m wondering where the heck my planet went.” San Francisco was rubble.
Jesus was now a little upset. Sure, He was a little late, but where were the people? So it was time to bop off to New York, because even a city converted to rubble wouldn’t prevent the New Yorkers from crowding out Times Square.
Times Square was like most of San Francisco: converted to very, very high-priced debris. Empty high-priced junk.
Jesus then decided that it was time to drop the benevolent prophet routine, and switch to God mode. Time to search the place, find out where the people had gone. It’s one thing to come back and not be overwhelmed with responses; it’s another to come back and have all your people miss everything.
London: gone. Berlin: empty. Istanbul: scrap. Tokyo: gomi. Warsaw: trashed. (But not a lot of difference, there, from what it had been.) Amsterdam: toast. Toledo: abandoned. Miami: not a swimsuit in sight. Rio de Janeiro: silent. Paris: abandoned, but in perfect condition. (This wasn’t too surprising: maybe the French had surrendered it again.)
Rome: populated only by ghosts. Jerusalem… the top of the mountain, pounded flat.
Jesus was starting to get the picture. He decided to kick in his omniscience and figure out what was going on.
He was too late. Three years before, He missed a great light show as humans went after each other with the best weaponry money could buy – and often succeeded. He watched the end of the human experiment in living colour, with no winners – only lots of losers. Einstein had been wrong.
Professor Einstein had said that World War III would be fought with weaponry he might not have understood, but World War IV would be fought with rocks and clubs. Apparently he underestimated how efficiently WW III would go – there would be no WW IV, unless it was fought by the descendants of what little bacteria survived to evolve.
So Jesus returned to the hill outside of where Jerusalem had stood, alone as mankind had felt while he was on his rather extended vacation. And wept.