Saturday, December 8, 2012

Bumper Sticker From Hell

I am not kidding you.  A few days ago, I actually saw a bumper sticker that read:

There is no television in heaven.  
But there is a rerun of your life.  Will you want to see it?  
I love you Jesus.

It was in simple black and white.  I think it was home-made.  Let's hope it was a small production run. This bumper sticker made me want to scream.  Or cry.  Or both.
Are you kidding me? I don't even know where to begin with this one.  Actually, I take that back.  I do know where to begin: 
This bumper sticker is from hell.
It will not save a single soul or turn any hearts toward God.  Why?

1)  You just told people there is no television in heaven.  Most Americans would rather watch basic cable in hell, than go to a TV-less heaven.

2)  You just told everyone that their life is being recorded. Great.  All my mistakes played out in slow motion right in front of Moses, Saint Paul and Mother Teresa.  Just send me to hell now before the scene from my college dorm room starts.

3)  You just told people that when we get to heaven we will have to watch videos.  Of other's lives.  Can you imagine how long it will take to get into heaven?! Just think of how much time it will take God, or whoever he delegates this important job to - to pop in every one's VHS tape or DVD or pull up their YouTube video?   It will make getting through customs at LAX on September 11th after a trip to Afghanistan look like a breeze.  I picture myself standing in line fourteen miles out from the Pearly Gates when I hear this announcement come over the heavenly loudspeaker:
"Thank you for waiting. We are currently reviewing the videos of those whose last names start with (automated voice kicks in here) "B." 
Great, Tony Zendejas just decided he'd rather go to hell.

4) Lastly, you just told everyone that you love Jesus.  Really?!? How can you love a Jesus who is evidently recording every one's life so he can play it back in front of them when they arrive in heaven and point out how many times they screwed up?  
"Well, well, well. Will you look at that?"  Jesus stands with his hands on his hips.  Sweat breaks out on my brow.  "What in the world was that all about, Hope? You really blew it.  And we're only up to July of 1985 on the video! I hope you feel really, really guilty.  In fact, Saint Peter can you hit rewind on that?  I'm not sure she feels bad enough yet."
Is that the kind of Jesus you love?
Is that the kind of Jesus anyone wants to love?
Is that the kind of Jesus you should be displaying on your bumper?
Thankfully, that is not the Jesus I know and love.
And this is why this bumper sticker made me angry and sad and shocked and well, almost a traffic hazard on Newhall Ranch Road.  I wanted to get a picture of it.  I couldn't get my phone out of my purse and then a big delivery truck got in the way so I settled for a glance at the driver. She looked to be about my Mom's age, dirty blond hair in a disheveled heap on the top of her head and well, how do I say this....she looked like someone who would own 23 feral cats and cultivate their catnip in a egg carton on the window sill while watching Anne of Green Gables on VIDEO...but still.  Whether she is "all there" or not...
The bumper sticker on her car really is from hell.
Because it honestly makes people prefer hell over heaven.  If they don't know better.  Now, I know Jesus is not recording my life to play it back for me as a a way to castigate me before I enter the pearly gates. He says he has cast my sin as far as the east is from the west and my scarlet colored sin has been cleansed to the color of snow and I take His Word for it. (Psalm 103:12 / Isaiah 1:18) He did it all when he died on the cross and rose again - conquering death, sin and hell.  He took all the sordid, sinful and shameful scenes from my life and hit "Delete."  And when I add a few new scenes now and then, ones that I am not proud of, his death and resurrection covers those too. No recording.  No taping.  No reruns. Jesus does not own a VCR, a DVR or Tevo.
So maybe the bumper sticker should say:
I love you Jesus.
And leave it at that.

-Hope Horner
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