I met another ageing, bearded, camper van dweller in Ulverston. We parted company with an exchange of names and a handshake. “Remember, Jesus loves you, John”, Peter said, with a wave of the hand that was almost papal. I groaned, but I don’t think he heard it.
I’d prefer to cut out the middleman altogether and communicate with Jesus directly. I’d love to hear his opinions, but from his own lips, about me (“Love you, John!”), or the crap weather we’re having, or the outrageous price of replica football strips. Or anything, really.
Unfortunately Jesus - and his dad - have been inconveniently reticent these past 2,000 years, and, no matter what the Good Book might suggest, they show no signs of breaking their silence any time soon. Of all the characters in the Bible that I can recall, I identify most closely with Doubting Thomas. In suggesting that he would appreciate some tangible sign of divine presence, he seemed to foreshadow the scientic method… which values empirical evidence over blind faith.
I can’t honestly say I was offended by Peter’s ‘blessing’. I just find it kinda creepy that believers are content to have a one-way conversation with ‘God’, without any kind of reciprocation…