The Calling

God left a message on my answering machine.

At least she said she was God, though I must admit, I’m skeptical. While I was always the first to say, upon hearing some offhand comment in which the almighty received a male pronoun, some righteous spiel about a history of patriarchy and the bias of the church, culminating with my assertion that God is just as likely a woman, I don’t know that I ever believed it. I simply wanted to catch the ear of the feminist girls, whose politics asserted that there should be no hierarchy for women while their dating choices revealed their sense of male hierarchy was no different than that of cheerleaders: handsome is the most valuable qualification. Not being handsome, I have always been looking for any opening. (So to speak.)

God, as I call the voice since she calls herself that, also sounded young. I suppose God is immortal (I can’t recall that issue being covered in CCD), but it seems improbable that there has always been God. I never really thought of God having an age at all, and having her sound like a 26 year old woman from Bombay was pretty weird.

Not Bombay exactly—she sounded like those British-South Asian women who live in London, the accent indiscernible from one word to the next, yet the enunciation perfectly clear. Her voice is really nice, quite sexy in its metered, methodical delivery. I don’t know anyone in Lawrence who has that sort of accent. About the most exotic accent I have heard in this part of Kansas is the guy at the hardware store who is from New Jersey.

I thought maybe it was a wrong number, that this woman who called herself God meant to rattle someone else’s cage and got me by mistake, but she referred to me by name, twice, so it seems like a very strange coincidence.

This was God’s message, in its entirety:

Ed, this is God. Have you heard the one about the guy who prayed to me to win the lottery, never won, and when he got to the pearly gates he complained that he had prayed every day but I didn’t grant him his wish? And I replied, “But you never bought a ticket.” That’s not you, is it Ed?


That was it. No other messages.

I admit, I have never been one for the lottery. Waste of money if you ask me, with the odds like ten billion to one, so Angie at the One-Stop was surprised to see me adding a Quick-Pick ticket to my usual 6-pack and Bugles. I told her the story, including the message. She listened incredulously, like I already had one six-pack down, then asked, “Do you think she was talking literally about the lottery? Maybe she meant it metaphorically?”

I am no bible scholar, but I don’t recall any of the five apostles writing about God talking in riddles. I think that’s more like a Greek God thing. I know Angie goes to church, but that doesn’t mean she knows anything about God; going to the movies doesn’t exactly make you a friend of Steven Spielberg, does it?

I bought the ticket, just like God recommended. Let Angie interpret her own voice mails.

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