Friday, November 19, 2010

Power-Washing the Lord

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One morning, I drove my usual route down an ugly business-lined road, dodging fools like I was in a video game -- fools popping out of driveways. Fools cutting across lanes. Fools standing on the double-line in the middle of a fifty mile-per-hour road. Then, as always, I made a slight right onto a rural road and slowed down to take in the rising morning sun over the trees and fields on both sides of the car.

On my way in to town, I passed a church. A sparkling cloud hung there as if someone inside a glycerine-water-filled snow globe had hit a drum covered with gold dust. I slowed down, watching, expecting the cloud to fall, but it remained, changing shape and drifting into nothing at the edges, rolling like cream does when it is poured into coffee.

Then, I saw the source of the golden, miraculous cloud.

A graying man with a 1950s "DA" hair-style, in a white T-shirt, faded green tattoos on his big arms, was working a power-washer. He stood at the base of a huge statue of Christ. And, I kid you not, he was power-washing Jesus's feet.

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I slowed down to take it in. He was working the toes especially well and the mist that was coming up from his efforts beaded and dripped from his horn-rimmed glasses, hissing up into the sunlight, causing the sunburst cloud I had first seen. Around him and the statue there hovered a golden halo of glimmering beauty. I couldn't help but laugh. Hysterically.

Was this okay? Can a guy just power-wash the Son of God like that?

Things have changed, for sure. No more goofing around with tears and hair, like in the old days. That's not going to get the grime off of sandle-clad, desert-walking tootsies. You want to wash the Lord's feet today, you call an old Italian sexton with a power-washer and a Lucky Strikes pack rolled up in his undershirt sleeve. Sure, it's not as ceremonial and profound, but we want the job done. This ain't no Bible verse.

It just all just fits, doesn't it? Yes, my friends, times have definitely changed.

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