By: Josh Hutchins
“Moses, over here!” A voice shouts from around a rocky corner.
“Ah. Nice to see you again, God. I was wonde—“
God puts up a hand. “We can talk about that later. Right now, I want you to write something.”
Moses furrows his brow. “Right NOW? I mean, it’s sssso hot out here.”
God looks up at the sun. It slowly dims.
“Is that better?”
Moses nods. “Thanks. I’ll ggggo back to my tent for my writing supppppplies.”
“It’s ok, use this.”
God hands a small spiral notebook and mechanical pencil to him. Moses shrugs, takes a seat on a small dusty ledge and turns to a blank sheet of paper. Then he looks at God with his lips pursed.
“Oh, don’t look so excited, Moses.” God says with a smirk.
“Well, I’ve got this thing in the Sinai later on and I was—“
“Stop worrying about that right now. Are you ready to write this?”
Moses nods as a small bead of sweat drips off his nose. The air is dry, and it smells absolutely clean…not a sound to hear either.
“Ok.” God turns and holds his hands aloft.
“In the beginning…I smashed nearly-equal parts matter and anti-matter together to form the universe. But, I did it in a way that will confound men for ages. “Dark matter”! Ha!” God makes air quotes with his fingers. “Anyway. After that, I used a force I call gravity to coalesce matter in lumps.”
God begins conjuring holographic images out of nowhere, which dazzles Moses. He sits there with his eyes wide and unblinking.
“These uncountable grains of matter formed into gigantic balls of hydrogen and oxygen to form stars. They use a process man will eventually call: nuclear fusion to create energy in the form of photons, which then travel to the Earth at the speed of light, across open space. All of this process took billions of…” God pauses, both his hands in the air, having just swirled them in creation of another celestial image.
Moses jolts. “Oh…sorry, God. You distracted me with the…with tttthe…hand waving, the Jack Sparrow thing.” He mockingly waves his hands.
God squints at him. “Where did you see…” He shakes his head. “Never mind. Where did you leave off?”
“Umm…” Moses blinks at his notepad. “Looks like Hydroplanes and Oxycleans.”
God places his hand on his forehead. “It’s ok. It’s ok…we can spell check it later.”
“Spell…Check?” Moses recoils. “Well…I’ve bbbbeen writing it in shorthand…sorta.” He tries to look at God, with his face downward.
“Shorthand?” God reaches out and pushes the notepad down where he can see it. “Moses, these are…Egyptian hieroglyphs.”
Moses snatches the notepad away with both hands. “Well…wwwwwhat did you want me to write it in? HEBREW?!”
“Yes, Moses…yes. That’s exactly what I want. Write it in Hebrew from now on. You can go back and translate the first bit after we’re done.”
“Oookay. You’re the boss.”
Moses rolls his eyes and recomposes himself with the notepad. He clicks the pencil with his thumb and beams at himself.
“After that, I used the same force of gravity to create what you will call planets. Earth is one of these planets. At its core is a giant ball of molten iron. It spins to create a magnetic field which protects the people on Earth from the sun’s radiation. Then I set to work establishing the water cycle, plate tectonics, the food chain, orbital mechanics…”
God stops and turns to look at Moses, who’s no longer writing.
“What is it now?”
“Why did you make the sun, if you had to mmmake that other thing to protect us from it?”
“Because the sun gives everything on Earth its energy. Nothing would live without it.”
“God, you’re not making any sense. This is just like that time back in PPPPProverbs when you told King Sol—“
“I KNOW what I told Solomon. He hasn’t even lived yet though.”
Moses throws a hand in the air and drops the pencil. “See…there you go again.”
God turns and walks a few steps away. He places one hand on his hip, the other on his forehead…his elbow resting on a rocky ledge. He reaches in his pocket and grabs a handful of smite.
God mutters under his breath. “Just breath, God. Just breath. You told yourself you wouldn’t get like this.”
He exhales heavily, relaxes his shoulders, and withdraws his hand…empty.
“Moses, I’m trying to help you understand.”
Moses twists his face in confusion. “Understand? How do you fffigure that, God? I bbbarely know half the words you used a minute ago.”
“Moses…look. I realize that you have the scientific understanding of a twenty-first century college sophomore, but this is important. Once we write this, you’ll share it with all my chosen people…then, all the world.”
Moses looks at the ground, then kicks a small stone. His lips are closed tightly.
Moses only shrugs and purses his lips.
“Moses, tell me what’s wrong. I mean, you know I have the power to simply MAKE you tell me. Heck, I could just read your th—“
“Yeah, God…I know that. You. Have. The. Power. Well, why DON’T you make me?” Moses bats his head from side to side.
“Because I don’t want to, Moses. What would be the fun in doing that?”
Moses furrows his brow and cocks his head to the side.
“Is THAT what this is all about? FUN? Well, this isn’t FUN, God. It’s not FFFFUN for me to kkkk—AAAAAH!”
Moses rockets to his feet, tosses the notepad aside, and pounds his fists on the rocky ledge. Then, he leans on his hands against the rocky wall and pants heavily.
“Why, God…why? Why can’t I talk like normal?”
Moses shakes as he speaks.
“My son, you are comparing yourself to other people. You are concerned with how the WORLD thinks of you. Shouldn’t you care more about how I feel about you?”
Moses turns a watery eye to God. “Yes, God. I do care more for your opinion than others, but that doesn’t mean I care NOTHING about what people think.”
“Moses, Moses. Stop worrying about their opinion at all. Focus on how I would think, the rest will take care of itself.”
Moses turns to fully face God.
“But…Why did you…why did you make me like this? I mean, if you have the POWER” Moses makes a mocking gesture. “to control the hydrogels and oxycotins, then…why can’t you mmmake me…better. I mean, if anyone can make me…NOT me, it is YOU! Why? For fun? Why can’t I be…beautiful?”
God walks up and slowly places a hand on Moses’ shoulder. “My son. You ARE beautiful…in your own way. Your soul is b—“
“I’m not TALKING about my soul, God!” Moses brushes God’s hand away. “I’m glad you think I have a beautiful soul, sure.”
“Moses, you don’t HAVE a soul…you ARE a soul. You HAVE a body.”
They both look at each other.
“Where did you hear that?”
God shrugs. “Some guy named Lewis said it.”
Moses folds his arms. “Well, it doesn’t fix anything. I have…” Moses licks his lips. “I AM a soul and I HAVE a body. So what?”
God exhales loudly. “Moses, sit down.”
God collects the writing materials, sits on the ledge, and gestures to Moses. When he does, God places an arm around him.
“What would you have me do? Make everyone’s body the same? Like mine? Perhaps if your wife looked more like…” Moses gives God a raw look. “So, you get my point. Good.”
Moses squeezes his lips then sighs. “I’m just thinking about your power, God.”
God leans back. “How do you mean?”
“Well, if you have the power to give us all perfect beautiful bodies…the power to create us, all the gravitogs, food pyramids, and plate technicalities…then you have the power to keep all bad things from happening too. You could take away my slow speech. You could have stopped that guard back in Egypt. Why don’t you?”
God takes in a deep breath, then lets it out slowly. “Moses, would you prefer a world where nothing bad happens, only good things? A world where nobody gets sick, nobody dies of an accident, there are no natural disasters, no wars? Everyone dies of old age…in their sleep?”
Moses blinks and purses his lips. “Yeah…pretty much.”
“A world where picnics never get rained on, everybody bowls a strike, stock prices always rise, coffee is never bitter, ice cream never falls out of the cone, the OKC Thunder always wins, every song is a #1 hit?”
“Yes, God, yes…and homes aren’t destroyed in fires, children never die…of ANYTHING, and nnnnnnobody stutters, and…and…” Moses begins to smile gleefully.
“and nobody gets a sunburn, or an ingrown toenail?” God adds.
Moses’ smile quickly starts to fade.
“Where does it end? Huh?” God calmly looks at Moses, who only shrugs. “Moses, what you’re describing is Heaven. It’s Heaven. I’m glad that you want it. I WANT you to want it…Heaven.”
Moses shrugs. “Well, it sounds more like the bosom of Abraham to me. I’ve not heard of this ‘heaven’ thing.”
They both smile.
“You know what, let’s start this book over.”
Moses nods. “Sure.”
God stands up and begins pacing. Moses rips the top sheet out of the notebook, crumples it into a ball, and tosses it on the desert floor.
“In the begi…” He smiles at Moses. “It took me six days to create everything. Just write that. On the seventh day, I took a break.”
Moses squeezes his eyebrows. “You took a BREAK? Like…you were TIRED?”
“No. I did it just to be an example to you…to take a break once a week.”
They both grin at each other.
“Now, let’s talk about your next vacation to sunny Egypt…”