Joan Osborne once asked me, “What if God had a face? Would you want to see it?”
So I said, “Sure. Why not? I’ve always wanted to stare into a psychological construct.”
She replied, “What if seeing meant believing in Heaven and Jesus and the saints and all the prophets?”
I asked her if she understood causality. She said nothing, so I made my point. “Seeing the face of God would not necessarily mean that I would have to believe in all of the religious accoutrements,” I said, “Certainly not those of any specific religion. At least not unless God told me that the followers of one particular faith had got it bang on the nose.”
“What if God was one of us?” I don’t think Joan was listening to me.
I replied, “What? An atheist?”
She said, “Just a stranger on a bus.”
I said, “What are you talking about? I’m on my couch, at home. You’re in the radio. Neither of us is ‘on a bus’.”
Apparently, she thinks God would try to make his way home on a bus. I don’t think she studied theology. Unless she just meant a church..? But this would assume a Christian deity and she wouldn’t be so specific, surely..?
I asked her, after some conversation, “Why is God all alone in Heaven, then?”
She stared at me, expressionless, through the radio. I assumed it was just that the door had been locked and no-one told him. But then she said that no-one but the Pope called him on the phone.
“That’s terrible,” I said, shaking my head. “Of all the religious leaders in the world, only the Pope gets in touch.”
Later, after Joan had left, I wondered about all of the other religious followers who claim that they talk to God. Surely, God isn’t just ignoring their calls? Why isn’t he talking to them when the Pope doesn’t bother?
I’m not sure I would want to meet this God, after all. He sounds like a bit of a dick.