I offer this with the utmost in charity and love. A prophet is someone who speaks for God. A prophet called today.
I'm in my office, desperately fighting off the desire to take a nap when the phone rings. Since I'm the only one in the office I answer it.
"Are you the priest?", say a female voice.
"Are you one of the prayers?"
This throws me for a moment.
"Well,uh, I can arrange to have someone prayed for if you'd like..."
"No, no I have a story that has to be told", her voice begins to speed up, "I prayed for 8 hours a day for 8 months. I prayed that single moms would be able to see their children every day, that the homeless would have homes, that everyone would be attractive, that all marriages would be happy".
I must confess. My eyes may have rolled, just a tiny little bit. The faintest hint of a smirk might, might mind you, have flickered across my face. Words like "nutter" and "crackers" peeked into the central room of my mind wondering if they needed to step in.
But there was something in her voice, that high almost girlish voice that stopped me. She told me that after praying for all that time God spoke to her. The Divine gave her a message for all the Christians of the world.
Let's say her name was Mrs. Goldberg and leave it at that. She told me stories of anti-semitism against her and her family as she grew up. She talked of her many friendships over the years with Christians. She told me what the message was. It's quite simple really. Mrs. Goldberg knows how much we want Jesus back. We want him back so much "...you'd dye your hair purple...". God told Mrs. Goldberg that we need to love the Jews. As soon as we do, as soon as we eliminate anti-semitism Jesus will be right back with us. There will be no war, no judgement day.
The conversation went on for many minutes. Her words spoken quickly but without any sound of anger or judgement. It was important and wonderful and she needed to get her story told. Did I have contact with any Catholics? I told her that I had a little. She told me that the Pope and all the bishops needed to be told that it was time for the priests and nuns to give up celibacy, to marry one another and go to Africa to care and raise the AIDS orphans.
How can I describe the calmness, the sanity of her voice in my ear? The peacefulness as she poured out her story and entrusted it to me. The assurance as she told me that there was so much more for her to say but that I didn't have time to hear it today.
In the end she finally thanked me and said goodbye. I sat in my office and thought about the revelation given to me. She's right of course. Jesus gave us a new commandment, that we should love one another. I don't know if actually getting that right will hurry Jesus along in his return but it strikes me that it's not a bad idea under any circumstances. Jew, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist. Mono-theist, poly-theist, atheist and agnostic. Every part of his creation. We need to care for them all. We need to treat them well.
Maybe we need to dye our hair purple.
Thank you Mrs. Goldberg. I hope God keeps talking to you.
And then maybe you'll talk to me again.