I am not the result of a random universe. Even though I came to be in my mother’s womb, I don’t owe my existence to my parents’ random act of copulation in the fall of 1983. No matter how much you try to secularise my origins, I can refute them.
Because I am of God. Really, I am.
When Jesus gave his famous Sermon on the Mount, while standing on a particularly pretty hillock near Capernaum, he gazed at the people who had flocked too see him. He thought it was a pretty flock. Just as he was about to speak, he felt an unruly presence beside his left foot. It turned out to be a pebble. “Curse that pebble,” Jesus voiced and gave it a holy kick. He turned his gaze to a bigger rock just to his right. “It’s too big to kick, but what if I…” he thought, and lifted his right leg to rest on the rock. This pose, much parodied by heavy metal bands to come, was to be Jesus’ trademark.
But this is not a story about the rock. It’s about the pebble that Jesus’ holy foot touched. You see, the pebble came to rest on the edge of a cliff that overlooked the level area where Jesus’ posse was gathered. For centuries the pebble stood on the edge of the cliff, thinking in a very solid manner how cool it was that Jesus had touched it. The pebble saw the landscape change. First the hills around it were flattened. Then they were raised again. Then someone built a carriageway, upon which donkeys and mules were forced to trot and ponder their meaningless existence. Then the road was covered with rocks and stones, and soon armies and more donkeys and mules travelled along it.
Years went by. The pebble was still a pebble, albeit a holy one. Once the pebble engaged itself in a very rocky monologue that lasted for two centuries over the intricacies of Aristotlean thought, and when it was finished, it noticed that an oil pipe had appeared and the mules and donkeys were replaced with motor vehicles.
For two millennia the pebble didn’t move. Heavy winds blew over the hill, but for some reason (the pebble argued it was because of his divine experience) it never budged. Neither was it ever covered in dirt or dust. God kept watch over it, the pebble mused.
Soon it was 1983, and the pebble was still on top of the hill near Capernaum. All the landscape had changed since its tête-à-tête with Jesus, but the pebble was still there, basking in its divine purpose. On one summer’s day, a group of tourists came to the hills. They watched in awe at the landscape, especially the spectacular view over the Sea of Galilee (“Overrated,” the pebble mouthed). One of the tourists said “I bet this is where Jesus gave his famous sermon!” to which another replied “Naw, can’t be here, you’re mistaken, honey.” The pebble screamed indignantly. How could someone be so ignorant as to refute its very divine existence?
But everything was about to change. The very same fool, who had denied his wife’s wisdom, came over and picked the pebble up. The pebble was so aghast that it couldn’t do anything. 2000 years of living in harmony in this very spot, with the kick of his Master still a crisp memory, and now some stupid tourist from Scandinavia had come and ruined it all!
“Look honey, what a funny-looking pebble!” the man said. The pebble didn’t understand this at all. What was so funny-looking about it?
The man took the pebble with him to Finland. A dismal country, the pebble thought, God would never create something as utterly dull as this.
One night, a couple of weeks later, the pebble stood on a shelf, staring angrily at the man below, hard at work with his papers and documents. Be it divine intervention, a biologically incomprehensible act of chance or just a joke God played on the world, the pebble fell from the shelf on to the man’s head.
“Ouch!” the man cried, and the pebble was happy. Instead of cursing, the man picked the pebble up, gave it a quizzical look, and proceeded to go into the bedroom.
“Look honey, remember this trip?”
“Yeah, I remember it well.”
“Mmm.. remember that one night, just after we’d been to the hills?”
“Oh yeah, I really remember that well, dear.”
“So… you think you’d wanna… you know?”
“But I thought you said you had to work late, and that we’d do it sometime next week?”
“Let’s do it now. This pebble brought back so many memories.”
“Ok, come here, tiger.”
As the man proceeded to take his pants down, the pebble looked at the anatomical extremity that had previously been veiled from it. “Gee, that looks like me… EWW OH NO!” the pebble screamed as it understood just what had been so funny about it in the first place.
What the couple did next, which, as I may remind you, was initiated by the chance of the pebble kicked by Jesus falling on the man’s head, was the origin of me, because nine months later I was born.
So I repeat: I was not a random event. I wasn’t a ripple in the stream of chaos.
Just as Jesus is of God, so am I.
Bill Hicks once said “Life is a ride” to which Jeff Buckley replied “Hallelujah” and Billy Graham ended the dialogue with “Amen”. I am not a rock, but I am of rock; Jesus’ rock.