Sunday, July 5, 2009

Tokin' With The Lord?

"Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." ~Hebrews 13:2


“Honey, I’m home,” Ray called from the living room, slamming the front door shut. I was in the kitchen cooking a skillet of hamburger helper for supper.

“I picked up a hitchhiker on the way home. Do we have enough for one more?” (This was in the days before cell phones, waaaaay before cell phones.)

”Sure,” I hollered back, used to feeding strangers, since Ray never passed a hitchhiker, this being the 1970’s when it wasn’t as hazardous as it is now to pick up a stranger. I was a little bit perplexed, though, as I knew he had ridden the motorcycle to work that morning because our car was broke down waiting for a payday to get fixed and we did live in the middle of nowhere on Lake Bistineau, 25 miles from any town. Who in the world would hitch a ride on the back of a motorcycle?

I opened a can of English peas and poured them in a pot to heat on the back stove burner and popped some canned biscuits in the oven before going to see who our surprise guest was.

I walked into the living room, wiping my wet hands on a dish towel and there on my ratty, gold fuzzy garage sale couch sat Jesus. Well, he resembled Jesus. He was wearing a dingy white sheet tied at the waist with a cloth belt and had on a pair of plastic flip flops. His hair was long and ratted from blowing in the wind and he had a beard.

I stopped dead in my tracks and just stared, speechless.

“Hello, there,” he said, “I’m Jesus. You can wash my feet if you want to.”

Still temporarily mute, I couldn’t resist the urge to look down at his feet. They were filthy.

I said, “You’re welcome to use the bathroom if you want to take a shower, but I think I’ll pass on the foot washing.” He took me up on the shower and Ray gave him an old robe and boxers to wear while I washed his sheet/robe. I took the biscuits out of the oven, buttered them, and put an extra plate, knife and fork on the table.

While Jesus was showering I laughingly asked Ray where he had picked this one up. He replied, “You’re not going to believe this,” but I urged him on.

“I was passing that little Assembly of God church that’s on the main drag there in town and this guy comes running out of the church’s front door waving wildly. I pulled over to see if there was some problem and he jumped on back of my motorcycle and said, ‘Hit it, dude, hit it!’ so I did. He told me he was Jesus and that he had been in the church blessing the place when a secretary saw him and said she was going to call the cops and that was why he came running out so fast.”

“Ooookay”, I said, giggling.

Ray continued (and this is pure Ray): “I wanted to test him, you know, to see if he might really be Jesus, so I opened up the motorcycle on that straight stretch of highway by the horse farm with the white painted fences. I know I hit 100 mph and Jesus didn’t even blink or hold on! The only words he uttered when I slowed down a bit were, "Cool, dude!”

“Hmmm, maybe he really is Jesus if you couldn’t scare him,” I replied sarcastically.

When Jesus came out of the bathroom, his hair still wet (we didn’t have a hair dryer), he sat down and pulled out a little Bull Durham tobacco cloth bag with a string pull and some Zigzag cigarette rolling papers. “Would you guys care to share a doobie with me?” Ray and I looked at each other and fell out laughing like hyenas. Tokin’ with the Lord, yesssirrreeee. (I swear this is a true story. It is!!)

How could we say no? Who in their right mind would pass up the chance to even utter the sentence, ‘I got high with Jesus?' Not us! I mean, it was the 70’s and it was quite unsociable to refuse a toke, much like refusing a cocktail in the 50’s.

We partook (it was some righteous weed---sorry, I couldn’t help myself) and he urged us to put on some music. I asked if he had any preferences and he said, “Y’all got any Grand Funk Railroad”? I put on the album, Closer to Home and he said he loved “I’m You’re Captain,” so we entertained Jesus with a perfectly appropriate song seeing as who he was and all.

After that, all mellowed out, I suggested one of my favorite groups, Pink Floyd, and he said, “Wow, Groovy!”

I put “Dark Side of the Moon” on and we sat, rapt, falling into the music. To this day I can’t hear Pink Floyd without recalling our visit with Jesus.

When supper was ready, I called April from Mama’s across the street to come home and eat. But Jesus said he didn’t eat meat, so I made him two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. He then proceeded to lecture us on the dangers of eating meat and killing cows and other of his helpless creatures. He chided us both for wearing leather belts and shoes. I really felt ashamed for a minute or two.

He slept peacefully on our couch that night. I went to get his robe/sheet out of the dryer the following morning and discovered that the dryer wasn’t working---his robe was still wet. He said, “That’s okay, I don’t mind,” and proceeded to put his wet sheet on, and get on back of our Suzuki in the cold, damp morning air. Ray took him back to town on his way to work and dropped him off at a 7-11 at this request. His robe was dry by the time they got there.

We learned several weeks later by way of a newspaper article that ‘Jesus’ was really the son of a wealthy family and he had run away from a psychiatric halfway home. I often wonder what became of him, if he still thinks he’s Jesus. If Jesus came back today, do you think he’d be locked up and considered crazy? Probably.

The synchronistic, funny thing is that several years later we began attending that same church, the little Assembly of God where Ray picked up hitchhiking Jesus. The pastor and his wife and a group of church members were sitting around talking one day and someone said, “Do y’all remember the time that crazy man dressed in a sheet ran through the church and like to have scared us all to death?”

Ray and I just looked at each other and winked....


Kelly said...

What a story!!

I love the true-life tales you share (remembering the rooster and laughing!), so I hope you've got more for us!

quid said...

I loved this story and think I remember it from Pearlsoup, no? A modern-day fable, Ms. M!!!


Marion said...

Thanks, Kelly and Quid. Oh, I have dozens of stories. Just last night my daughter called me to tell me about their new white hermaphrodite donkey. That's one of those you can't make up. It's name: Shim (She/Him). LOL!

Rikkij said...

Marion- one toke over the line, sweet Jesus, one toke over the line, sitting in the bush at Marion's flop house....
You can't make this stuff up! Our book is filling fast. wait til you see my tomorrow post. Pure larceny from the past! ~rick

Marion said...

I can't wait to see your post, Rick, you ingrate. I couldn't run a flop house across the street from my Mama!! LOL!

Erin, I'm losing my friggin mind. I KNOW I hit publish on your comment, but it disappeared. I read it, though. It's a date---me and Erin will be dancing under the full moon Tuesday night, fightin' skeeters, celebrating chaos, poetry, dragonflies, and just plain LIFE! I'll see if I can persuade enough dragonflies to land in my hair for a crown....Love and HUGS!!!

Pam said...

This is priceless!! I remember it from PS, too. Still as funny as the first time I read it!

You do have a way, Ms. Marion!

Marion said...

Thanks, Pammie. I hope you're feeling better. I'm pooped. I ordered Ray around to paint my laundry room mauve. It's so luscious, like a pretty rose. Blessings!

Delwyn said...

Hi Marion

you told your story really well and it took me right back to the 70s. It reminds me of a huge billboard I saw in Mauai which has the face of Jesus and says something like Jesus is it is advertising an upcoming concert or movie....

Happy Days

Marion said...

Thanks, Delwyn. I have so many funny stories in me I thought I'd try my hand at a few essays along with the poetry. I remember those billboards, too. I sort of miss them....Blessings!

Margaret Pangert said...

That was a great story, Marion! I think a lot of people can't imagine Jesus as a real person living in our times. I'm guessing he would be exactly as you depicted. And the smiling Jesus accompanying your tale is perfect. Hmmm... this should be a homily at some church (except for the pot--I doubt that would go over at church; you'd have to make it wine). You tell a very compelling, riveting story, Marion!

Marion said...

Thank you, Margaret. Yep, I think some folks might have trouble with Jesus tokin'. LOL! I appreciate you stopping by!!

Woman in a Window said...

I think I'm in love,
and it ain't with Jesus. (Although I'm sure he's very nice and all.)

This was hilarious understatement, stuck in my craw, "I really felt ashamed for a minute or two." Frig. Loved this.

Marion said...

Erin, you have given me my first big laugh of the morning. I still crack up every time I read my own story. I'm wondering if the magazine, "High Times" still exists and if they'd buy my story? I bet they'd love it.

Frigin' A, I'm in love, too! LMAO! Those clouds better begone so we can dance tonight. Rain or no rain, I'm dancin'!!

Renee said...

Marion the best story ever.

You will definitely see Jesus of that I have no doubt. Actually I think you did in a way.

Love your pal.

Renee xoxoxo

Marion said...

Thank you, my sweet Renee. Oh, I've seen Jesus all right---in the faces of friends like you and so many others. I love you, too, pal!!! Blessings!

kim said... the puzzle comes together! When I was about 12 in the 70's my guitar teacher had us play and sing a song in church, "One Toke Over the Line, Sweet Jesus". Maybe he was seeking out those innocent angelic voices in his travels, nevertheless, I found a couple of years later what a toke was and I think it was then that Jesus found me!

Marion said...

Kim, that's hilarious! Surely he knew what a toke was, but maybe not. Thanks for visiting. Blessings!

~ ennui ~ said...

'Tokin’ with the Lord, yesssirrreeee.'

Love this....

Marion said...

Glad you enjoyed the story, Ennui. Yeah, I sort of miss the 70's when things were simpler and the government wasn't up everybody's ass 24/7.

Thanks for stopping by. Blessings!