Friday, 24 April 2009

12. :: "love me, Jesus"

The doorbell is ringing hard and loud like a siren.

Sorry to trouble you, but could we talk to you about Our Lord Jesus Christ? I don't know if you're aware but Jesus loves you and in order to enter Heaven and the afterlife you really need to recognise Jesus Christ as your Saviour. Do you have any thoughts about Jesus Christ at all?

Jennifer stares at the men stood on her doorstep. She feels the urge to grab them both and hug them, or else scrape her knuckles back and forth across their heads. She does neither but offers in response a simple No. The two men look young and sound American and are dressed like they are on their way home from work. A silence sticks between the three of them. Eyes shift. Jennifer wonders how long she would have to wait before she could politely close the door. She holds a blank expression so as not to offend. The young Christian men are unsure and begin to back away, not out of fear but more because they are wasting their time waiting for more than a No.

Jennifer closes the door as the young men walk on to the next house. Jesus loves you, she says to herself. If you will love me, Jesus, then I will love you in return.

Jennifer has been in love before maybe. She is not sure. She thinks of love as a house which you move into and live inside of. You and another person are both inside the house and it is your house together, you both know that and that makes it precious and something tangible like you can touch the walls and curtains and believe that it will stand forever. There are times when one of you leaves but the other is still inside and at those times it can be cold and lonely and claustrophobic and the light switches stop working and you do not know what to do. There are times when one of you returns after a period of time and the house feels perfect again. Perhaps Jennifer has not been in love because she has never been in the same house as someone else in that way. Jennifer thinks that maybe you can only really know if something is love if they are in love with you also, or at least they know what you are feeling, otherwise it is something else with a different and less attractive name but still important in spite of the loneliness.