Soul Searching Jesus

by Raymond Towers © 2002

Unable to gain passage into the subway station due to his lack of tokens, and for that matter, a lack of pockets to hold currency to purchase said tokens, Jesus instead exited the station to seek heavenly prospects elsewhere. Most pedestrians walked past the oddly dressed man, who wore a long and flowing beige robe, and a beaten up pair of leather sandals. His scruffy and matted beard, coupled with his huge nose and forehead, made him appear most unlike the Renaissance figure imprinted in people's minds, adding considerably to his failure at being recognized. (A few beggars and drunkards knew who he was, however, since Jesus had cured them of their cravings for alcohol. Thier response was to follow him with loud cries and raised fists, not in support of Jesus, mind you, but cursing him for ruining their favorite pastime. Luckily for the Son of God, they'd long since given up chase.)

Reaching the sidewalk, Jesus glanced up and down the street at the teeming masses of humanity that bustled about, knowing instinctively that they all had troubled souls, a few of which were even worth saving, but not knowing exactly where or who to being with. "Where are my disciples when I need them?" The man lamented, absently taking a few steps into the street, then jumping backwards when a car horn startled him.

"Hey, you freak! Get off the road!" The uncaring driver yelled without slowing.

Jesus turned back towards the sidewalk, when another vehicle, a bright yellow sedan, pulled up alongside him. "Hey, bub, you need a lift?" A grizzled, tobacco chewing cabby asked him.

Jesus stared back blankly.

The cabby knew a good mark when he saw one. "Can I give youse a ride somewhere?"


"Then hop on in, mack."

Jesus became puzzled.

"You're from outta town, ain't ya? Just grab hold of the handle, and let yourself in." After a few minutes of struggle, the cabby'd had enough, exiting and running around the cab to allow Jesus entry. "Dey don't got door handles where you're from, or what?"

Entering too quickly, Jesus bumped his head on the roof. "Ouch!" Needless to say, he healed the bump immediately.

The cabby returned to his own seat and clicked on the meter. "Where'd you say you were from?"

"Originally, from Jerusalem, a land flowing with milk and honey."

"Yeah, okay. What's your name?"

"Jesus Christ."

"Don't take it personal. If you don't want to tell me, its alright by me."

"Jesus Christ." Jesus repeated, sensing that the driver was hard of hearing.

"You don't want me to know your name? Is that it?"

Jesus raised his voice considerably to make up for the cabby's hearing deficiency. "JESUS CHRIST!!"

"If you say so, bub." The cabby glanced back, then began driving. "How'd you get way out here, Jesus freakin' Christ?"

"I've traveled a long distance on my ass."

For a few moments, the cabby remained silent, then thought to humor his customer. "Well, your ass must be pretty tired by now.

"Yes, it suffered greatly from the exertion."

The cabby stared into the rear view mirror at his passenger. "Say, aren't you one o' dem hairy Krishnas? Anyways, where can I take you?"

"I seek the company of tax collectors and prostitutes."

"Company?" The cabby asked. "I don't know about no company o' tax collectors, but I do know where to find a couple of independently contractin' hoochies."

"Take me there." Jesus acknowledged. "I wish to save them."

"Save 'em from what?" The cabby replied, then recalled his own interest. "And speakin' o' savin', howse you gonna pay them? How much money you got on ya?"

"I do not carry currency, for it is the root of all evil."

"No money?" The cabby was shocked. "Then how you gonna pay for this ride?"

"Do you have a loaf of bread? Or a fish?"

"A fish? You gonna pay me in fish?" The driver grew impatient. "Are you loony?"

Sensing the cabby's agitation, Jesus considered other methods of compensation. "Perhaps I could cleanse you of sin, or repair your hearing?"

"There ain't nuthin' wrong with my hearing!" The cabby snapped, slamming on the brakes. Loudly, the car screeched to a halt.

"Get outta my taxi, you nutcase!"

"But what of the prostitutes?"

"If you ain't got no money, you ain't got no ride! Now, get out!"

"Greater treasures await you in heaven." Jesus implored. "All you have to do is ask for them."

"Out, out, out!"

"But I can save your soul."

The cabby reached over to his glove box, retrieving a small can of mace, which he proceeded to squirt toward Jesus' face. "I said, OUT!"

More of an irritation than anything else, Jesus wiped the stinging spray off and healed his eyes. Having given up on his holy purpose, he fumbled with the door handle for a few seconds, then succeeded in opening the door. "Saint Peter was right." He mumbled as he exited. "Things down here have changed, and for the worst."

As soon as the door was closed, the cab sped away, leaving Jesus standing in the middle of the street. The downhearted figure stepped over to the sidewalk, pausing to observer a small group of children playing in the nearby park.

"What will you be like when you grow up?" He wondered.

Just then, Lucifer popped up beside him, his goateed face sporting the grin of the victor. "You lose again, sucker!" He chided. "That makes you, what, oh-for-six-billion? Hah!"

Jesus frowned.

"Nobody wants to be saved!" Lucifer boasted. "Its too much fun being a sinner! Believe you me, I know. See you at the next barbecue!"

Having said this, Lucifer vanished, leaving Jesus to consider just how correct his adversary's assessment of humaninty really was. A short time after that, Jesus found himself wondering how he was going to get back to where his ass was parked.

x x x

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