Tuesday, May 16, 2006


They call me Doctor Faith. I am the Doctor of Faith.

I have no money today, and it's interesting. People think I’m rich just because I write books. That’s a nice theory until your employer is God, Who controls all monetary sense and nonsense. Sometimes I have money, sometimes I don't. God has plunged me into an erratic line of work. Some days God sits me on His lap and pets my head. Other days I feel like an anvil, and God is the nose of the hammer. I hope that these two weeks, or however long it has been, will dispel forever the ignorant notion that just because I realize God is behind evil and will eventually bring good of it does not mean I greet it with a conical hat. If I told you what I said to God this morning it would shake your faith, so I will refrain. I would hate to have anyone stumbling over me. I can say and do and live without stumbling, but that is only because I have severe amounts of faith. Severe amounts. I am overloaded in the faith department.

If this were the day when faith moved mountains, I would be playing chess with the Himalayas. But this is not that day. This is the day when faith can only barely be bartered for peace with not being at peace. I have boxcars of faith, and it is the only reason I get away with what I say and think and dream and hope and tug and tunge and drag o’er the hearth toward the cave where He lay for three days before rising. I’m not even bragging. But honestly, this is the longest three days of the last two weeks of my life, and “tunge” isn’t even a word. This ought to give you a clue as to my faith. It is as advertised.

When I speak of my faith, I do not boast as if I have originated it. As Paul says, what do you have that you have not obtained? I have not originated, but obtained. And I obtain and obtain and obtain. I am telling you, when the first boxcar of faith passes the chambers of my inner being, it is no big cause for worry, because there’s another boxcar behind it, and another one behind that, and another one behind that. I have more faith than sixteen boxcars have coal briquettes. In fact, I need rid of some. Were I able to give some away, I would. I would render unto each of you a boxcar’s worth—and have plenty left over. Left over? I speak an outrage, for I obtain a trainload’s worth of faith every hour, even while testing the limits of all things Godward and making up words like “tunge.”

This, too, shall pass. I know this comes to pass. It all comes to pass. Nothing comes to stay in this eon, but to pass. Thus the saying: “It comes to pass.” Great saying; one of the best ever; one of the better ones. The rain and the clouds and the death come to pass. The fear of losing all my loved-ones comes to pass, and even the losing of them would also come to pass. See? What did I tell you about my faith? It is completely god-awful. It is a burden to be given so much. I have no idea why I am the world record holder in this department. I am not even glad of it. It only is. I can only bear it. I cannot help for a moment my singular possession. I cannot change it. It does not even show most of the time, this faith. If it did, I would be world-famous: Fifi the Celestial Poodle Leaping Through a Hoop of Flaming Planets. If I could barter faith for money, I would be Jed Clampett of the New World Order.

I wish I could dispense it. Would that I could. I would not charge a nickel for it, not even a penny. It would not be like my books, which come hard. Having so much faith is like having too much iron in the blood: you get heavy and bloated and your veins turn hard from constantly plying the parameters of not seeing anything. I would hook up a fire hose to my head or my heart or to whatever spiritual ventricle supplies faith, and I would heave open the valve and souse you with a flagon’s worth every minute. The tap could run all day and leave me none the worse because, in the interim, I will have been reloaded with two more times again the dispersal, immeasurable in human flagons.

I do not even work at it. Work? I blaspheme. I do not even play. In fact, the less I work the more I get, and the more I play the less I don’t get. I say again: Would that these were the days of moving mountains. But power these days is hardly manifested as men (or women) would manifest it. Men and women looked for power in the time of Christ only to see a man on a cross trying to get comfortable in His spikes and groaning unutterable utterances to Himself. They look for power nowadays and all they see are mountains sitting where they’ve been since the disruption of the world. The mountains won’t move a whit, not even to save an oxygen-deprived yak on the South Col of Everest. But in the coming kingdom, anyone with a tenth of the faith God has given me will send comets out of orbit with a random thought while gathering summer figs in the south of Lebanon. The rings of Saturn? Gone before breakfast.

There is a time for everything under the sun except personal glory. If sun is what we have out there and it is advertised with such coronal exuberance, then it should disrupt more of our cellular communication. And yet it does not. I do not doubt for a moment that I am a target of the Adversary. Everything on this dirty planet now is like a chisel that chips iron off the horseshoe of surviving another ping of God’s weeping little hammer. (I apologize for that sentence; it was uncalled for. It is just a longwinded, downgraded term for the Adversary.) And that’s without the fire, even. Add the fire, and it makes you want to take megavitamins. Or eat carrots. (Not that any of this would help, but then that’s where faith comes in. When carrots make your eyesight worse, that’s where faith comes in. If rabbits see so well, why do they run pell-mell into oncoming cars? Trucks? Campers? Where are the rabbits' heads? Why, I know: their heads are detached from their bodies! And this: When you pull on your undershirt and get the tag in front after trying so hard to get it in back, where it belongs, don’t you think that, too, is of faith? And also when you’re out of jelly? And milk? And bread? And apples? And patience? [Do you think patience is of faith? Recant of it, miscreant; impatience is of faith.]

It could perhaps be that God is gearing up for the Super Bowl of Revelation. The glory knob I spoke of on an earlier page occupies all-time world record lows, lying (or laying—who the heck knows or cares) in the lowlands of that famous dial. Not even pancakes can cure it. Not even pancakes packed with syrupy fruit can resurrect this knob from its “death bed.” Not even new brain chemicals, real or artificial, can make the glory knob rise from its slab. (Same with Christ; God roused Christ.) What about local honey? Forget it. Bees don’t live long enough to regurgitate that much glory. I doubt that a local honey would cure it, either. Mark this: Fun in this eon causes misery. Study it. Fun Houses—with all their wacky mirrors and slanted floors—make you sick. (What a paradox. But don’t look at me; I didn’t invent it.) The only peace available in this eon is to be at peace with not being at peace—that is the only cure for this present eon. In France, it would be known as “le curĂ© miraculiare” and you would pay a million francs for it. Hear what I say. Appreciate what I have just dispensed to you, nearly by accident. It is as I told you. I have merely blown the foam off the top of my flagon, and that with no more cost to me than an exasperative exhalation. I dispense to you faith in this way, without cost; I blow it nearly inadvertently in your direction. Just like that, faith in your face. Now—can you imagine my burden?

You used to say live and let live. But if this ever-changing world in which we live in makes you give in a cry, well, then live and let die.

You can always resurrect in the coming eon.

© 2006 by Martin Zender