Genesis has God saying, “Let there be light.” That’s how King James’ scholars’ English put it. The Latin Bible had phrased it, “Fiat lux.”
Great. That was at a beginning. These days scientists figure that the early Big Bang universe had no light, light came later (has been a big deal ever since) …
Now I want to say something I’ve said a few dozen times before but say it in a new way, make a new metaphor, shine light from a different angle: I want to invite you to imagine with me how God may wish to light Judgment Day. Light counted at Creation, light I don’t doubt will count at Judgment.
Let’s say that God is about to judge Lillian Gish, that stellarly lovable actress.
Did you know that seminal director D W Griffith hired a lighting expert full time just to light Lillian?! OK, now, it’s Judgment Day. I love Lillian Gish, and hope God loves her half as much as I do, as Griffith did, as the world did. But: will God use Griffith’s Hollywood light man to illuminate her sins at Judgment? or will God use his own lighting?
When God judges Betty Davis’s Baby Jane will he use her lighting? listen to her lawyer? listen to her? Or will he use lighting that would blind the surgeons that insist on surgical quality lighting in the operating theater? Light so light that even I with my degenerating eyes wouldn’t need a magnifying glass?
Now, imagine this at the same time: God sent Jesus to tell us some things, we suckered the Romans into sapping him, dropped the sandbag right on his head, nailed him up, cut off what he was trying to tell us. Who knows who else God has sent? I know he sent Ivan Illich, I know he sent me: and I know (no one knows better) how I’ve been treated: cut off, interrupted, misquoted, misrepresented, sabotaged, steamrolled, jailed, censored … how I’m routinely interrupted before I can establish a single fact, make a single point … (and the interrupters keep no record of their interruptions, don’t even know they’re doing it!) When God asks me to testify (say against you), I know how you can interrupt me; what I want to know is how are you going to interrupt God? God lets you interrupt me in this life: will he let you then also interrupt the testimony he requests from me?
Will God let all the sinners sit freely at Judgment? get up to get a hotdog? go to the john? interrupt pk? … torture Jesus all over again? Or will every single human, except the one testifying (or the one answering a direct question) be bound and gagged? (Mifune’s immortal bandit in Roshomon was bound all right, but not gagged.)
PS Was there ever a more effective professional virgin than Lillian Gish? People believed she was still a virgin when she was in her twenties! I was ready to believe, or at least pretend to believe she was a virgin when she played old woman roles: none better there either.