City Life 2
The sun is shining. For reasons to dull to explain I am in Colliers Wood, in the bad lands south of Wimbledon. Sitting in lovely natural Wandle Park eating my Pret A Manger sandwiches. Since you ask, all day breakfast and club. On the other end of the bench is a man reading a book. A black man. Reading the Book. Oh dear,its got to be done.
Which bit are you reading. The Psalms. I love the Psalms, 1 and 121 being my favourites. But this is small talk. I pull out the big one. When’s He coming? Soon. Oh come on you guys always say that. Well we dont know when, so we have to be ready and the good Book tells us how.
Did he know that the early Christians used to keep the bones of the dead because they thought they when He came which they also thought was soon, he would put all the bodies back together. I told him of the joke about the card that has a picture of Jesus(beard ‘n robe model) and on the top it says Jesus is Coming and on the bottom it says Look Busy. He laughed but then Charles(his name ) is a nice guy.
He came to England from Ghana in 1990 and since 1995 has worked on the buses. He has two children who attend his church with him. Its his lunch hour and he is training to become a preacher hence the reading. His church is no tea and biscuits affair, the Restoration Ministries International does not have a priest it has Prophet Kofi Akosah who “has a mandate from God to build people of miracles, signs an wonder”. Alleluia and Amen.
He asks me if I believe in heaven. No we are like cows , dogs and worms when we go, we go. This he finds totally incomprehensible. I follow up with ideas of infinity being a time and distance concept which precludes God. He counters with those that have had a near death experience and seen the other side. I tell him that in different cultures they see different things suggesting this is some programmed dream of the unconscious.
He often gave out leaflets at stations telling of the coming resurrection. He knew most laughed at him and even those that took the leaflets threw them away. He was undeterred. We must lead a good life, we must be friendly and help others, we must try and live like He told us.
He touched on gays being ungodly , as told in the bible. And I mentioned that there was a time when the bible was used to justify slavery and racism. I pointed out that in the last forty years we have all learnt to treat women and other races with dignity so why make the exception with gays.
One the way home , the bus passed in quick succession Victory, Nelson, Hardy and Hamilton Roads. Of course this was the location of “Paradise Merton” where Hero and Lady H set up home –they called the Wandle the Nile after his famous battle. As I was getting far too excited about the thought that our Hero may have actually walked along Merton High Street I heard a familiar voice.
Suffer little children to come unto me. I’m sure it was in Jimmy Saville’s voice. I looked round but the top of the bus was empty. Supposing its true. I damned.