Tuesday, April 20, 2010


He leaned back in what had to be the most comfortable recliner ever created. The light shone behind him in that Hollywood way that makes the hair look like pure gold. He drew the Cohiba Behike slowly under his nose, as if savoring each millimeter of the hand-rolled silken leaves. Then with a quick and confident move he cut the cap.

He said, “light,” and before the word had even finished leaving his mouth, the white flame appeared just below the tip. As he rotated it, the leaves took on a glowing ring and he gently blew on them until he had rounded ash on the tip.

He put it to his lips and with a master’s touch, gave a puff outward. He then closed his eyes and drew an inward puff.

As he exhaled the smoke, it seemed to rest around his head like some heavenly halo.

“Mmmm,” he said simply. “It is good.”

At least that’s how I imagined it might look like, after hearing a little girl ask, “Why does God smoke, daddy?”

She and her dad had just exited from their minivan emblazoned with a bumper sticker that proclaimed: Do What Jesus Would Do.

Obviously, she had made the connection. If daddy smoked, then God must smoke. Which provoked my image of what God would look like stoking a stogie. Yet as strange as that must seem, her daddy’s response struck me even stranger.

“Because God is under a lot of stress, honey.”

Wow. Really?

Your little girl is thinking God smokes and the best answer you can come up with is that He’s under a lot of stress? Somebody needs to issue a recall on that guy’s bumper sticker.

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