Thoughts inspired after trying to contact a well known retailer—but it applies to so many companies or agencies we try to reach on the phone. I mused on what might happen if you tried to reach a higher power!
A purely fanciful musing, of course
You pick up the telephone and dial the number. After a minute, the phone is answered. ‘Heavenly requests here. If you would like to speak to God, press 1; if you wish to speak to the Archangel Michael, press 2; if you wish to make a reservation with St Peter, press 3; if you wish the Holy Spirit to call you, press 4; for all other enquiries hold the line and an operator will speak to you.’
Cue music – Sanctus from the Coronation Mass by Mozart
You press 1, voice returns, ‘If you wish to make a prayer to God, press 1; if you wish to discuss a theological matter, press 2; if you want God to give you a blessing, press 3; if you wish to tell God how much you love your parish priest press 4; for all other enquiries press 5. Remember, your call is important to us.’
Cue music – in heavenly love abiding. You press 1.
Voice returns: ‘If your prayer is asking God for something, press 1; if you are ringing to thank him for a special blessing, press 2; if you are seeking a special favour such as this week’s winning lottery numbers, press 3; if you wish to apologize to God for something you have done wrong, press 4; if you wish to praise God, press 5. If you wish to pray that your priest is given lots more pay (stipend) , press 6. For all other enquiries, press 7.
Do please remember, your call is still important to you.’
Cue music – Jesus’ hands are kind hands. You press 1. Voice returns.
‘If you wish to ask God to intervene in a supernatural way, press 1; if you want God to help you get a pay rise, press 2; if you are concerned about the well-being of a neighbour, press 3; if you simply want to chat, press 4; if you want God to help your Vicar to become a bishop, press 5; for all other enquiries please hold whilst we try to connect you to one of our angelic operators.’
Cue music – Jesus loves me, this I know, for the bible tells me so. You press 1.
Voice returns. You have chosen to speak ask God to act in some supernatural way, in order to help us respond helpfully, please choose one of the following options. Please be assured that your call really does matter to us. If you wish God to turn water into wine for a party you are planning, press 1; if you wish God to grant you fine weather for your Church Fete next Saturday, press 2; if you wish to avert a natural disaster, press 3; if you are concerned about the Third World and wish God to feed the hungry, press 4; if you wish God would encourage the Bishop to give your hardworking parish priest a fully paid three month holiday, press 5. For all other requests, please hold the line whilst we try to connect you to one of our seraphim.’
Cue music – Bach’s Christmas Ontario.
Voice returns: ‘I’m sorry all our operators are busy right now. But your call is deeply important to us, so please hold’ – cue music, The Psalms of David sung by King’s College Cambridge Choir. At Psalm 149, the line goes dead.
Well, of course, it doesn’t work quite like that! After all God isn’t M & S or any other agency. Thankfully, there are no barriers to speaking with God. Remember we communicate best if we speak to each other face to face (not via e-mails, twitter, telephone or text-messaging). Of course, when God wants to speak with us, we can always fob him off. Simply adapt the method used above … but beware, the line can quickly go dead.
Cue music—The day thou gavest, Lord is ended.