Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away. (Genesis 5:24)

Boy. Being one of God’s favorites can make for some weird shiitake. Take Job, for instance. God goes off the deep end with kudos for the guy, then gives Satan the green light to totally—well, make that mostly totally—screw him over. Strange brew: God brags on him and what does Job get out of the deal? He loses everything but his skin, and even that was probably as pockmarked as the moon. When you’re talking God, I guess love hurts sometimes. Seems it isn’t always an advantage to have God’s unqualified admiration.

Then there’s the other extreme. The I-just-can’t-live-without-you-thing. When it’s between humans, it’s only mildly annoying. (I know some couples—heterosexual couples, mind you—not that I’m prejudiced against homosexual couples who defy nature’s Tab A/Slot B endowments by extraordinary physical measures and who should probably win prizes for alternate realities and relentless normalizations of what ought to be regarded, in my humble opinion, as fantastically supernormal feats of physical compensation and social recalibration worthy of astonishment—but I’m talking about the boy and girl thing. Anyway, the mutual fawning displayed by certain unnamed couples I know (who should have grown out of it by now, I should think) nudges me toward a mild nausea. After all, marriage is supposed to cure you of that romantic foo-foo folly.

As I say, when it’s between humans it’s bad enough; but when the I-just-can’t-live-without-you-thing goes divinity on you, there are some strange consequences. I don’t mean when a human gets all starry-eyed about God; that’s pretty much the definition of religious in the first place. History is filled with men and women who went ga-ga over the divine Hunk. There’s the Apostle Paul, of course, but his pscho-devotion may be due, in part, to a head injury sustained on the road to Damascus. Then there was that nun babe, Saint Theresa, who was so into God that she had spiritual orgasms (ah ah ah ALLELUIA!). The idea was so wild that the artist Bernini carved a statue of her, a kind of marble porn, that still swoons in the Cornaro Chapel in Rome. Most of the time, however, those who go head-over-heels for God aren’t quite so sexual about it. Which is a bummer. Church would sure be more entertaining if they did.

The weirdest thing of all is when God goes gonzo over a human being. It’s not that God doesn’t like everybody. He made everybody, after all, and is obligated to like each person at least a little bit. Still, there are those very rare individuals whom God really digs. And the ones he really really digs may find themselves abducted by the Holy Alien himself. We’re talking an alternative to death here (the usual route to the great by-and-by). Remember Elijah? He got snagged by a chariot of fire that tornadoed him post haste through those pearly gates. But the coolest exit of all belongs to Enoch. He was God’s first good buddy after Adam blew it. God really liked Enoch. They hung out together a lot. One day Enoch was gone. Just gone. No phone message. No sticky note. No mail forwarding. Poof. Now he’s here; now he’s not. Done deal.

I wonder if this explains why I can never find my flashlight when I need it.


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