1 And there came a voice from Heaven, saying, “Go thee over behind that bush?” 2 And Jesus looked to the Wild Man and also unto the people who had come to marvel thereupon 3 and then He did roll His eyes and trudge unto the side of the bush that was without. 4 And Jesus said, “Know thou, Father, that it might actually help if other people heard thy great voice?”
5 And the Lord said, “That is why I summoned thee hither. So thou lookest not crazy.” 6 And Jesus said, “That being sort of the point. A lot of people claim to talk to you.” 7 And the Lord said, “Let my children’s faith bear witness to the true face of God made flesh, and should they be found wanting, they will betray their hearts.” 8 And Jesus said, “Yeah, it’s that kind of cryptic thing that keeps all this sort of dependently subjective. I’m just saying we could make this a lot easier without — what did the Wild Man who dunked me in the river say about the nails?” 9 And the Lord said unto Jesus, “Yea, never mind that, look, I need you to do a thing for me. Go over there. For like forty days.”
10 And Jesus said, “That is the Wilderness.” And the Lord said, “I need you to meet a guy there.” 11 And Jesus said, “In the Wilderness.” And the Lord said, “Yes, the Wilderness. You’ve got someplace better?” 12 And Jesus said, “Yea, actually, know Thou what is better to meet ‘a guy’ in than a Wilderness for forty days? First, someplace with maybe food and shelter and, second, anyplace other than a Wilderness.”
13 And the Lord said, “Right, because all the glory and fruits of my creation provided you lo for three and also thirty years have surely proven insufficient to thy nourishment.” 14 And Jesus did rub a thumb unto one eye and forefinger unto the other and did utter, “Again with this.”
15 And the Lord said, “Hey, remember Job?” And Jesus did say, “That was a pointless and mean-spirited exercise in blind fealty to an all-loving God. I am the all-loving God. Kind of.” 16 And the Lord said, “I don’t remember being this pissy.” 17 And Jesus did raise a hand aloft and said, “Hands up, who here feels pain? Oh, yea, the one with the actual hands. Made of flesh. That burns in the sun. 18 And things go through.”
19 And Jesus said, “Speaking of which, what the Wild Man said about nails —” 20 And the Lord said, “Never mind him.” And Jesus said, “But he sounded pretty —” 21 And the Lord did cut Jesus off and said, “He’s dead.” 22 And Jesus said, “In the last five minutes?” And the Lord said, “Herod. Cut his head off for his hot daughter.” 23 And Jesus said, “What, is that even a fetish? Lo, a better day will dawn upon Judea whereupon I rid it of those jerks.” 24 And the Lord said, “Yea, anyway, go thee unto the Wilderness.”
25 And Jesus said, “Fine. And who awaits me therewithout that I may meet him.” And the Lord said unto Jesus, “Well, Remember Job?”
26 And Jesus said, “So, Satan.” And the Lord said, “He’s not as bad as everybody says.”
27 And Jesus did sigh and utter, “Of course he’s not.” And He did go even unto the Wilderness for forty days and 28 I, Eddie, blessed to walk even with him, did demur and instead stay where there was food and shelter. 29 And when Jesus returned He said He had been tempted of Satan and, beyond that, didn’t want to talk about it.
Original Artwork by Luis De León Diaz.