Sunday, May 11, 2008
Pentecost comes alive in queer novel
Today is Pentecost, when the church celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit onto the apostles in tongues of flame. Pentecost is also the final scene in my novel about an erotically alive Christ, Jesus in Love: At the Cross. Here is an excerpt that imagines the first Pentecost from the viewpoint of the risen Christ.
When the Holy Spirit loved me, our contact produced a ripple of energy similar to a heartbeat. She was ringing me like a bell, and the “sound” would roll on forever.
“It is without end, because it is without beginning,” She said. She rang me again, and this time when the edge of her heart crossed mine, the rapture made me lose control and we melted into One.
Our union was so powerful that the people there could actually see and hear Us, like tongues of fire and a whoosh of wind. Our appearance didn’t scare them because they had been expecting Us. Some of my disciples stopped singing long enough to exclaim, “It’s the Holy Spirit!”
We kissed everyone in the room, being careful to cool Our kisses to a comfortable temperature for humans. We licked them with Our flaming tongues. They welcomed Our electric kisses. Each of them inhaled sharply and deeply in preparation for a sigh. We swept into them as breath, passed through each soul’s new doorway and fertilized the sacred chamber within. At the same time, their sparkling souls penetrated my divine heart and swam into a new womblike space that had just unfurled for them. The glorious friction made me feel flushed. Holy Spirit and human spirit were wedded, catalyzing a chain reaction of power bursts. Every soul in the room ignited in such a way that flames appeared to blaze from each person’s body. They looked around at each other’s auras in astonished admiration.
All that happened on one inhalation. When they exhaled, they could taste how much God loved them as We flowed over their tongues. They let their tongues flutter and writhe in ecstatic abandon. Each one released the tension of the wedding consummation in his or her own unique speaking style. Some of it sounded like gibberish to them as they praised God. Others spoke in exalted words.
For John, it came out as a quotation from the prophet Isaiah: “My whole being rejoices in my God, for He has wrapped me in the robe of justice, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
The Holy Spirit and I rode the sound waves of their voices, still actively making love. We granted everyone within listening range the same gift that I had received that morning: the ability to hear pure thought.
…Two passersby from far-flung Phrygia were the first to speak up. “Hey, do you hear that?” asked one.
“Somebody’s speaking Phrygian! Let’s go see who it is,” the other replied.
They hurried to the upper room and knocked on the door. My disciples were still jabbering their thanks to God, no longer afraid to let others see and hear them. They propped the door open for the crowd that was gathering as the ecstatic voices carried me to people from every nation who were living in Jerusalem.
Kittredge Cherry blogs at the Jesus in Love Blog and edits the Jesus in Love Newsletter on queer spirituality and the arts. She offers GLBT and progressive spiritual resources at JesusInLove.org.