“The Book of Revelations says that He will come in a time and in a manner that is least expected.” She lowered her eyes in reverence as she always did when she quoted or paraphrased the Bible.
“And what if I told you that Jesus Christ came for his Second Coming as a young Haitian man with AIDS? And what if the entire world missed it? Régis, art thou a king?”
“Don’t speak such blasphemy!” she gasped.
“What blasphemy? He may not be crucified but he has certainly been beaten and spat on. Actually, he is being crucified. It’s just that it’s playing out over three years rather than three hours. If he is not dying for his own sins, he must be dying for ours. Another innocent on the altar. Another virgin in the volcano. You want blasphemy? Not only did you miss the Second Coming, but probably a third, fourth, over a million comings. He comes every time an innocent suffers unto death.”
She was silent for a long time. I’m sure she thought that if she provoked me further I would lose my soul forever. Just before I let her off at her home she asked if there were anything she could do. I surprised her by saying, “When he is ready to go home from the hospital, take him home with you.”
“Take him home with me?”
“Well, isn’t it written, ‘and I was naked and you clothed me, and I was starving and you gave me food, and I was homeless and you sheltered me?’ You’re missing your big chance!”
“I would take him home with me if I had a place of my own.”
“You have your own room.”
The thought of this Egyptian woman taking a Haitian man home to our neighborhood and nursing him back to health was beautiful enough to intrigue me. But I knew that I was kidding myself. And she knew I had won our philosophical war. Such things were just not done. She said nothing further as she got out of the car and entered her house.