A wrathful God. Artist unknown

Remember: “GOD” spelled sideways is “GDO”!

#1: lay your hands on me

“Is there a God on board?” Superficially, the stewardess’ voice retained its smooth professionalism; but there was a brittleness about it, a suggestion of barely concealed panic. The passengers in cattle-class shifted with unease, bordering on alarm. Panic is not a quality anyone enjoys discovering in their cabin crew.

“A gentleman has been taken ill up front,” she continued. The herd slumped back into their bucketed seats, exhaling their relief. Just some rich schmuck whose ticker had given out 30,000 feet from the nearest medical facility. Probably too much fancy eating and high living. A wave of Schadenfreude swept across the cabin.

“Hey,” said the guy in 44A to the guy in 44B, “you’re God, right?”

The guy in 44B waited for a moment, pretended not to hear. But the guy in 44A could not be so easily deterred. “I mean, I don’t mean to make assumptions, but you sure look like Him –“

“Yeah, yeah,” muttered God. He reluctantly raised His hand. “Miss? I’m God. Can I help?”

“Oh, thank goodness,” trilled the stewardess. “Well actually, I guess I mean thank You!”

God smiled patiently, His eyes lowered.

“We have a passenger upfront who’s having palpitations,” she said. “His medication’s not controlling them, and he’s not ready for the defibrillator yet, but we need to do something before he has a heart attack. So perhaps You could do something?”

God looked uncertain. “Well, I did some first aid training a while back, but surely there’s someone else on board who’d be better qualified for that kind of thing?”

The stewardess’ forehead wrinkled. “Well, we were actually thinking that … you know … You could lay Your hands on him, or something like that?”

“Like in cardiac massage?” said God.

“Well, more as in healing,” said the stewardess.

“I’m afraid I can’t do that,” said God.

“Why ever not?” said the guy in 44A, who God swore privately was going on His shitlist.

“I help those who help themselves,” explained God.

“But we tried that,” said the stewardess. “And isn’t asking You helping ourselves? It shows initiative, right?”

“Look, I’m sorry,” said God, “but I really can’t do that. I’m just going to see my son for the holidays, I’m not here in an official capacity –“

“It’s malpractice, right?” snapped the stewardess. “You’re worried that Your malpractice insurance won’t cover it.”

“No, no, that’s not it at all –” started God, but a ripple of disapproval was already washing over rows 43 and 45. “It’s just that I have to move in mysterious ways –“

“I can’t believe You’re just going to leave him to die,” said the guy in 44A, saucer-eyed. “I just don’t believe You’re going to just sit there and let him die. I don’t believe you.”

And soon the guy in 44A wouldn’t believe in Him, thought God. As the stewardess turned on her heel and stalked up the aisle, he knew a few more lambs had wandered from His flock today. “Damn,” He said, and buried Himself in His newspaper.

#2: the answer to all your prayers

Time to get to work. God pushed His chair forward, opened His inbox, groaned inwardly. Holy crap! That’d teach Him to take a long weekend without arranging cover first. He clicked on the first message.

“Dear God,” it began, “I’ve been praying real hard but I’m still a little, um, small down there and I’m kinda worried ’cause I have another date with Amy on Wednesday and I think she might let me go all the way this time. So could you maybe see your way to, y’know, enlarging my manhood –“


“Oh Heavenly Father,” started the next, “I know I said last time that I’d go to church every Sunday if You dealt me good hands in the Saturday night poker game. Well, I guess You must not have been listening. But I found a new place to play! It’s full of great people and I feel like a winner! —


“Our Father, I’ve discovered a really hot stock. Everyone’s gonna be talking about it! Prospects are sky-high and this one could go all the way. I guess you don’t need the cash, but if You can just arrange for me to find the seed money, I promise I’ll do Your work with my gains –“


“Our Father Who Art In Heaven, Hallowed Be Thy Name you know God I really want a Vuitton handbag I hope this doesn’t make me sound shallow but do you know where I could find Big Designer Names at Knock-Down Prices —


“Dear God, I’m not sure if you even exist, but if you do, could you please please please let me check out some HOT TEEN SLUT ACTION sometime soon –“


“Dear God, I am Olesanjo Boko, vice-president of the People’s Bank of –“

God sighed, pushed His chair back from the desk again. The screen was still full of unread messages, their bolded subject lines glaring out at Him. So many requests, so little time. And yet, when He replied – obfuscating His address, naturally – they never seemed grateful. In fact, they seemed to go to great lengths to stop His messages from getting through.

To heck with it. Time to turn on the auto-responder. “Dear Supplicant,” he typed, “We are currently dealing with high volumes and there may be a slight delay in responding to your query …”

#3: his spark is worse than his smite

“Aw, just look at him,” said Kim. “He’s adorable! Isn’t he adorable, Michael?”

Michael tried hard to look benevolent. It was true, this God did have big, pleading eyes — but then so did all the other inmates at the Battersea God’s Home. He didn’t really care which one Kim picked, just as long as it kept her broodiness under control. They all seemed nice enough.

“Er, have you ever had a God before?” asked Brian, the keeper. “I wouldn’t recommend this one for first-timers.”

“Really?” said Kim, disappointed.

“Don’t get me wrong, He’s a lovely God when you get to know Him,” said Brian, “but He’s been terribly neglected and He can be quite temperamental.”

“Oh, that’s so sad,” said Kim. “What kind of person would do that?”

“We see a lot of it here, I’m afraid,” said Brian.

Kim bent towards the wire-mesh. “Awww … Were they mean to You? Did they forget all about You? I bet all You need is a bit of love and –“

Suddenly, the God rushed towards the wire, barking furiously and hurling lightning from His clenched fists. Kim squawked, jumped back. The commotion started off the Gods in the nearby pens: the air was suddenly thick with the din of Their cries and the flashing of Their thunderbolts.

“Goodness,” said Kim, clearly shaken. “Perhaps we should take a look at the cats?” ##

16 thoughts on “Trinity

  1. The germs of these little stories had been knocking around in my head for a while, but it wasn’t until I read Shalom Auslander’s excellent collection Beware of God that I was motivated to actually write them down. That was around January 2008.

    The strap — GOD sideways is GDO! — comes from Grant Morrison’s spectacularly brilliant comic Doom Patrol. The picture has been knocking around on my hard drive for much longer – so long, in fact, that I no longer remember (and can’t find out) where it came from originally. If you know, please tell me!

    Dan Curtis Johnson posted a snippet on his LiveJournal that’s basically the same as the middle story of trinity, but I didn’t nick it off him. I’d fess up if I had. I’m told it’s also quite similar to a scene in the film Bruce Almighty, though I haven’t seen it. So perhaps not the most original thing I’ve ever written.

    Music: well, the obvious choice would be the Joan Osborne mawkfest One of Us, but I’d rather go for Tori Amos’ God. Or maybe the Langley Schools Music Project’s cover of God Only Knows.

    Oh, and if you’d like to seek salvation online, you might benefit from finding iGod.

  2. Sweet, sharp, clean and funny. Like a toddler with a knife.

    Also, was God flying Virgin, and if so was he ever really inside the Plane?

  3. Doh! The interweb ate my first comments!
    Great to see your plans working out and looking forwards to reading more of your stories.

  4. “Dear God, I’m not sure if you even exist, but if you do, could you please please please let me check out some HOT TEEN SLUT ACTION sometime soon –”


    This was AWESOME.

  5. Loved them! Really had me laugh out loud, especially when God told people that he had to move in mysterious ways. That’s the answer the nuns would give to us whenever they didn’t know the answer to our questions!

    Well done.

  6. I loved #1, very nice touches with the details (and I love your use of Schadenfreude).

    #2 had a wonderful reference to the great lengths to stop messages getting through – love it.

    #3 – God is simply Dog spelled backwards. Nice take on this. I still vote for cats, though. 🙂

  7. What a treat. Not one but three genuinely inventive and laugh out loud funny pieces of flash fiction. Have to say my favourite is the first. Love the idea that God is the guy sitting in the next seat of the plane. Welcome to #fridayflash.

  8. This is great! God satire! I love the concept of humanizing God. I especially liked this line: “… God swore privately was going on His shitlist.”

    Very well-written. I enjoyed this greatly. Oh, God, there I go, gushing again.

    Jeff Posey

  9. I laughed SO hard. Brilliant. Passing these along to my husband the UU minister… he might find a place for these in his services. With your permission.

    Thank you for a slightly sardonic take on Him. Welcome to the best friday gig in the universe… hope you stick around for the ride. Peace, Linda

  10. “A team of psychologists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have used a new technique to construct what a large sample of 511 American Christians think God looks like.

    “Participants in the study saw hundreds of randomly varying face-pairs and selected which face from each pair appeared more like how they imagined God to appear. By combining all the selected faces, the researchers could assemble a composite “face of God” that reflected how each person imagined God to appear.

    “Their results were both surprising and revealing. From Michelangelo to Monty Python, illustrations of God have nearly always shown him as an old and august white-bearded Caucasian man. But the researchers found that many Christians saw God as younger, more feminine, and less Caucasian that popular culture suggests.”

    You can see what God looks like here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *