Chapter 2: Grandpa's Advice
Copyright© 2015 by Misguided Child
God was still scowling when Michael ushered a stoop shouldered, little old man into His office. An unruly shock of white hair rimmed a ruddy scalp with age spots. The old man's looks didn't match his spry step and bright eyes.
"You may sit there, Sir" Michael instructed courteously.
God's eyes widened when the old man said, "Thank you, Sonny. If there's anything else I can help you with, just let me know."
"I think..." and at the man's raised finger, choked as if swallowing what he was going to say. "I can handle it from here, Sir," Michael hurriedly said, darting a pleading look at God. "I have ... um ... something to file," he mumbled before scurrying from the room.
God watched the angel Michael, one of the most powerful beings in all the universes, in amazement as he left the room. His attention snapped back to the little old man, when he cleared his throat. The man's eyebrows were raised expectantly.
"I'm God," God said, after only a brief hesitation.
"A pleasure to meet you Sonny. You can call me Grandpa Jones, or sir," the little old man replied.
"You're file says that you're Benjamin Jones," God pointed out.
"A name's just a hook to hang your reputation on," Grandpa gently chastised. "I wasn't so proud of some things I did when people called me Benjamin Jones, or even just Ben Jones. I've got the scars to show I paid for them, and Grandpa Jones is what I go by now."
"Do you know who I am?" God asked.
Grandpa Jones frowned and looked at him closely, before asking, "Do you feel okay, Sonny? You just told me who you were! Don't you remember? You told me that you were God!"
"I did tell you that and I do remember telling you," God said, a little sharper than he intended. He began to sympathize with Michael.
"Well, I certainly hope that you're the same God the preacher talks about all the time," Grandpa Jones said just as sharply.
"I'm sure that I am," God said, relaxing slightly.
"Good, 'cause there's some things I've been wanting to talk to you about," Grandpa Jones announced grimly.
"Mr. Jones," God began.
"I told you Sonny," Grandpa Jones said warningly. "It's Grandpa Jones or Sir."
"Ssss ... um ... Grandpa Jones," God choked out. "You were brought here for a specific reason. We must get to the purpose of this meeting now! The fate of the human race depends on it!"
"Okay," Grandpa sighed. "What's the problem? I'll try to help you out."
God's eyes bulged slightly, and he had to take several deep breaths before he was able to say, "Man's atrocities have greatly offended me. The sins of the wicked go unpunished, and mankind refuses to oppose evil. The human race is going to be destroyed unless you can give me a reason not to destroy them."
"You're right," Grandpa Jones said with a shrug.
"Huh?" God asked
"You're right," Grandpa Jones repeated. "The world's going to hell in a hand-basket. There's more than a few the world would be better off without, let me tell you," he continued, warming up to his subject. "I think the world would be a much better place if you just kill all the lawyers and politicians. For a little spice, you can throw in about half the preachers. You can't kill ALL the people though. I think there are laws against that."
"What?" God choked out.
"You can't kill all the people," Grandpa repeated patiently. "It's against the law."
"WHAT?" God repeated, his voice getting slightly shrill.
"Look," Grandpa Jones said in a placating voice, scooting forward in his chair, and leaning on God's desk. "I understand why you're upset. Really I do. I felt the same thing when my kids were teenagers."
God slumped back in his chair, feeling slightly dazed, and admitted, "I'm not sure what we're talking about now. I thought we were talking about restarting the human race, but now you're talking about teenagers. You had better explain that to me."
"Isn't it the same thing?" Grandpa asked. "The human race is like a kid growing up."
"I don't think I understand," God complained weakly.
"When my kids were babies, I protected them from everything around them and provided everything for them. Then, they turned into rug-rats, and I had to also protect them from themselves, and everything around them from them. When they got a little bigger, and turned into curtain-climbers, I had to protect them from themselves a little more. You did the same thing," Grandpa accused.
"I did?" God asked.
"Sure." Grandpa said confidently, waving his hands. "You used to talk from burning bushes, and towers of flame."
"The burning bush was just to get his attention," God said, with frustration. "I tried to just talk to him but he wouldn't pay attention." God shrugged, and said, "If a bush in your path caught fire, and started talking to you, wouldn't you listen to what it said?"
"Good point," Grandpa said, nodding in commiseration. "Kid's never listen."
God snorted before reluctantly admitting, "Moses was a little hard headed. He didn't need to wander in the wilderness for forty years, you know."
"Really?" Grandpa Jones asked, surprised.
"Really," God said with a grimace. "His wife had the directions all along, and Moses knew it. He wouldn't ask for directions!"
"Stubborn and hard headed," Grandpa murmured, shaking his head. He straightened and focused before saying, "The point is, you used to talk to humans a lot more. I used to need to watch my kids like a hawk, and pull them out of scrapes a half-dozen times a day. I did it less and less, as they grew, just like you did with humans. When's the last time you talked to humans directly?" Grandpa challenged.
God shrugged and said, "A few millennia."