Like I said before, we are a farming people, so we keep a farming Jesus. Accordingly, he shows up different for everyone. I don’t get out much, but I have heard telling of a man called Christ dressed in an Armani suit wearing sheened leather shoes. Animal leather. Alligator. Three piece pastels and torn jeans and wife beater. Overalls. Big and small. I mean fat, I’ve seen a picture of some Christ characters up in Canada, a big big brown faced man with a patch beard and short cropped black curls. The man told us he was clay. He said he was nothing but a branch. The way. A path. He turned into an old man before an empire’s eyes, and died better than anyone ever had. Telling stories. Supposedly, he kept chickens as a kid. Preferred their company over sheep. There is a myth we rarely mention, of him calling Judas down to his side, and whispering something dramatic and revelatory in his ear, as was his way. A kiss on the cheek. Soft, raspy, tumbling speech, bubbling along the crevices of his lips like a creek. No one knows what words, of course, but this whisper was in the record. He demanded they write down everything. And they did. Preacher pulls out the new testament from time to time, but it is rare. In there you find books from all sorts of interesting people. Judas has one. Mary wrote two. Peter, the rock, never got one down, but Joseph, Jesus’s father, wrote a stout tome of lyrical poems.
“Tomatoes. Are you listening? Red womb of orange seed. Loose tower of viney green. Trellised tall. For they would surely fall. From the weight of their own progeny.”
The minister was on about tomatoes again.