Donald Trump wanders into his office after his morning Tweets, and asks his assistant about the day’s schedule.
“Well Mr. President, you can watch Fox from now until 11, then you have more Tweeting from 11 to 12, you have lunch (the McDonalds order has been placed), and at 1:00 you have a ‘Come to Jesus’ meeting with Jesus.”
“I don’t know how this got on your calendar, Mr. President. It just says there is a meeting with Jesus. Jesus Christ.”
“Oh yes, Jesus Christ. I know him, he voted for me. I’ll see him at 1:00”
At 1:00 Donald walks into the Oval Office and asks the man sitting on the sofa, who is not white, blonde, or blue-eyed, where Jesus is.
“Hello, Donald, I’m Jesus.”
Trump looks bewildered but his mouth remains shut. He sits down across from his visitor.
Jesus continues “The reason I wanted to meet is because I thought it was time for a ‘Come-to-Jesus’ with you. Do you know what that means?”
“It means a reckoning.”
[Scratch that. Trump’s vocabulary doesn’t include a word as deep as “reckoning”.]
“It means you’re gonna take me out back to the woodshed.”
[Scratch that too. Trump couldn’t possibly know that reference. He’s never been anywhere near a woodshed, or a house that’s heated with wood, or woods, forest, or Yo-Semite or the Grand Canyon. He’s never camped, canoed, hiked, or eaten a s’more].
“Oh yes it’s when I tell you to come here, Jesus, to this beautiful White House that I built and I tell you how great I am and how those some Christians, those some kind of people who love Jesus, you that is, who I love by the way, I meant them, not you, not that I don’t love you though this is another topic they think I’m the greatest and the best president and how they love me and they think I was chosen by God himself and we have a great relationship. So yes I come to Jesus, or actually you come to me, haha, Jesus, and you, and, and that is it and you tell me how great I am. Or me.”
[That’s more like it.]
Jesus is ready. “Not exactly. A ‘Come-to-Jesus’ means that you come to me with humility and we have a talk. I tell you the truth, and hopefully you tell me the truth. Do you know what it means to be humble, Donald?”
“Yes, of course. I am the most humble person there has never been anyone more humble than me. In fact, if you ask anyone they will tell you that I am the most humble person that ever lived. Even more humble than Jesus, I mean you. Jesus.”
Jesus is not above eye-rolling.
“OK, let’s get down to it. I won’t mince words. And when I ask you a question, I expect you to be honest. The other day you lied about Joe Biden – you said that if he was elected he would take away guns, not allow religion, he would hurt God, and that he’s against God, among other things. You know Joe Biden is a man of faith, a Christian, right? You also know that ‘sowing discord’, which I’ll talk more about later, is wrong. Am I right?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I never said that,” as the lie went rolling into Jesus’ lap.
“You can’t tell me that you didn’t say that about Joe Biden, unless you’re having a touch of dementia. You’re lying to my face. You’re lying to Jesus. Do you think that’s a good idea?”
“I don’t know who invited you here, but you’re being very mean and unfair to me. I might have to leave.”
Donald’s face is turning a slightly darker shade of orange, squash-like. He also fidgets.
Jesus (to himself) “This is not going well. I may just have to turn my water into wine if I’m going to make it through this.”
“I’m going to read you a verse from the Old Testament and I want you to think about the words. You’re familiar with the Old Testament?”
“Oh yes remember when the reporter asked me about the Bible and did I read the Bible and I said yes and he asked whether I liked the Old or the New Testament and I said yes I liked the Testaments equally. Love the Bible. Absolutely. It’s my favorite book after “The Art of the Deal”.
Donald makes himself chuckle.
“There are six things that the LORD (meaning me) strongly dislikes, seven that are an abomination to him (me): haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.* [Proverbs 6:16-19]
“Do you have any thoughts?”
“The Democrats hate me, really they just want me to fail and I don’t think they like my personality.”
“I asked you to be honest, and maybe you’re not wrong, though that’s not what I was getting at. I brought a list. I want to make this real for you. These are the things you do that The Lord hates:
Haughty eyes – You proved the point on this one when you gave me your definition of humble, but when you asked to have your face carved into Mount Rushmore you set a new high for haughty, or maybe that’s a new low.
Lying tongue – Donald, you open your mouth and lies come out. Ask The Washington Post, they’re keeping track.
Hands that shed innocent blood – Donald, over 160,000 innocent people have died of Covid in your country, you’ve done nothing to prevent these deaths, though you have the power, and when confronted you responded with “it is what it is.” You have blood on your hands.
A heart that devises wicked plans – Donald, separating children from their families and putting them in cages is wicked. That’s just one example. I don’t have time to list them all.
Feet that make haste to run to evil – You run to Putin, to Kim Jung Un, to Mohammed bin Salman. These men are evil, and you compliment them, you make friends with them, you hold them up as heroes. You defend the wicked.
A false witness who breathes out lies – I already talked about lying. Do you need me to say more?
One who sows discord among brothers – Donald, your words divide, they are hateful, you deliberately create chaos, your country is in shambles, and you are the cause.”
Jesus looks up from his list to see frowning Donald with his arms folded across his chest.
“Donald, this is the time to repent.”
Donald pauses for a split second, and then springs back to life.
“This is not fair! Show me that paper! I have papers too!”
Donald reaches to a side table and picks up a sheet of paper with a colored bar chart on it, and holds it up for Jesus to see. “My papers say that I am not those things! Here, look at this chart! You’re just like the liberal leftists. And you lie like Fauci! Are you Antifa Jesus?”
“Shut up Donny. I’m in charge here. I don’t care about your colored charts that look like they were made for a second grader. Don’t be ridiculous. Do you know what the Greatest Commandment is?”
“I am the President, you shouldn’t be telling me to shut up, but whatever. The Greatest Commandment is when I said MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN and I commanded my people to do that. I had it printed on red hats and now I know who loves me by the red hats.”
“You obviously don’t know the Greatest Commandment so here it is:
“The most important [commandment] is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” [Mark 12:28-31]
What does this mean to you, Donald?”
There is no answer, so Jesus is blessed with a bit of silence. He doesn’t know if he’s losing his grip or gaining it, but nevertheless, he persists.
“You know what? I’m going to stop asking you to do any navel-gazing. Loving your neighbor as yourself means loving everyone. We know you love yourself, that’s not in question. In fact, it appears that the only person you love is yourself. Letting people die is not love. Putting kids in cages is not love. Taking away healthcare is not love. Incompetence which results in suffering is not love. Nor is greed, breaking the rules, lying. And whether you like it or not, everyone is your neighbor. Everyone. Not just Roger Stone or Paul Manafort or Jared and Ivanka. Not Jeffrey Epstein. You are supposed to lead, but you are blind. You call yourself a “law and order” president, yet you ignore the more important matters of the Law, such as justice, mercy and faithfulness. If Hell existed you would be on the Highway to Hell. You are definitely not on the Stairway to Heaven. And I’m only throwing in the 70s rock&roll references in case you might be starting to feel bad.”
[This is not a theological treatise on the existence or non-existence of Hell. I am clearly not a theologian.]
Beads of sweat appear on Donald’s upper lip. His makeup is starting to melt. He starts to open his mouth.
“Don’t interrupt me Donald, I’m in charge here. I came today because I believe that you are burdened, and heavy laden, and maybe you need some rest.* Are you heavy laden, Donald? I can help you.”
“Heavy laden, are you saying I’m fat?”
Jesus whispers, “Jesus H Christ.”
“No, I am suggesting that you might be burdened by the weight of your responsibility. I am hoping that your soul, if it’s in there somewhere, is starting to speak to you. But then again, maybe it’s not. Actually, right now I’m feeling rather heavy laden, so I need to get going. But before I leave I think we should pray together, could you do that?”
“I have people pray over me all the time. They put their hands on me and I look down at my feet and try my best to look solemn while they pray. Have you seen the photos? Franklin Graham prays for me, and his father Billy Graham voted for me. I’m so proud of that.”
“But I’m not going to pray over you. You’re going to pray.”
“You pray. It’s healing. It will feel good. I’ll wait while you think of what you want to pray about. Take your time.”
Jesus keeps on, “Say what is in your heart. If you feel called to ask for forgiveness, you could do that. Or you could even just recite the Lord’s Prayer. Everyone knows that one. I’ll help. It starts Our Father Who Art in Heaven…”
Donald begins, “Our Father..” He stalls. He looks around for a savior, or a teleprompter, unable to see the Savior sitting in front of him. “This is ridiculous. You’re just doing this to embarrass me.”
“It’s just you and me here Donald, but I’ll give you a break. I can see how hard this is for you. I don’t think you’ve done much praying in your life, and it takes practice. First close your eyes, bow your head, and fold your hands. I’ll say the prayer.” Donald does as he’s told.
“Nothing can stop the power of a committed and determined people to make a difference in our society. Why? Because human beings are the most dynamic link to the divine on this planet.”**
“Ok, Donald you can open your eyes now. Are you familiar with that verse?”
“Oh yes, it’s from 2 Timothy in the 2nd Testament. It is one of my favorites.” Because Donald has favorite Bible verses.
“Nice try. It’s actually a quote by Representative John Lewis, a great man and a great leader. I came here today to try and help you connect to the divine, but I fear that I have failed. However, I would suggest that you make an effort to be more like John Lewis. But I won’t hold my breath. Thanks for the chat, Donny. God Help America.”
Jesus left. And then he wept.
And then Trump went back to his tweets.
[This is a work of fiction. In a real life encounter between Jesus and Donald Trump, Trump would prevail, and Jesus would be crucified.]
*Come all ye who are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
**From “Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change” by John Lewis
© Rebecca Larson 2020