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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: End Times (02/27/14)

TITLE: Eating Pizza With Jesus
By Toni Hammer


“Did Jesus ever fart?” Joey asked.

“Well, I guess that means it’s break time,” Eli said, standing up and heading to the kitchen.

It was almost 1 a.m. and the four friends—Eli, Joey, Meg, and Autumn—were crowded into Eli’s small studio studying for their Eschatology midterm. It appeared Joey had studied past his limit.

“No, guys, I’m serious. Did Jesus ever break wind? Or belch? At least tell me if he belched.”

“What is wrong with you?” Meg rolled her eyes. “You’re so gross.”

“I need to know if He was human,” Joey answered.

“What are you talking about? Of course He was human. That’s the whole point: fully God and fully human,” argued Autumn.

“Right. I know He was human in the sense He was flesh and blood. But I need Him to be more human.” Joey took a swig from his soda and stared at the can. His eyes told everyone he was deep in thought.

“More human? What’s really on your mind, Joey?” Eli asked, returning from the kitchen with a bag of chips. The unfamiliar pensive look on Joey’s face told him his best friend wasn’t merely trying to sidetrack the group.

“I’m thinking…” he paused. “I’m thinking it matters if Jesus farted—”

“Please stop saying that,” Autumn sighed.

“Pardon me. I think it matters if Jesus had flatulence,” he smirked at her and continued. “Or if He had bad breath or smelled after a few weeks.”

An exasperated Meg moaned. “But why, Joey?”

“Because we think this stuff matters, right?” he said, holding up their Eschatology class textbook. He didn’t wait for a response. “We think this stuff, this end times stuff, matters. And it matters because we think it’s true. And if it’s true then Jesus really was fully human and fully God.”

“Joey. Dude. You need to get to your point. It’s 1 a.m. and we have class in seven hours.” Eli really wanted to understand what his friend was trying to say, but time, and his patience, was running out.

“Okay, okay. What I’m getting at is… I believe Jesus was fully human and fully God. Obviously. And I believe He’s going to come back here and do His thing when the world ends because, ya know, He’s God. But we hear all these sermons and songs about His holiness, His awesomeness, His God-ness. And if all I see Him as is this—”

“All powerful deity,” Meg piped up.

“Right. If all I see Him as is this guy who appears to be more like God and less like a man then it makes it hard for me to believe He’s my friend. That He cares about me on that level. You guys are my friends—my best friends. And we’re best friends because we’re transparent with each other, right?” He glanced around the room seeing faces that were now more curious than annoyed. “I want that same transparency with Jesus so that I can believe He’s not just this judge who’s going to ride back here at the end of time on a cloud and send some of us to Heaven and others to Hell. I want a Jesus that I can shoot hoops with, eat pizza with—”

“Fart in front of.” Autumn blushed.

“Yes! Fart and belch the ABC’s with! I need a human Jesus and a holy Jesus. I need a holy Jesus who is fully God and lived a perfect life and suffered a cruel and inhumane death for me. But I also need a human Jesus. A Jesus who wants to hang out with me on a Friday night talking about test scores and vacation plans. A Jesus that’s both holy and human is the Jesus I need. That’s a Jesus I can trust with my life here on Earth, through all the trials and tribulations, and into eternity.” He took another long drink from his soda and they all sat quietly. Each of the four contemplated their view of Jesus. Did they need to remember that Jesus was more than a good guy—He was God? Did they need to be reminded that Jesus was their friend who just wanted to spend time with them? Joey had forced a time of deep introspection amongst the group.

Then someone farted.

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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Member Comments
Member Date
Allen Povenmire 03/07/14
I've enjoyed your edgy writing for a while now, and have no doubt that you're rapidly rising to the top here in the challenges. Unbelievably risky stuff here that many will no doubt label irreverent...and I'd certainly not dispute that point. But you make people think and your writing is so well done that somehow, someway you pull off what others wouldn't even attempt. I'll be interested in seeing how this rates. Big fan of your writing.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/08/14
This is great. I love a story that starts out with passing gas. You made me literally laugh out loud (I think I woke my husband.) It reminds me a bit of the story I wrote once and have always wondered, "Will there be bathrooms in Heaven?"

My red ink is for the ending. I think you went a couple of lines too long. I'd have had the penultimate line be: He took another long drink from his soda, and they all sat quietly contemplating their view of Jesus.
The stuff in between isn't needed because the reader would assume it.

The last line was perfect. I love a story even more when it starts and ends with a laugh. You did just that, but still told an important message as well. Great job and nice creative take on the topic.
LaVonne Wood 03/08/14
I think this is a great article for reaching our young people. Giving them something to laugh about is a great way to get the point across. Great job!
lynn gipson 03/08/14
Would it be unfunny to say you are a breath of fresh air? Ha! A very welcome addition to Faithwriters.

I loved the brashness of this young man, needing to know if Jesus was just as human as he was.

You took a very original take on this and it is spot on well written.

Blessings, Lynn
C D Swanson 03/08/14
Without a doubt the most "unique" entry of the bunch! Wildly outrageously different, but somehow you make it work and make us want to continue reading.

You are one of a kind.

God bless~
Catherine Craig 03/08/14
You had my attention from the first line - but then I think that was the point! Love it.
Judith Gayle Smith03/08/14
Without a doubt, you have the talent for making us read and reread to others. I was first, genteely shocked, and survived the possibility. I just love your stuff!
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/09/14
Your characterizations were spot-on for a young generation, and you certainly know how to get a reader's attention. This was written excellently.

As a member of the older generation, I had the greatest urge to have been with those college students to tell them: It's enough for me to know that Jesus walked and talked with his friends, even wept when one died, was discouraged, was tempted (though without sin), held little children on his lap, and so much more, but most especially, that He has been my friend and has "hung with me" through every circumstance.
david arroyo03/09/14
Your writing style is very readable and enjoyable, no question. In regards to the message of the story, I like that it is thought provoking but I wouldn't agree with the conclusion (or at least what I took the conclusion to be). Namely, that Jesus is so ordinarily human that he would sit around and fart with college guys. I can't imagine my most respected mentors in the faith doing that and so I wouldn't imagine Jesus doing it either. I, instead, think that Jesus would inspire these kids to greater maturity, faith and a deeper sense of what friendship and relationship means. I don't think that this college kid needs a farting Jesus but rather a real and authentic Jesus, Jesus the Man. There is a difference. But, again, I do enjoy your writing and I appreciate anything that provokes thought.
Larry Whittington03/09/14
A very well written entry whose topic deserves our attention.

In the beginning Jesus created man and he himself lived in a body of the same form of which he created.

In a unique sense, when we are baptized we are given the Holy Spirit to live within us.

I liked open discussion method of your presentation of this topic.
Mar  03/11/14
Ooh I cringed, I laughed, I got uncomfortable! I hear teenagers speak this a lot but never see it penned, hard to read. A brave and clever write!
Bea Edwards 03/12/14
Your entry certainly is provocative.

It had me asking the question whether Jesus would have discretely passed gas -potentially passing it off - "oh Peter-really?" Or would He have resoundingly ripped one hoping to create male bonding & fellowship...

I have four sons who find gas unquestionably hilarious, but somehow flatulence and Jesus just don't coalesce in my mind.

Got to give you a resounding clap for courage though!

Noel Mitaxa 03/14/14
Big question, and I suppose your gas is as good as mine. You threw out the bait with that first question, and you've reeled us in.
It reminds me how a sports chaplaincy friend got through to a cynic when he asked him, "What size do you think Jesus' sandals were - and what do you think his chest expansion was?" The guy had never thought about Jesus actually being a real person instead of a theory that could be rejected, and you've lifted the lid on Jesus' humanity so well.
Great job.