There was a knock on my door at 9 am. I don't rise until 10, ok I'm l lazy that way. I opened the door and there was a familiar face, a slender man with short dark hair and a hawk nose, dressed in black. He handed me a note.
"The Master couldn't e-mail me?" I asked rhetorically.
"You're needed immediately." he said and turning on his heels, left. God's messengers are like that- cryptic.
I shut the door and reluctantly read the note even before having my morning tea.The message was simple: an address and time later that day. I arrived at the appointed time to a small brightly colored house. I rang the bell hanging from the porch roof and noted a sign reminding people to kindly remove their shoes. An Asian woman answered the door.
"You're here to see God ?" the woman asked.
"Yes, ma'am." I replied she nodded. I removed my shoes and was lead to the living room decorated with a profusion of plants and three indolent cats.
God, the maker of all things, creator of the universe has asked me- no commanded me to take on mission before so I was ready but anxious. I was rarely confident about these assignments but you know the cliche-the Creator never gives you a task you can't handle blah blah.
I had been slothful this summer, spending too much time on the computer and musing sour grapes about my purpose in life. A train of thought always bound to get me in trouble. You would think I'd be grateful to break the monotony with this kind of work but guess again. I'm a borderline atheist and only my hard core catholic upbringing keeps me from going to the dark side. Whatever.
Then God appeared. She was a large black women wearing a robe with stripes of bright colors favored in Nigeria. She greeted me warmly.
"Alisa how good to see you. I love what you've been doing with your house this summer, keep up the good work." she effused a she gave me a bright hug.
"Thanks, Your Holiness." I answered, anxious to get the formalities out of the way.
"Oh please call me Gaia. " she gestured for me to sit down.
" I know how disappointed you are with the belated Asperger diagnosis." she dived right in.Uh-oh I didn't like where this was going. I gave her a chilly look.
Disappointed is a gross understatement. Indignation at being kept in the dark about a neurological condition throughout a difficult childhood, painful adolesence and unsuccessful adulthood sends me into a boiling rage. She cleared her throat to get my attention and stop my train of thought.
" I have an assignment that will help you better understand this new world view." She went on sweetly.
Really? I thought, my brows doing a small sarcastic jump.
"Yes, really.You're going to volunteer at this year's Kindtree camp retreat. You'll love it. Getting away from your remodeling work and out of the city. Camping out in the woods -with full kitchen and bathroom facilities of course. You need to see how well people on the spectrum function.
"Excuse you but if you will recall I was lumped in with retarded and crippled kids when I was ten years old. I'm not particularly fond of being around "odd' people so I think I'll skip this one. " Wow did she know how to hit my psychological sore spot. Gaia merely smiled, ignoring my politically incorrect verbage.
"These are decent, kind people who only want to be accepted for who they are. You'll fit right in" She said pointedly. Yes, I'm afraid I will fit right in I sighed.
We rose in unison and she gave me a big hug. The interview officially over, I left with mixed feeling about the idea. Would I fit in? How much work was this going to be? Did I have the stamina to deal with a large group of people for long periods of time over six days? I called Mary -Minn and accepted the offer to volunteer. Hell, I even agreed to go out a couple of days early to help set up. I cleared my schedule, packed for a week long trip. I got a new air mattress and tent without really knowing what I was getting into. I'm a damn fool.