Jesus and his companions watched the news with horror – the rioting, the buildings on fire, people shouting in the streets, broken glass, shattered skulls, horse mounted police trampling protesters carrying nothing more dangerous than cardboard signs, riot squad officers firing pepper balls at reporters and cameramen, firing tear gas and flash grenades into the crowds to provoke them to violence.
“Jesus,” said Matthew. “I’m so sick of the division and the strife. Can’t people just get along?”
Jesus turned off the television and scolded them, “You think I’ve come to bring peace? Do you think that’s why I’m here? Shit no. I came to start a fire, and I wish to God it were already burning.”
“Burn it down!” whispered Andrew beneath the keffiyeh he already had wrapped around his face, and shook his tightly clenched fist in the air.
“But,” Matthew objected. “Destruction of property isn’t a valid form of protest.”
Jesus laughed. “Just wait a few chapters.” He laughed again.
“It’s going to be divided houses from here on out – three against two, two on three. This is the uprising, the struggle, the intifada. It’s the end of traumatized truth and tortured dreams, but the end falls hard. Fathers and mothers against their children. Children against their parents. The world upside down until all is made right. Till one can walk on through without feeling like they’re in hell anymore. The roof is on fire, but we don’t need no water. Let the motherfucker burn.”