An Unheeded Return

by Nathaniel Tower

On an over­cast and humid day in August, Jesus—with Dad's per­mis­sion, of course—decided to make his grand return.

Much to the dis­may of the world, he didn't come surf­ing in on a beam of heav­enly light. Nor was his hair quite as long as they expected. He was sin­gu­larly hand­some, nat­u­rally, but he didn't quite exude the rock star per­sona they had hoped. And his skin was much darker.

There was some­thing so ordi­nary about his return that many didn't even believe it was him. In fact, it was nearly impos­si­ble to find some­one that did buy into his story.

He wasn't clad in long and flow­ing ele­gant robes. Sure there was a glim­mer in his eye, and his voice was more than friendly, but the way he spoke almost made him seem foreign.

I have returned to save the world,” he announced on a crowded sidewalk.

Watch it, bud,” an impa­tient passerby replied. No one else seemed to notice his presence.

Stop what you are doing. I am here to save you,” he spoke again, this time a lit­tle louder.

A group of men in suits chuck­led about a crazy man on the streets.

For a moment, Jesus con­tem­plated crack­ing the sky open and rain­ing furi­ous light­ning bolts at the igno­rant peo­ple. But that wasn't really his style. That was always more of Zeus's thing. Besides, he wasn't too sure that his dad would be pleased.

He tried once more, this time shout­ing as loudly as he could. “I'm here to save all of mankind.”

You can save us by get­ting off the streets,” a young man retorted, a wave of laugh­ter following.

Don't you want to be saved?” he pleaded with them.

The ques­tion was answered by the bustling sound of peo­ple engrossed in their own lives.

Look at my hands and side if you don't believe me.”

No one took him up on the offer.

A young police offi­cer tapped him on the shoul­der. “Move along, or I'll move you along,” he said through shiny sil­ver glasses.

I can't move along. I have a job to do. I need to save the world,” Jesus said in near desperation.

These peo­ple have jobs to do as well. They don't need to be saved,” the police­man responded as he reached for his handcuffs.

I need to save the world,” Jesus whis­pered repeat­edly as the offi­cer wrapped the shack­les around his frag­ile wrists.

Let's go, Super­man. This world has enough heroes.”

The offi­cer led Jesus away, a few mem­bers of the crowd won­der­ing what crime he had com­mit­ted, most of them glad that their street had been cleared of one more lunatic.