One of the benefits of being an Art History major is that I know all sorts of obscure titles for religious paintings. The Assumption of the Virgin (in which Mary does NOT make an ass of you and me but rather flies up to Heaven); the Harrowing of Hell (in which Jesus, after the cross but before Easter, goes to Hell and rescues all the souls who died before he could save them, like Adam and Eve, etc.) and the Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes, in which Jesus feeds a mess of people with five loaves of bread and two fish. If you don’t believe me, type one of those titles into Google images and see the multiplication of Roman Catholic Great Masters’ paintings.
Of late, our household has experienced the multiplication of the morning papers. It all began when for four days we didn’t receive our daily Oregonian, and then after one complaint call, we started getting three a day. For ten days. In spite of two more phone calls.
But today was special. This morning when I walked the puppy at 6:00, I noticed our usual three papers on the porch. My husband called and spoke to someone at the paper. When I came home at lunch, there was a new paper – today’s paper – a fourth paper – by the front door. Maybe the earlier papers had a little Periodical Fun, and Fourth Paper in the Yellow Bag is their offspring.
Let’s detour for a moment to Woo Woo Presbyterians. They call themselves this – I did not make it up. I call them our Buddhist Presbyterians. Whatever you want to call them, they are folks committed to our Presbyterian congregation who nonetheless see things on a different spiritual plain. One of them once saw a delightful aura of white bouncing balls over my head while I preached. (How AWESOME is that?) Another can quote Buddhist masters, and pronounce their names correctly, at the drop of a hat. I love them, because they are so generous in spirit, and let me be my usual frozen chosen self, not seeing auras and mispronouncing all sorts of names.
But because these Woo Woo Presbyterians are in my life, I’ve started to wonder if The Universe is trying to tell me something by sending me three or four morning papers. I confess that my husband is the paper reader. If I get to the Sudoku, I’m good. If I finish the Sudoku and read the obituaries, it’s a banner day. But is The Universe, by multiplying my Oregonian, suggesting that I actually read the paper? That I know what’s happening in my community and in the world? And that number three – that is WAY significant in Christianity: the Trinity, on the third day he arose, John 3:16. But then what about the number four?
I don’t know. And if tomorrow morning there is only one paper on the porch, or no paper, does that mean I should stop doing the Sudoku? What would my Woo Woo Presbyterians say?
Maybe they would tell me it’s just The Universe pranking me. Ha ha. Funny.