Once, a friend paid me a compliment. He said, “You are the most devout ‘irreverent’ person I have ever met.” Okay, maybe it wasn’t a compliment. It was a perplexed, worried statement. I thanked him anyway. As a girl who loves to approach life with humor, even the “serious bits,” as author Terry Pratchett would call them, it’s no surprise I would love the series Good Omens.
This hilarious, deadpan story-line follows the adventures of an angel and a demon who join forces to stop the apocalypse, because… well, the world wouldn’t be any fun after “the end.” Aziraphale, the angel, could not sit around drinking hot cocoa and reading old books. Crowley, the demon, might have to give up pestering humans. The two have had an ongoing “friendship” of a sort for, oh, centuries. Ever since Crowley turned up in the Garden of Eden after tempting Eve and asked Aziraphale what happened to his flaming sword. (The human woman looked scared, so Aziraphale passed it along to the mortals. Who… killed a lion with it. Oops.)
Because of the general incompetence of a bunch of nit-witted Satanic nuns (or… well, just one), the antichrist went to the wrong family, who raised him without the proper Satanic upbringing. Not only must our angelic-demonic duo find the little hellion, they have to figure out a way to stop him, too. Even if it brings wrath from both sides of the proverbial aisle. But as Crowley wonders, maybe they’re supposed to stop the apocalypse. Maybe that’s God’s will. Nobody knows.
I can relate to that.
Nobody knows what is God’s will, and what isn’t. Is that hurricane the work of God or the devil? Depends on who you want to blame, and who you think God is. And I’d be lying if I said some of the questions Crowley asks hadn’t crossed my mind in Sunday School. Like, if God loves His Creation that much, if He loves all the animals and creatures of the sea, why in the hell does He want to make the seas boil and burn them all up alive? How is that LOVE?
It’s questions and inconsistencies like that which Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman bring up in their series amid a lot of good-natured ribbing. Some better moments involve Noah forgetting to load one of the two unicorns onto the ark (that’s why they’re extinct), and Crowley two-stepping in a church (sacred ground, painful for demons). Since neither man has (or had, in Terry’s case) religious beliefs, the questions they raise have no answers. But, there’s an obvious one. When things don’t add up, the human interpretation is the problem. The human perception of God is like an ant trying to figure out an elephant. God is much more, and much bigger, and fare “more” than we can imagine, and we nitwits do not have Him figured out.
Will we ever know the truth of the divine?
Maybe. Maybe not.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Charity Bishop devotes her free time to eating chocolate, debating theology with her friends, researching the Tudors, writing books, blogging, and searching for spiritual truth in all aspects of life.