“How,” cried out Frank, “how can I help you?”
“You have to wake up,” replied God.
Frank considered this for a moment. He was pretty sure he wasn’t asleep. He decided to pinch himself. It hurt. He looked back up at God, hoping that something there would help him to understand what he had meant. While Frank was looking up, Jerome got quite close and suddenly one of those bursts of flame from Jerome’s nose had got a bit too close to Frank. The bottom of his habit was on fire.
Frank dropped to the floor and rolled around trying to put the fire out. Finally, after much rolling, it was out. Quite a bit of his habit was burned, as was a fair chunk of the hair on his right leg. He was now certain he was quite, quite awake. He called out to God, “what do you want me to do?”
But God was distracted, Jerome was trying very hard to set fire to God’s beard. But what didn’t seem to occur to Jerome was that God’s beard was made out of clouds so all he was doing was causing it to rain on the cloisters.
God, for a second, thought he had caught Jerome in between his hands, but Jerome squeezed through and shot straight up God’s nostril. God opened his mouth in shock and Jerome came flying out screaming, “Who’s the voice of God now”?
God, who had looked shocked moments before, suddenly looked cross and fed up all at the same time. His hand moved forward, he placed it underneath where Jerome was doing cartwheels, and he said, “Stop Jerome”. Jerome fell down into God’s hand – dead. God lowered his hand and very carefully placed Jerome down on the floor of the courtyard. He then turned to Frank.
Frank looked up into God’s eyes. Seeing God at rest for the first time, he realised that God was truly beautiful.
“What did you mean,” Frank said, “when you said you wanted me to wake up. I’m not asleep.”
“No, you’re not. You’re having a stroke.”
And with that God disappeared. The same moment, some of the oblates broke down the door and ran out to rescue Father Frank who was writhing on the floor.