So, I got this prayer rug in the mail the other day.
Yeah. Well, it was sent “to resident” but I still feel it was personally meant for me.
It came in an envelope with all sorts of instructions and blessings and pictures of people who have benefited from the POWA OF THE PRAYER RUG. I won’t bore you with all the details, but basically if I pray on the rug, Jesus’ eyes will stare into my soul and I will win one of the fabulous prizes listed on the information. You can actually check off the prize you want. I can pray for such things as:
“A Better Job”
“A New Car”
“A Money Blessing”
“Confusion In My Home”
The first few are attractive, but I’m really curious about the confusion one. Is it for confusion or agin it? I ain’t praying for that until I get more details.
The rug is about 11” by 17” and you can see the full surface of it in the upper right corner of this post. It would have a delightful “Shroud of Turin”-esque feel to it if it weren’t for the garish purple hue they’ve used. This violet visage is clearly only going to bolster the opinion of those who believe Jesus was some kind of visiting alien.
On the back of the rug, a shortened version of the instructions is printed:
“This Prayer Rug is Soaked with the Power of Prayer for you. Use it immediately, then please return it with your Prayer Needs Checked on our letter to you. It must be mailed to a second home that needs a blessing after you use it. Prayer works. Expect God’s blessing.”
“Soaked” is a good way to put it, as anyone who falls for this scam is sure to get soaked. There is a postage-paid envelope for returning the prayer rug so that it can be passed on to the next hapless victim friend-in-need. You send it back with money, of course.
But what impressed me was this little trick. Printed in the whitespace at the bottom of the rug, some text instructs and informs us:
“Look into Jesus’ Eyes you will see they are closed. But as you continue to look you will see His eyes opening and looking back into your eyes. Then go and be alone and kneel on this Rug of Faith or touch it to both knees. Then please check your needs on our letter to you. Please return this Prayer Rug. Do not keep it.”
Could this rug truly look into my soul??! I had to know. Details follow in the extended entry…
I stared and stared at the purple Jesus face for a good few seconds. The longer I stared, the more Purple Jesus seemed to be sleeping. He was ignoring me so that he could take a nap on my time. Look, I was singled out to receive this prayer rug, you’d think I deserved a minute or two of attention. No?
Apparently not. As I stared at Purple Jesus, I came to an important realization. This was not the actual Jesus Christ Jesus. This was some imitation Jesus. And a poor imitation to be sure, because I’m pretty sure the Bible does not mention “purple” when describing the savior. I may have missed a passage or two, but I think that a verse like:
2 Corinthians 4:6 (Purple Version)
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the Big Honkin’ Purple face of Jesus Christ.
…would stand out.
No, I checked the searchable Bible, and the only reference to “purple” is for yarn. No purple face of Jesus.
This epiphany made me a little bit angry. Now, I’m none too religious and I’m plenty irreverent. But a lot of people I like are serious about their religion and sincere. It’s pretty low to take advantage of that enthusiasm and belief to scam people out of their money.
Awash with anger, I turned back at the Purple Jesus, prepared to rebuke him. And then a startling thing happened. Purple Jesus was more powerful than I had expected, and he absorbed my anger, directing it back at me.
He came awake with red laser eyes. He immediately launched into a hideous chant, which we captured in an animated gif, but which was unrecordable by any known human technology. The words of the chant stunned me as he tried to soak me with the power of evil prayer!
I dodged left as a bolt of Purple Prayer narrowly missed me, hitting the ceiling and soaking a spot there with evil purpleness. We’d later discover that most cleansers were ineffective against this stain, although Simple Green did make it a little more blurry than before.
I struggled to get him back into the envelope, folding carefully so that his evil eye beams were turned inward like some Violet Self-Examination of Conscience. Thus contained, Purple Jesus is apparently harmless. We are pondering what to do with the envelope. “Burn it” is the first option that leaps to mind, but we are open to suggestions.
The words of the chant have already slipped from my mind with the ephemeral nature of a dream. Reading the lips of the animated gif, it might be something like “Ba-ba Baaaaaa-ba.” Could be “Robber Baaaa-ron.” I don’t know.
What I do know is that I have narrowly escaped the Cult of the Purple Jesus. What I wonder is why some Christians are so worried about what they see as attacks on the sanctity of marriage when scammers are apparently rampant in creating Purple Jesuses and such (who knows, maybe there are Red, Orange and Green Jesuses out there as well. Even a Plaid Jesus?) to bilk people of their cash.
Seems to me like that ought to be a higher priority. Using Jesus like that. Maybe religious chicanery is protected speech.
Thus ends my cautionary tale. If you meet the Purple Jesus on the road, kill him.