April 3, 2015
Portland, OR – Following a five-week search, Portland State University student Benji Warner confessed that he has lost God. The third year computer science major made the revelation to a flood of passersby in the student quad.
Warner first encountered the Supreme Being while nursing a 103-degree temperature in his campus apartment.
“I wouldn’t say I ‘found God.’ He kind of just appeared,” said Warner. “I kept drifting in and out of consciousness, but he caught me at one of my more lucid moments.”
The Almighty introduced himself by saying, “I am God and there is no one like me.” Then the pair engaged in a lively discussion about Warner’s throbbing head, an upcoming exam in ‘Faith and Science’ class and his quest to get laid before graduation.
After imploring the Lord to ‘hang tight for a minute,’ Warner took a brief nap. When he awoke, God was gone.
“I lean toward atheism, but God and I were having a really good talk,” said Warner. “It sucks because I think he could have helped me play better in the big Ultimate (Frisbee) game. That was a tough loss.”
Warner’s search for the elusive Creator took him through every closet in his apartment, each synagogue, church and mosque within a two-mile radius and to several food trucks near campus.
Said Warner, “I think God mentioned he liked the Hippie Bowl at the ‘Radically Raw’ truck, so…”
When his initial efforts failed, Warner considered filing a missing person report with campus police. But his best friend and roommate, Yoshi Sano, advised against it.
“We finally got a bit of a following thanks to the party we threw last month. I didn’t want Ben to ruin it by embarrassing us,” said Sano. “That would’ve been hella lame.”
Instead, Warner inquired amongst his classmates. Sophomore Hope Calhoun, from a student-led ministry called InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, proved particularly supportive.
“Hope was really excited to help. She spent all kinds of time explaining how great God is,” said Warner. “I was like, ‘Hey, you’re preaching to the choir. Let’s find him already.’”
Calhoun welcomed Warner to her inter-denominational church on three consecutive Sundays. Throughout the services, Calhoun whispered, “If you sincerely asked Jesus into your life just now, then he has come into your life as he promised.” To which Warner replied, ‘Where?’ and ‘I don’t see him’ and ‘How do I keep missing him?’
“He treated the whole thing like it was a joke!” said Calhoun. “The Heavenly Father forgives murderers and adulterers all the time, but I’m starting to question if he’d ever forgive a Benji Warner.”
As his prospects of finding God faded, Warner self-flagellated. “I’m so damn irresponsible! I always lose the things I cherish the most.”
Warner recalled the night he neglected to close his pet cockatoo’s cage. The next morning, Joseph had vanished.
“I was actually going to ask God if Joe was in a better place,” said Warner. “But I guess that’s not going to happen anymore.”
His self-hatred evolved into several days of soul searching. Warner then reached a place of acceptance.
“It’s for the better,” said Warner. “God can be kind of a hard-ass on things like loving thy neighbor, drunkenness, premarital sex…”
He shook his head then continued. “I don’t think I could ever love those total bitches who live next door. Hand to God I will smash their I-Pod if I have to hear that stupid Iggy Azalea album one more time.
Warner began his impassioned speech with the words, “Fellow students and faculty. Please forgive me for I have sinned. I have lost God.”
Penitence continued flowing from Warner’s lips until a student heckler interrupted. “Dude, give me a break! You can’t prove there even is a God. And, okay, for funsies let’s say you could! How do you know this whatever-it-was-you-saw was the ‘God’?”
Warner locked eyes with the blasphemer. A hush fell over the crowd.
The tension built for what seemed like an eternity, until the edges of Warner’s lips curled up into an all-knowing smile. Love and empathy washed over Warner’s countenance.
And He said unto thee student: “Faith, my brother. Faith.”
Written by Simon Hamlin
‘The Organic Onion’