When the bombers got back to their base, the steel cylinders were taken from the racks and shipped back to the United States of America, where factories were operating night and day, dismantling the cylinders, separating the dangerous contents into minerals. Touchingly, it was mainly women who did this work. The minerals were then shipped to specialists in remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground, to hide them cleverly, so they would never hurt anybody ever again.
The American fliers turned in their uniforms, became high school kids. And Hitler turned into a baby, Billy Pilgrim supposed. That wasn't in the movie. Billy was extrapolating. Everybody turned into a baby, and all humanity, without exception, conspired biologically to produce two perfect people named Adam and Eve.
I sometimes think of moving backward through time, like Billy's war movie. Undoing all the mistakes that I've made. Making better choices. In Billy's movie, a war comes undone. All the bombs are unexploded, returned to the airplanes. The airplanes return to their bases. Bombs return to the factories that made them. And so on and so on. Everything moving in reverse to Eden. Adam and Eve. A new beginning.
It's a wonderful vision. A chance to correct the mistakes of humankind. Unfortunately, the world is a very broken place, filled with broken people living broken lives. Tomorrow is Good Friday, the beginning of Easter weekend. A time of renewal and hope. Beginnings. I really love reading the Passion narrative on Friday, lighting the vigil fires on Saturday, and getting up in the dark on Sunday morning to see the sunrise. It's sort of like Billy watching the war movie in reverse. Easter is about moving from darkness to light, death to resurrection.
I'm not going to go all pentecostal here. I'm just embracing the Jesus narrative, the idea of renewal and hope. It has been a crappy week for me, full of broken car windows, uprooted trees, and corporate firings. I'm ready to light a few candles, sing "Up from the Grave He Arose," crack a few green and red eggs, and eat ham sandwiches.
It starts tonight. A Maundy Thursday service. The Last Supper. Friendship and betrayal on the road to redemption.
Saint Marty is thankful tonight for renewal.