Heaven and Earth will pass away,
but my words will never pass away.
The Gospel of Matthew
Imagine this apocalyptic scene:
a future where all books were digitized
on servers with a bright, metallic sheen,
descendants of the ones we have devised.
Through some catastrophe, the servers crash,
destroying all the books that they contain.
One server, luckily, preserved its stash.
At least in it, the volumes could remain.
This server too, though, is in jeopardy:
the building where it’s housed has caught on fire,
but you are there, and suddenly you see
a way to save it and its power wire.
The problem is that someone needs your help
or they will be engulfed in flames by when
you finish saving books from blazing hell.
You need to make a split decision then.
The server houses every holy book,
the final copies that exist on Earth.
Is not the person just about to cook,
no matter what, more infinite in worth?
Is not the person too a sacred text,
that’s written in a chromosomal script,
though we don’t know the sequel that comes next
once their genetic textbook has been ripped?
Which server would you save if you could choose;
the server made of metal and of plastic
with sacred texts we would forever lose
unless you took a measure that was drastic
and let the other server – who served love –
be swallowed by the flames as sacrifice
in that apocalyptic scene that I speak of?
Would you let someone pay their life as price?
You could recall and write some things you read
but can’t remember all: much would be lost –
whatever wasn’t stored within your head –
unless you made that person pay the cost.
If I could save the words that Jesus said
from such a fate, I feel that I would not,
if it meant someone else would soon be dead
from flames that felt infernal, licking hot.
What would become of words of Jesus then?
I think they would – like He did – rise again.
Mario A. Pita