Reach Out And Touch Crazy
"Everyone can see what it is," says the university lady. "But what's important is what it's not. It's not shining white light, not some mystical shaft of Heaven beaming down. It's just daylight, a great big chunk. Could be a specific day, maybe it's just Tuesday. The Event was Thursday, and there's a great big chunk of Tuesday in the middle." Chesterton smiles, somewhere bright and warm. "Could you prove it?" That's my Jude. The woman talks about weather reports -- actually being able to match up cloud patterns, I imagine -- and Jude pushes her to tell someone: "Doesn't explain it, but it's a start." The woman asks exactly what proof that would provide. "That it's real; not heavenly or..." So, to reduce Heaven to a physical process? A trick of the light, instead of a miracle? Profesora gets intense: "Tuesday afternoon is dragged into Thursday night? It proves the opposite: an act of God." Jude wigs, but the woman is not dissuaded, pulling out that old chestnut about how science is headed toward "some design," and Jude gets pragmatic again. "He could start with a proper miracle: feeding starving people," for example. And Davies gets you from that direction too: "We could feed them, if we made the effort." Trading sky miracles for the miracle of kindness. Jude's clever, but the Third Testament is just right there for you to see it, like a fractal, all through the thing. Even after the Testament is written -- and you don't want to get there as quickly as you might think; I've been through the whole trip and you should keep hold on those horses, because the ending is a sock in the gut -- you still have them discovering different sides and angles of the simple fact of personal responsibility. Heaven in a parking lot.
Later, leaving, the woman urges Jude to start at the top -- to talk to Steve. Jude's more interested in the main mystery, tossing off that he hasn't got time for her, which is a lie: "Somebody left me a note to lead me here -- find you, a believer, with proof. It's like someone wants me to believe." Why? "Exactly. There's nothing important about me."