When I was 9 my dog ran away on the 4th of July. She was trying to hide from the fireworks & wandered off while we stupidly spun around with flaming bits of explosives dancing sparks in the sky, mingling with the fireflies. She was gone for 3 days, and on the third afternoon, I soothed my fretful Mother by saying, with complete assurance, “Don’t worry Mom, I know she’ll come home. God told me.”
God didn’t tell me shit. I just wanted my Mom to feel better. She looked at me like I was an angel, and I was pleased that her creased brow had temporarily smoothed.
An hour later the dog returned, scratching at the door, hungry but unharmed.
For a few years I thought that my lie manifesting itself as a loose interpretation of the resurrection meant I was a soothsayer. I tried to guess what was going to happen before it happened (pork chops and green beans for supper! Just as I predicted!); I worked diligently to conjure ghosts (none came, but I made a lot up & scared neighbourhood children with tales of their gory demise); I instituted what was shaping into a pretty intense case of obsessive compulsive disorder into ritualistic prayers, asking for signs, asking for more abilities to predict the future and calm the worries of my loved ones.
Nothing happened, and I learned the true meaning of coincidence. A couple years later my fervent prayers to predict the future turned into shameful pleas for God to strike me dead if I didn’t stop touching myself. He never did, and I never stopped.