The Amazing Miss Vivian

Miss Vivian was a friend of mine who recently died. She was a Phone Sex Operator at LDW.

When she passed, the following song kept going through my head:

I would like to explain a little about that.

I know Vivian went to the spirit in the sky.

The Jesus of the Bible, okay I’m not a religious person, but it is largely because of how the people who are religious portray Jesus. The Jesus in the Bible isn’t the Jesus that Christians celebrate.

The bits about Jesus being deity born of a virgin etc. I believe are additions to the story, but I do believe a man named Jesus existed and what was recorded about him, he was very socialist and put compassion and the needs of others first.

Just as an example, the Jews of his day were about to stone a Harlot. Jesus came to her defense, and when they had all left, he told her that her accusers were gone. There was no one left to condemn her, and he did not condemn her either.

That’s the Jesus I am a fan of, and that is a different Jesus than the Jesus that Evangelicals claim. Evangelicals live for condemnation, they enjoy telling people they are condemned if they don’t do things their way and see things their way. Evangelicals are the same as those Jesus defended the Harlot against. The person portraying Jesus in the image below, he gets it, he understands.

Jesus holding a rainbow sign that says "I'm cool with it"
Jesus is cool with it

But anyway, I know Vivian went to the Spirit in the Sky. And that is why this song is what went through my head when I heard she passed, and continues to go through my head when I think of her.

I brought up Jesus in the context of Vivian for a reason, not just because the song happened to mention Jesus, though it does.

Vivian, to me, she personified what the Jesus I adore and respect was all about. I would like explain.

The Sheep and The Goats

During Vivian’s memorial service on Cock Radio, I mentioned that Vivian understood what “Whatever you have to the least of my bretheren, you have done it unto me.”

That’s from a parable Jesus told called The Sheep and the Goats. Here is a rather neat song that tells the story of that parable:

Nutshell – there are two kinds of people, Sheep and Goats.

You can argue that is a false dichotomy and you might have a point, but that misses the point of the parable. Oh and for what it is worth, a parable is a story told to make a point.

The Goats – they were people who did not help those in need. The Sheep – they were people who specifically did help those in need.

In the parable, the Son of Man tells the sheep that he was hungry, and he fed them. He was without clothing, and they clothed him. He was in prison, and they visited him.

The sheep can’t recall doing it, and Jesus said “In as much as you have done it to the least of my bretheren, you have done it unto me.”

That’s who Vivian was, she had a very giving and helpful heart. She went out of her way to help the people she could help. In the parable, she would have been in the group identified as sheep.

Vivian is now with the Spirit in the Sky, for the life she lived is what the Spirit in the Sky wants of us.

As Keith Green points out – the only difference between the Sheep and the Goats is what they did and didn’t do. Vivian did.

Who Is My Neighbor?

In Vivian’s memorial service, I also mentioned that Vivian understood what it was to be a neighbor.

That’s also was a reference to something Jesus said. Luke 10:25-37.

A lawyer asked Jesus what he must do to get eternal life (to be with the Spirit in the Sky when he dies) – and Jesus responded by asking him what the law said was important.

The lawyer answered from Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18. The passage in the Bible focuses on the second part, that’s what was important to Jesus, he was very socialist. Okay second time I’ve mentioned socialism – I don’t mean it the same way others do, to me socialism is the concept of people taking care of each other rather than attempting to compete with each other and drive each other into the ground.

Anyway, Jesus told the lawyer he answered correctly, but the lawyer then wanted Jesus to define who his neighbor was. What followed was the parable of the Good Samaritan, and the meaning of that parable is often misunderstood.

The context of the parable was answering the question of who his neighbor was.

Many Jews did not like Samaritans very much, I can’t stereotype them – after all, Jesus himself was a Jew, his disciples were Jews, most of those who heard him speak and followed him were Jews, it wasn’t until some time after his death that his message went to the Greeks and then eventually spread throughout the Roman Empire.

But to many Jews, Samaritans were seen in the same light many Americans (largely conservatives including many Evangelicals) see Immigrants. They really did not like them. From Wikipedia:

Furthermore, the Dead Sea scroll 4Q372, which recounts the hope that the northern tribes will return to the land of Joseph, remark that the current dwellers in the north are referred to as fools, an enemy people, however they are not referred to as foreigners. It goes on to say that these people, the Samaritans, mocked Jerusalem and built a temple on a high place (Gerizim) to provoke Israel.[17]

Conflict between the Samaritans and the Jews were numerous between the end of the Assyrian diaspora and to the Bar Kokhba revolt. The Tanakh describes multiple instigations from the Samaritan population against the Jews and disparages them, Jesus’ Parable of the Good Samaritan also gives evidence of conflict.[18] The destruction of Mount Gerizim’s Samaritan temple is attributed to the High Priest John Hyrcanus.

In the parable Jesus told, a Jew was traveling to the city of Jericho and robbers attacked him and beat him and left him for dead.

Many “respectable” Jews passed him on the road, but did not stop to help him. They crossed to other side and left him. The list specifically includes religious leaders, a Rabbi and a Levite.

But when a Samaritan passed him, the Samaritan helped him. Took care of his wounds, took him to an Inn, and paid the Inn keeper to look after him.

For many, the point of the story is to help others in need and that is not a bad thing, but that is not the actual point of the story.

The actual point of the story is that it was the Samaritan who was his neighbor, not the “respectable” people that passed him by.

A Samaritan, whom the Jews tended to look down upon. Jesus was making the point that we are to see everyone as our neighbor and as the verse from Leviticus the Lawyer pointed out, to love our neighbor as ourselves.

That was Vivian. She didn’t look down upon anyone, she saw the humanity in everyone, she knew what it meant to be a neighbor and it had nothing to do with social class or any other artificial grouping our species likes to create that divides us rather than unites us.

Vivian knew what it was to be a neighbor.

And now, she is with the Spirit in the Sky.

Thank you Vivian, someday I hope to join you with the Spirit in the Sky, and when I do, it will be a joyous occasion.

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