by Alison McBain
Do you pray every day? I do, except if it’s Sunday, because that’s when I watch The Walking Dead, or if it’s Tuesday, because that’s when I watch iZombie, or if it’s late at night, because then I’ll be watching Game Show Network or Forensic Files (hint: the spouse did it) or sometimes reruns of Frasier. But when there’s nothing on TV, I pray.
Until recently, I didn’t get an answer. It was like before cable TV–I would turn on the tube and get white static with those little black lines, like when you throw a handful of rice into a hot oil skillet. They would pop and sizzle, roiling, boiling, toiling.
Nothing but static. Until recently.
So there I was, I think it was a Wednesday afternoon, since there’s nothing ever good to watch on a Wednesday afternoon, unless you count Telemundo because I watch that sometimes when I’m trying to learn Spanish, but it so far hasn’t worked to teach me anything other than, “Hola” and “Adios,” which I already know. I was just hanging around watching the blank, white wall and decided, what the heck, it was a good time to pray.
“Hey, God,” I said, then paused. The pause is important when you start a monologue. It gives Him a way to say, “Sorry, chica, no can do.” Sometimes people tell me I monologue a bit, but I always pause, you see, and they don’t take their out, so I figure that it’s on them.
And during the pause, I heard a most mysterious and holy, “Oink.”
Of course, I looked for a rational answer. I’m a rational kinda person, you see. First thought – “Musta left the TV on in the next room.” I have five TVs, one for each room, including the bathroom (soooo important to have a TV in the bathroom) and sometimes I did leave them on and walked out and didn’t realize that there were shows still playing, calling plaintively out to me, but no one to watch them.
I went to the kitchen to the living room to my bedroom to the bathroom to my spare bedroom (now filled with a dusty stair stepper and six boxes from when I moved here six years and six months ago that I had never unpacked). The TVs were all black and dead.
So I went back to the living room and sat down on the couch again. “Hey, God, is that you?” I asked.
Then I paused.
I heard, “Oink,” most solemnly.
So there was only one thing to do – I continued praying, a whole long list of laundry set out to dry, and I stopped every once in a while to let His Pig get an “Oink” in.
I don’t pretend to know why God had a pig answering me that day, but it made a true believer out of me. The noisy static of a channelless station has turned to color images moving and jumping and dancing on the screen–an answer directly to me, which is His hope and love. God’s Pig has changed my life.
Father, thank you that you have revealed Your Pig to me. I invite you to send me out from here in the power of the Holy Pig. Fan into flame the gifts that you have given me, come reveal Your grace and truth to me each day. For Yours is the Kingdom, the power, the glory and the Pig.
Forever and ever, amen.
Alison McBain is an award-winning author with more than fifty short stories and poems published/forthcoming, including work in Flash Fiction Online, Litro and FLAPPERHOUSE. When not writing fiction, she is the Book Reviews Editor for the magazine Bewildering Stories. Alison lives in Connecticut with her husband and three children.