On Being Asked What Would Jesus Do in IKEA
Matthew Landrum (bio)

He would, like any of us, begin by winding his way
through the labyrinthine displays. He would inspect the joinery
of bookcases and end-tables, casting a critical eye on the thin veneer
of wood-print laminate covering over
particle board—he was after all a carpenter first, a late-comer
to the career of savior.
He would move between couches declaring
both the fabric and leather cushion clean alike. In spare-furnished
economy rooms, he might speak
of husbands having dens and loveseats having fox throw pillows
where the son of man could lay his head.
He might make a joke in the dining room section, self-conscious,
about his disciples and him all sitting
posed on one side of an improbably long kitchen table,
dipping hands into a bowl of lingonberry jam.
He would study the iconography of swivel desk lamps and behold himself
in mirrors with particolored frames, seeing there
a face with nothing in it
to make us desirous of him. He could, of course,
multiply missing screws or dowel pegs if he wished
or heal the cast-off multitudes of scratch and dent items in the clearance section,

able, as God, to make each whole again, but reluctant
as man to show himself before his hour had come.
In the warehouse, he would move heavy loads on smooth silent casters
through aisles and aisles of disassembled parts
waiting for their day of becoming
when every design, whether good or bad,
will be brought to fruition, out into the parking lot,
enormous, yet with so few spaces for him.

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