Columns, Letters

A letter to God

Dear God,

Sorry to bother you while you’re on holiday. I just felt like getting some stuff off my chest. I’m sure your in-box is stuffed with requests, complaints and demands going back hundreds of years. That’s why I’m slipping twenty bucks into the envelope. Get Jesus something nice. Tell him it was from me.

Here’s the thing. I’ve lost my cellphone charger and I was hoping you could … ha ha. Just kidding. If I’ve been bumped to the front of the line, I wouldn’t dare presume to waste your time with frivolities.

I’m in Cape Town at the moment. Love what you’ve done with the place. But the weather? What in your name were you thinking? Were you perhaps under the impression people living here would enjoy spending half the year wearing oilskins and thermal underwear? To give credit where it’s due, though, you did get it right in Durban. You couldn’t find a city with lovelier winters. Summers you apparently subcontracted out. But to Lucifer? Sure, he works fast, but he does have a bit too much of a thing for hot curries and humidity.

I’ve just driven through the Transkei and couldn’t help noticing that it could do with a bit of a touch-up. I’m not suggesting you do it yourself, obviously. If you still haven’t got around to sorting out the Middle East, you’re clearly running a bit behind schedule. Perhaps you could spare one of your lieutenants, though. What’s Noah up to these days? He was always good with his hands.

I hope I am not coming across as too much of a pain in the butt. I know what happens to rude, arrogant people. You curse them by making them very rich. What a burden to bear. Every night I pray for you not to send money my way and every day I find my prayers being answered.

Listen. There are a few people I need to mention. I have a list, but for now let me give you two names. Julius Malema and Steve Hofmeyr. I know we are all hypothetically your children, but you must have been on some kind of transcendental medication when you spawned those two pieces of work. I don’t want to tell you how to do your job, but if you ever find yourself short a couple of sunbeams, do us all a favour.

By the way, about that earthquake on Tuesday. Were you trying to tell us something? There are easier ways, you know. Is your email down? Can’t you speak English? Or even Zulu? Everyone seems to have an opinion on the event and, given that one in three people in this country is mentally ill, it’s hard to know what to believe. Someone said you were punishing us because we abolished the death penalty and allow gambling, abortion and homosexuality. Given your reputation in the Bible, it may well be the case. I don’t care. I was in Cape Town and felt nothing. Most people in Cape Town feel nothing at the best of times. Well, most white people, anyway. But you’re not to blame for that. Or are you?

Do you have any clout with the Chinese or Vietnamese? Probably not. But on the off-chance that you do, could you get them to stop snorting our rhinos? I’m sure they’d rather have cocaine. Perhaps you could bring the street price down a bit. And please kill Facebook.

I know the Jews are your chosen people and you’ve done very well to fit a big country like America into a small pocket like Israel, but how does your boy feel about this? I would have thought he might still have hard feelings about that nasty business a couple of thousand years ago. Then again, he was always big on forgiveness. We have people like that here, too. A lot of parents forgive the men who kill their children and say it’s what you willed. They like to think they are emulating Jesus, but they aren’t really. They’re just not very bright.

Oh, before I forget. I have something for you – a token of thanks for all the times you’ve saved my ass. It’s a copy of my book Incognito – The Memoirs of Ben Trovato. I imagine you’re quite capable of purloining your own copy, but they’re selling out fast and the publishers in this country are reluctant to reprint once they have their pound of flesh. Meet me on the beach – being omnipresent you’re unlikely to go to the wrong one – at 3pm on Tuesday and I’ll give you a signed copy.

Yours truly,






15 thoughts on “A letter to God

  1. Norah says:

    My dear friend, you outshine yourself – every time!!

  2. Ricky says:

    Behold everybody… the Atheist. His non beliefs are better than your beliefs and so it all starts again. There are bound to be a few extreme versions along the way but they’re still in their early stages. Give it a couple of centuries for the hate to blossom.

  3. Megan Blom says:

    Absolutely Love This! You just put all my thoughts into words, uncanny and incredibly hilarious. Much Love for the “well fucked ungrateful ass”

    1. You’re a very sick woman, Megan Blom. I like you.

  4. Jane says:

    When you meet at the beach please ask God when he will be back in the office managing and leading rather than cavorting everywhere else. I joined the team a while back and got my divine spark injection and my badge saying “co-creator with universal mind”, goodwill to all (love ya Julius and Steve even when you need a klap around the ears), fellowship with humanity, goodwill to all, focusing on beauty rather than negativity and keeping my panga out of reach of my thoughts. But the marketing plan is losing traction in all kinds of ways and some of us are thinking of striking cos we haven’t got a better idea and that’s how we always have done it. So to hell with creative solutions. The only thing that has traction, it seems, are the strait jackets in the insane asylum we call this planet where you can’t tell who is staff and who are patients and we are all fighting each other while rhinos and other important stuff gets snorted. I thought we were all headed for hell but sometimes I think we live in it. And I’m not as sour as I sound. Reverend Mpunzi since you have coffee with God everyday do you have some words – with gratitude. J

  5. Likhwa says:

    Absolutely brilliant…again! Your writing never disappoints, can’t wait to get your book!!

  6. Dinga Mpunzi says:

    Mark, May I presume to call you such, anyway? There must have been more than one reason you gid your identity for so long. No, don’t worry, I will not perjure your writing style, for any price. You do it well enough.

    Then, sometimes, you outdo yourself. Such as today. Great stuff. Remind me never to discuss theology with you, God must have a good place for your like, somewhere. You are clearly a reprobate and I would not mind spending eternity with your like and Desmond.

    The Dean, The Very Rev ZA (Dinga) Mpunzi Cathedral of St Michael & All Angels Anglican Diocese of Khahlamba PO Box 119, Queenstown Deanery: 17 Robinson Rd, Queenstown 5320 Landline: +27 45 838 3580 Cell: +27 76 371 3307 WhatsApp: +27 72 995 9517 Email: or

    Gens una sumus Tu mutu moja Simnye We are one people

    1. You’re a good man, Dinga. I’m sure, over a couple of beers, we’d agree on almost everything (apart from the existence of God).

      1. If it weren’t for a God (with a sense of humour) you’d be well fucked, you ungrateful ass

  7. vivek says:

    Ben u r really a “killer”.

    1. Thanks for tipping off the cops, Vivek.

  8. Julia Sabatta says:

    Just can’t love Ben Travato more ! What a beaut !

  9. jopavi48 says:

    Letters to God have never really worked for me, then again being an agnostic may have something to do with it.

    1. Being an atheist, they’ve never really worked for me either.

  10. Jo Wake says:

    Hope he answers in the affirmative.

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