Sometimes, I think of Jesus as having an invariably serene expression. Meek and mild. A bit vague. Vanilla.
Of course, I know this isn’t true. I know he got angry. I know he cried. I know he got frustrated. So why do I picture him this way? Perhaps it’s because, to my untrained eyes, the scripture can sometimes seem a bit dry on detail.
So I challenged myself to picture Jesus in different situations. What, I wondered, would Jesus’ reaction be if he ate a dodgy mutton vindaloo? Or when experiencing extreme road rage – surely Jesus wouldn’t …
Surely his eyes would light up on seeing his friends. What about when he saw something funny? Would his eyes crease up, would he hold his sides from laughing so much? Would he high five the joker?
What if he saw people’s eyes sliding over a homeless person as though they were invisible? Or if he witnessed desperate queues at the local food bank?
Funny. Quirky. Real.
Sometimes it seems that my picture of Jesus is not for everyday. Could I handle Jesus being in our everyday and for everyday?
Surely he is not simply a lofty figure interested only in spiritual matters, but a being for whom the very process of life itself is a spiritual matter. I wonder how far my interactions with him are truly rooted in reality.
I’ve noticed something recently: my heart quickens with joy when sharing hot chocolate with a friend. I feel deeply satisfied when eating a delicious meal with friends and family. I think God gets excited sharing food together too – Joel 2:26. A reflective walk by the river feels oddly like worship. My hands shake after talking to a friend about Jesus. The sonic sounds of whale song echo deep inside me. Certain words and phrases bounce persistently inside my mind.
The more I seek to make God a part of my circumstances, the more I realise that He has always been in my circumstances. I just needed to take notice.
I’m now challenging myself to not only picture Jesus in different situations, but to actively be with Jesus in every situation. How real can Jesus become to me, how inextricably intertwined in my life? That’s what I want to know.
I love that Jesus let Thomas put his hands into his palms to examine his scars.
Gruesome. Awkward. Intimate. Real.
One last question, would Jesus love or hate Marmite? It’s not the be all and end all; I’d just be interested to know.