get it off me!


White Jesus held a place in my childhood. His big white peaceful profile hung in a huge gold frame in our living room. Why wouldn’t I think he was white? But I don’t anymore.

I don’t think he’d wear a cross around his neck, either. This “aha moment” came when I saw a junior high school kid dressed as Jesus on Halloween. He had a big wooden one around his neck, and ever since then this whole concept has seemed so weird to me.

I think he would freak people out with his inclusiveness and have a never-ending table. He might even play the “last person to touch your nose is the one who prays for the meal” game so everybody had a chance.

I think he would laugh a lot. I think he would rather sit outside than in a pew any day of the week.

I don’t think he’d attend a worship night that cost $10, but might be found close by loving people who didn’t have $10. Maybe he’d be at the Greyhound station.

I think he would like the fish tacos at La Texanita.

I know he would never shame anyone, ever.

I don’t think he would have killed Hitler, or the Ayatollah, or even Pontius Pilate. He was more about raising the dead.

What do you think he would wear today? Certainly not robe and sandals, right? Maybe jeans, and a tee shirt? Birks? Converse? Would he make his own clothes like Shane Claiborne?

I don’t think he’d really put a lot of thought into it, but who knows.

Would he have a beard, or long hair? A man bun? Maybe.

Would he boycott Girl Scout Cookies, or fly the rainbow flag?

Does anyone know for sure?

Would he cut off all of these issues and let his life of love speak for itself?

At the unveiling of The David, another artist asked Michelangelo how he created the masterpiece. “It was simple”, he said. “I just chipped away everything that wasn’t David”.

I think I’ve been doing this with my faith. Slowly chipping away at what doesn’t look like Jesus, and somehow finding him, along with myself, underneath it all. I imagine I won’t ever be able to describe it as “simple”, and it will most likely take my lifetime. But that’s okay.

At least it’s real.

Love, Val


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