jesus, my friend.

The feelings that the name of Jesus can conjure from a crowd are endless.  Indifference.  Simmering discontent.  Outright objection.  Love.

“Jesus, who freely gave forgiveness.  Confounding all who witnessed, that he should show such boldness.”

That he was enigmatic, people have no doubt.  They say he was a pot stirrer, a moral cornerstone, a conniving manipulator.

But, Oh the feeling when I hear the name of Jesus.  Fortitude, peace, the feeling that comes from sitting with a dear friend reminiscing on a front porch.  The knowledge of being known and not turned away.  A surge of grace, waves of mercy.

And how fervently I want everyone to know what He has done.  How he has made me feel.  Do you know?

Me.  Kaley.  Let me tell you about myself.  I’m selfish to the point of distraction.  Indulgent.  Prone to fits of melancholy, sayer of mean things and thoughtless.  I refuse to let people get to know me, I put up walls.  The most deadly weapon in my arsenal is that of humor.  Drop a joke.  Run away.  Craft a rabbit trail.  Hide yo’self.  I would be, if left to my own devices, the worst.

Jesus.

Simply seeing Jesus on a float in the Rose Parade bolsters me.  His face is a beacon of hope.  I can not reconcile myself to God, so God came to Earth to reconcile for me.  He came down with us.  He healed everyone who asked.  One day he’ll make all things right.  He loves me.  ME!  And I dropped an f-bomb today.

There is nothing, nothing, nothing and no one, no one, no one who can separate me from Jesus.

I know what you might feel when you hear the name of Jesus.  You might feel he betrayed you, snookered you, or worse.  This rips me apart.

What you could have friend, is deep joy.  Peace.  A God who is strong enough to stand up against your doubts and your anger.  A God who can empower you to forgive and let go.  A God who is a friend, a true friend.  Who will listen to the deepest desires of your heart and grant you the wisdom to understand his great love story.

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