Monday, September 18, 2006

Saw Jesus, Wish I Hadn't

I did see Jesus yesterday morning. I ran into the High Street House on my way out of town. I was meeting my Jodie in Nashville and I wanted to hurry. Jesus came in looking for me, yelling. HELLO? he announced as he walked through the front door. I heard him before I saw him. HELLO? he said as I tried to answer him. And there he was before me, mucous in his moustache, dirty clothes, smelling bad, incoherent. Here is my response:
Me: Hey man, I really need to get going.
Jesus (a little put out): Hey...can't I tell you what happened?
Me: No, friend (I think I really said "friend"!); I don't have time this morning.
Jesus: Gimmie a dollar for the bus.
Me: Come out on the porch and we'll talk about it (so tricksy, terrible).
Jesus (walking past me): Man, I need a ride.
Me: I'm not going to do that right now (locking the door).
Jesus: Gimmie a dollar, then.
Me: I wouldn't feel good about that.
Jesus: Man, you wanna fight?
Me: Not really.
Jesus: Man...fuck you.
Me: Bye.
It breaks my heart to see it on a page, on a screen. I realized as soon as I was safely in the car who the man was. His benediction was tragic, but this is pretty much what my actions had been saying to him as I removed him, as I moved past him.
It is doubly terrible when I consider that, given the chance, I am not sure what I would do differently. I still don't think it is good or right, but I don't know what to do about it. I'm afraid that I resist and resent Jesus on a regular basis. He gets in my way and I do my best to move past him. I am so sorry, Jesus. And I am so sorry, community. Please forgive me.


geoff said...

thanks for your confession, ryan. you will certainly have another opportunity to practice a radical hospitality. perhaps you will find the same result. who knows. just keep going and i'm glad to be on this road with you.
shalom to you.

March said...

...and do we keep on giving, unquestioning, even though everything within screams "NO!"? As much as I hope it will be used for what is claimed, I know from past experience that it probably won't. Yet, did Jesus not say, "If someone asks of you, give."

Does radical love supercede suspicion based on experience?

Ellie said...

I too have struggled with the above question. As a little girl I once saw my father give a clearly intoxicated woman money eventhough a bystander told him not to. My father just replied from the heart "I do not know what she will do with this money, but I am giving it to her". The look in his eyes as he gave it to her stuck with me. I really feel that if we give from our hearts with love and they can see it in our eyes, God will make sure that it goes to good use.

billy said...


Hooray for've intentionally chosen to place yourself in a situation where you have to face these things small thing....

Common Ground Community said...

We also face this situation of 'running from Jesus' way too often. As we open our hearts, place ourselves in a position for unconditionally loving our neighbor, it seems the opportunities for radical hospitality come from all directions. Often, overwhelmingly so. Thanks for your post. It is good to know we are not alone in the struggle to lvoe. bri from common ground community.