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.
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.