It was early November when I started taking Jesus with me.
One night, my husband and I stopped at a friend’s house because they were moving across town and we wanted to help. Our friend Jeff greeted me with a mischievous twinkle in his eye, “Hey I have something for you.” I’m thinking,“How fun! He’s probably going to give me some antique or something really unique.”
Jeff runs downstairs as we are chatting and I can hear boxes flapping open, closing. Soon he sidled up to me and sheepishly handed me a Barbie-sized Jesus. He’s grinning and inwardly, I’m groaning, “Oh great. Nice. Thank you. Not.” You can’t really throw Jesus away, ever.
When we left I took Jesus out to the car, tossed Him in the backseat, and we headed home.
The next morning as I was getting out of my car to go into work, I looked at Jesus sprawled out on my backseat. Reluctantly I stuck Jesus in my big blue bag. When I got into my office, I took Jesus out of my bag and wondered, what am I gonna do with Jesus?
What am I going to do with Jesus? The question caught me off guard... and lingered.
That’s when I began carrying Jesus with me everywhere I went. Well, almost everywhere. Sometimes I have a hard time remembering Jesus.
Anyway. Jesus has been with me at restaurants, on a pool deck in Palm Springs, Tuesday at the movies, a Broncos game, and at a little cabin in the woods. He has been with me when I’ve exercised, led groups, wrapped presents, journaled, had coffee with leaders, worked at my desk and cleaned out my mom’s closet after her death.
I have hundreds of pictures of Jesus and our adventures together.
It’s been crazy fun and soul shaping.
I’ve learned a few things.
1) Wherever I go people want to talk about Jesus. In this politically correct culture we assume no one wants to talk about God/Jesus. What I discovered is that EVERYONE recognized him and they were inquisitive. After sharing my personal relationship with the real Jesus, people, one after another, began candidly telling me their spiritual stories. The good, bad and the ugly. It was fascinating.
2) I learned that living in relationship with Jesus must be intentional. We have to intentionally take Jesus into every life situation. If we are having dinner with friends we choose take him there. If we’re driving to work we decide to take him along. If we’re with family we invite him so to be sure he’s sitting at the table with us. It’s so easy to leave Jesus behind; to never consider what he might think about what we are saying or what we are doing. We must live our lives with intentionality.
3) Jesus changes everything.
When Jesus is present, heavy hearts lighten. Sadness melts away. Wonder replaces dogma. Smiles slip onto faces creased with worry. Laughter fills the air.
Jesus changes everything. When Jesus is present, people start to talk about their past, but with a new understanding. Hard hearts begin cracking open. Minds begin to question long held beliefs. Healthy conversations replace accusations and defensiveness.
Jesus changes everything. When Jesus is present doubts and despair dissipate and a confidence in the warm wisdom of a gracious, ever present God takes it’s place.
So what will I do with Jesus? I’ll take him with me, on purpose, and I’ll share him others... because Jesus truly changes everything.