I’ve been fumbling around with something profound, maybe even prophetic to say in light of Holy Week. Feeling stuck, I kept coming back to this;
“So the Pharisees said to one another, ‘See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!'” John 12:19.
They sound like whiny babies. But wait, for I too, am a whiny baby. When I’ve tried and tried to have my way and still, no one listens, I sound a lot like the Pharisees. So, I don’t judge them, yet I’m amazed by this scripture. And not by their reaction to not having their way, but by their words, “the whole world has gone after him!”
“The whole world has gone after HIM!”
How frustrating this must have been.
“The WHOLE WORLD has gone after him!”
And I’m wondering what it would look like if indeed, the whole world was going after Jesus. Actually, what would it look like if just the Church was going after him. I mean, really going after him! What if we sought him out so passionately in everything we said, read, thought, sweat, rested, ate, mumbled, watched, and breathed that people began to wonder if they had just seen Jesus for real? Standing right in front of them? What if we so humbly sought him that it bled through in everything we do.
Dearly loved, created beings see him everyday in the people I know. A friend meets with a young woman from China every week, patiently listening to all her new questions about her new faith. Another braces herself for the unknown reaction of little children to the simplicity of waking up in a house that still isn’t home, with a family they haven’t had enough time to know. A sister prays for Constance, homeless and alone, feeding her, praying for her. And my little girl, growing up fast, goes out into the streets of New Orleans, hands lunch to a bare hand, holds it and prays.
Patience, humility, love, courage; all reflections of Jesus.
The Pharisees didn’t understand. Somedays I don’t understand.
I have this picture in my head of Jesus standing in front of me now. I will admit, he looks strangely familiar to all the paintings I’ve ever seen of him, all the men who have represented him on screen. The long dark hair, tan skin and robe. But it’s his face that is unlike any I have seen. His eyes are piercing but soft. Playful and compassionate and even sometimes disappointed, but even that is hard to pinpoint. He has wrinkles around his mouth from smiling, delighting in me. He also has wrinkles on his forehead, one eyebrow in a high arch, questioning my choices. But always, always, this unmistakable love.
And I think, what if my face actually reflected His? What if others saw all the same things in me, all at once, covered in love? Could people see Him? Is it possible?
It is completely possible that cold, hungry hands in Indiana and tired, forgotten hands in Louisana feel warmth and compassion. It is completely possible that curious, questioning eyes see grace and patience. It is completely possible for scared, cautious hearts to bear witness to courage and the quiet strength to love a child who does not share your blood. It is completely possible to be mistaken for Jesus to those all around us.
Nearly 40 days ago I began baking bread. I gave it to tired mothers, homeless sisters, to thank family for their help, to comfort a neighbor’s loss. And what I found was the noticing. I saw Jesus in those who received and in shared experiences of service. I heard him in grateful words spoken and prayers for protection and help, echoing, “What you have done for least of these…,” “Love is patient…,” “Feed my sheep…”
So here is the profound, prophetic word I have to give on this second day of Holy Week –
Notice Him. Let others notice Him in you.
See Him. He’s with us and all around us. In the people we pass. In the people we share life with. Even in the people who don’t yet know Him, we see His image for they were created in it.
Ask yourself, who sees Him in you?
And then wonder, what it would look like if the whole world went after Him…