Friday, October 01, 2004

Jesus and his Harley....

Hidden away in the comments at theopraxis I found this gem. Personally I don't want to lose it so Jeff has allowed me to post it. To me it paints a vivid picture of incarnational mission.

The Jesus of My Day
By Jeff Jacobson

I see him riding in on a Harley, the Jesus of my day. It looks like he’s been on the road for a while, but his eyes are still bright and he smiles when he sees me. His hair is long and wild from the wind. I guess he travels light because his saddlebags are mostly empty.

In a cloud of dirt and dust he calls me over. I’m not sure what to do, but I’m drawn to him so I go. He puts his hand on my shoulder and he promises me a great adventure. I believe him, but I ask him to wait. I need to take care of a few things because my plate is full. His strong hand grabs hold of the clutch and he races the engine and he tells me that now is the time.

And it feels like a dream and maybe it is, but I drop it all on the ground. My cell phone, my Palm - everything because I want to die to the details. And then I get on the back of his Harley and we ride.

I’m not sure where we’re going but it’s in the direction of my church and this makes sense to me. He’ll of course want to stop in, walk around and say to me "well done." But then he doesn’t. We ride right on by and I think he even speeds up.

We stop to get gas and he spends a long time with the man who owns the station. The man wears a turban, and they're laughing and talking and I'm irritated because it's hot and I want this great adventure to begin.

We’re ready to go with a full tank and the open road ahead of us. But before long we turn into the parking lot of a strip club. I'm embarrassed and look around to see who might catch me here. Then he talks about the sick and the healthy and who needs a doctor and now I remember.

Its broad daylight but we wait in the parking lot for them to come out. When they do, he walks over to them while I lean against the bike. The sun hits their eyes and he asks them for directions and soon they’re laughing and talking and maybe this is a good time for all of us to grab some coffee together. And so that’s what we do.

Later we ride right by a large convention downtown with city leaders and it’s crowded and the air is thick with power and influence. Our reflection beams off of limo windows as we navigate through. No one notices him and I’m angry and shocked, but he doesn’t seem to care.

I’m taking my life into my hands as we ride deeper into the bowels of the city. It’s getting dark and this is gang territory and I’m scared but then I remember who I’m riding with. Before long he finds them and he’s mingling, talking, listening. He’s not looking for the healthy, but I keep forgetting that.

And it might just be my eyes playing tricks on me, but each time he stops and mingles and talks and listens and puts a hand on a shoulder, he looks like he fits in. He laughs deep and hard and I’d swear he’s known them forever. And I suppose he has.

And so it goes, day after day. There’s a widow who’s lonely and a refugee who is lost and a man much less lovable than I am who is dying. And each day there are children - lots of children who are wide-eyed with wonder. He talks about how they paint the world with broad brush strokes and trust the ground they walk on without question. He reminds me that their faith overlooks the details. This makes sense to me.

He stops from time to time along the side of the road and asks me if I get it. We talk and talk and he listens. He tells me that the great adventure is not so far down the road but all around me. Then we get back on and ride because he says that there's not much time. We talk about what it would be like for me to get my own Harley.

28 "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. 29 Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. 30 Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." (Matt 11:28-30 Msg)

Matt 11:28-30

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