Thursday, June 21, 2007

Work, work, work!

Mompriest has tagged me with another meme overnight, so now my productivity for the day has been totally shot! :-)

Now. You've been tagged to play this meme. It's from John Smulo's blog and it goes like this:

1. Those tagged will share 5 Things They Dig About Jesus.
2. Those tagged will tag 5 people.
3. Those tagged will leave a link to their meme in the comments section of this post so everyone can keep track of what's being posted..

So... five things I dig about Jesus...
  1. Once, as I was sitting in quiet prayer about 10 years ago, I had an image of walking down the sidewalk with Jesus after a rainstorm. I was me, and not a child, but I had to reach up to hold his hand, just like a child holding hands with a parent. And as we walked, we swung our arms, and we stepped in the puddles. We started to stomp in the puddles, and smiled at the water splashing us. Then we jumped in every puddle we came to, laughing and shouting and dancing and getting thoroughly soaked. Jesus is a good puddle-jumping buddy, and I dig that.
  2. In the midst of a deep depression, about 8 years ago, I was meeting with my spiritual director. I described The Pit to her, with its darkness and hopelessness, with the grey mucky walls that are so slippery that my clutching hands could find no purchase as I slid down, deeper into the depression. She asked me to close my eyes and sit in silence for a moment. Then she took me through a guided image meditation. She asked me to place myself in The Pit, and I shivered to visualize that place. Then she had me envision a ledge, a place I could stop my slide into the depths. I landed on that ledge, in an ungraceful heap, and rested there for a moment. After a time, she asked me to stand, and I picked myself up and planted my feet on that ledge. And then she said, ask Jesus if he will be with you there, on that ledge, in The Pit. I was dubious, but I asked, and Jesus came to be with me. His eyes were full of sadness and love for me. I could not bring myself to touch him, so instead I asked, "Jesus, will you stay with me and help me?" And Jesus looked at me again, and in his eyes I saw: Child, could you be any more clueless?!? He smiled, and I laughed. I opened my eyes and told my spiritual director what I had seen, and she laughed, too, and said this is how to know it is real. Jesus is often a smart-aleck, and being quite a smart-aleck myself, I really dig that.
  3. One of the gospel stories that really intrigues me is the story of Jesus and the Canaanite woman. Most priests I've heard preach on this story talk about Jesus testing the woman, and how brave she was to approach him, much less to challenge him the way she did, and they usually try to gloss over what a complete (pardon me) asshole Jesus comes off as in this story. But in my reading, I see something a little different, and something very, very human. I see a tired man. He's been walking in the dusty, dirty, hot middle east for weeks. He's been challenged by scholars and priests wherever he goes, and people hound him for healing and other miracles. His closest companions often disagree with each other, and usually seem to completely miss the point of what he's trying to teach them. And so one more needy person approaches him to beg for a miracle. Instead of looking at her and having pity on her, he pretends not to hear her. If I can't hear her, maybe she'll just go away - admit it, you've thought this before! But she doesn't go away, and when he lashes out at her in tired frustration, she persists. And in that moment, Jesus realizes he's being a complete (pardon me) asshole, and he heals the woman's daughter. It is a very human story, a very real story, one I've lived plenty of times. Jesus was not only divine, but was human, and I dig that.
  4. No list would be complete without this: Jesus gave us the feast. Jesus is the bread of life and the living water, and he invites all of us - every last flawed, unlovely, broken sinful one of us - to the table to feast with him, to be filled and satisfied and nourished. I dig that.
  5. Here is the first verse of my favorite hymn. You've seen it here before. We all need to know that we are lovely, that we are lovable, that we are loved. Jesus shows me that I don't have to be loveless, that I am in fact, lovely. Jesus loves me, even when I'm at my most unlovable, and I dig that.
My song is love unknown,
My Savior’s love to me;
Love to the loveless shown,
That they might lovely be.
O who am I, that for my sake
My Lord should take, frail flesh and die?

So now I need to tag five more people. Hmm... Okay, in alphabetical order by blog title, I tag:
  1. Fr. Eric at Bread and Wine
  2. Eileen the Episcopalifem
  3. Sue at Inner Dorothy
  4. Pat at No Claim to Sainthood
  5. Jon at This, Too, Shall Pass
Have fun, y'all! I'm looking forward to reading your responses.