Disclaimer: The blog you are about to read is much different than my other posts. There's no deep, hidden meaning behind it. It's not for anyone in particular and there's no motive in posting it, other than the fact that it's something that I've needed to put into written words for quite some time. I will return to my usual, mullet filled posts later this week.
Just about every Methodist church I've ever stumbled into has this painted portrait of Jesus with his hair swept back (yet perfectly in place), His face is glowing, His eyes shifted Heavenward and His beard neatly trimmed hanging in its Fellowship Hall.
This is the Jesus I knew for so many years. The man with tousled, yet perfect hair, who spent the majority of his time be-boppin' around with his 12 besties feeding, healing and preaching to peeps.
Yep, this is the Jesus I believed to be real. Just this man who was perfect. This man who died and rose from the grave. The man who saved me from my sins. That's all I knew.
I only knew this Jesus, because I put Him in a box. I chose to believe that's all there was to Him. He was the untouchable. He'd come in every so often with a great line to pump me up or make me feel good, or He would put someone great in my path and always He would provide.
Even when going through the most heart-wrenching pain I have ever felt in my life, I still chose to put Jesus in a box. I chose to believe that He was this magician who was going to come in and heal me and make me better and I'd walk away scar-free and high on life. Why? Because that's all I knew and that's all I chose to see. And because I was afraid to admit that He could do more and that I could change radically because of it.
I believe that Jesus didn't fully present Himself to me until I was good and ready. Until I was ready to change and heal.
He came in the most unlikely of ways. He didn't swoop in on a white horse, with his hair blowing in the wind. He didn't float over me with a halo on His head. He came banging on my car window in a parking garage, during a complete emotional meltdown. Not during a mountain top experience at church camp in Colorado (although it can happen there, too). His hair was certainly not perfect, as if to say, I'm meeting you where you are. And He wasn't be-boppin' around like He had already had 7 cups of coffee that day. He wasn't happy-go-lucky. He wasn't the Jesus I had placed in a box so many years earlier.
You see, I was angry at Jesus. So angry. Because I had a very limited view of who Jesus was, I was afraid to admit that to myself and to Him. I was afraid the happy-go-lucky Jesus in the box would not be a fan of me yelling, "What the crap, Jesus?!" at Him. I was wrong, because that is when I met the real Jesus. The comforter, the healer, the hope of salvation, the deliverer, the light of the world and the redemption I so badly needed. Maybe the Jesus in the box couldn't handle my anger, but take Him out of the box and he could handle much more than that.
Before that parking garage experience, I think I was scared to truly feel pain and open up my wounds, so I tried to be-bop around and pretend to be healed by Jesus the magician. Then, He banged on my window and poured salt over my wounds... and healed them.
The reformation I've seen in my life since taking Jesus out of that stupid box has been surreal. Almost unexplainable. But, that's what happens when something is out of the box and you allow yourself to really see it. It's new and unexplainable.
I hope everyone who comes across this blog will take Jesus out of His box. I hope you'll allow yourself to really see Him-- all of Him-- all parts to Him.
**If you don't know Jesus, I would be happy to draw the bridge diagram for you.