Friday, February 24, 2012

Hangin' with Jesus

As you walk up to your car you notice a guy in the passenger seat.  No one was in the car with you on the way to work or the grocery store or the mall, but now there is someone in your car!  You keep an eye on your car, staying several lengths away, and walk around to the front of the car while reaching for your phone.  You're ready to give a detailed description of the person in your car to the police.  As you start to dial 9-1-1, you hear someone call your name.  

You look up and drop your phone.  It's Jesus!  Jesus was the guy sitting in your car, now standing by the passenger door waving at you.  "Come here.  I need to talk to you."  You don't move and begin to think that your lunch has caused the worst case of indigestion you've ever experienced because you're hallucinating!  "You're not hallucinating!"  Jesus yells.  "Com'on, I need to talk to you."  

You slowly walk to your car, wondering if bumping your head on the kitchen cabinet this morning unhinged something in your head.  "This is not because of the kitchen cabinet."  You're looking at Jesus over the top of your car.  

"Am I dying?"  You ask.

"No, St. Michael the Archangel has that job."

"Oh...okay."  You slide into your car and fumble with the keys.

"I'm just here to talk."  Jesus says.  

"About what?  If I'm not dying, I'm not crazy, I'm not hallucinating, what do you want to talk to me about?"  

"Lent."  Jesus says.

"Lent?  I got my ashes on Wednesday.  I gave up chocolate.  I haven't eaten meat today...well, I nearly did, but then remembered it was Friday so I took the meat off my sandwich."

"I know.  First, you need to stop being defensive.  I only want to talk."

"Okay.  So, Jesus...Lent...uh, what about it?"

"I know you really like chocolate, but how is giving it up going to help you grow spiritually?"

"I don't know.  I always give up chocolate.  That's what I was told to do as a kid."

"That's why I'm here.  Maybe you could try something a little harder."  Jesus says with a smile.

"Harder?  Like what?"

"That's for you to decide."

"I decided on chocolate..."

"And that's going to help you grow how?"

As you pull out of the parking lot you say, "Fine, it's not.  I thought I might help me lose a couple pounds. You want me to do something harder."

"Yeah, something that is going to make you need me more, talk to me more, pray to me more.  You have been very successful giving up chocolate for the last 15 years, but you don't need me for that."  

"No...I guess I don't.  Okay...I've got something in mind."

"Oh...I like that.  Good idea.  It's going to be hard."

"Yeah, it will be." you say.  "You'll be sick of hearing from me before the end of Lent."  

"No, I won't."  Jesus says.  "Remember, you can't be crabby about it."

"What?  You just said it was going to be hard..."

"Yes, but Lent is not a time for Catholics to be cranky.  It is a time to grow spiritually, being a crank is not a going to get you there."

"Okay...anything else?"

"Not today.  I'll drop in on you later in Lent."

"Uh, could you not show up in my car?"

"Absolutely.  We'll talk later.  Until next time."  Jesus smiles and is gone.  

"I've never talked to Jesus on my drive home before..."

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