i, I’m Amber and I talk to Jesus.
If there’s a more awkward thing to announce on Facebook, I honestly don’t know what it is.
While I’m fairly certain that Jesus and I have been hanging out for a good long time, I only noticed him about six months ago. (Me, Ignoring Jesus Since 1978.)
He showed up while I was walking down the street, minding my own business, and basically said, “YO. I’M RIGHT HERE. LET’S DO THIS THING.”
My response was wide eyes and frantic attempts to verify his identity by doing virtually everything but checking his driver’s license, which I sincerely hope says Jesus H. Christ. He was very patient — and continues to be patient with me, though he does tend to roll his eyes when I’m being stubborn.
Whatever thought I gave Jesus before our random sidewalk encounter was split between being deeply annoyed on his behalf at the way his work was twisted by power-hungry patriarchal agendas and being super into Christmas. Not just because of the presents and sugar cookies — though I never turn down gifts or snickerdoodles— but because it always feels infused with love. While I never identified as specifically Christian, Christmas always felt holy to me.
Also, I like Christmas carols. Like, a dumb amount. Sorry, anyone who has ever spent time with me in December.
That was as far as it went until Jesus basically accosted me on the street, because that was the only way to get my attention. (He notes that I’m being dramatic again — there was a gentle wave and zero accosting — and I say to him, who’s telling this story, you or me?)
Jesus has been pretty persistent about hanging out with me ever since. If I ignore him for too long, I get the ascended-master-on-another-plane equivalent of the “Dude, WTF?” text.
Yes, I still feel awkward bringing this up, because it feels a bit too much like Do You Have A Moment To Talk About Jesus? My east coast education still cringes a bit when I reference him as someone with whom I have actual discussions, rather than historical-figure-of-fish-multiplying-legend.
But talking about the things that make us feel weird or awkward is one of the best ways to find common ground, to put our beating heart on a porcelain platter and say, “Hi, I feel a bit strange about this, but I trust you to meet me halfway or graciously move on to the next bit of internet.” More importantly, it gives other people who hang out with Jesus the chance to recognize that there are lots of us out there, and it’s really not so weird. In fact, it’s awesome. Especially if Jesus shows up with giraffes.
We all think our weird is weirder than everyone else’s weird, but it’s so not true. We’re all delightful balls of love riding around in human suits doing weird and wonderful things.
Be joyfully weird as often as possible — then all the other delightful weirdos who identify with your brand of weirdness can step out of the shadows and say, “Me too! Thank heavens I found you, what a relief.”
For a friend you can’t text or even see, Jesus does a damn good job. He cheers me up when I need it. He does a stellar job of lifting me out of my melodrama and setting me back on track.
One afternoon when I was driving down the freeway in a serious bad mood, my shuffle switched to Everyday People by Sly and the Family Stone. And Jesus started lip-synching, with the Mary’s (Mother and Magdalene) as his backup dancers. I laughed so hard that I almost had to pull over. My energy and mood shifted from “get the hell out of my way” to pure joy in a hot second. He’s good at that.
Jesus patiently answers all my work questions. He rolls his eyes at me when I deserve it. He threw me a birthday party, which ended up being a rainbow rave with unicorns and archangels and red wine.
In another moment of unrelenting human crankiness, Jesus started bouncing on a trampoline in that long robe you always see him wearing in pictures, the dangling end of his rope belt flying up and down with him. Mary Magdalene joined in and they stopped, looked at each other like “why are we wearing this shit?” and suddenly were wearing normal clothes, circa now. (Mary Mags was super excited about her sports bra.)
He’s like a friend and older brother and that co-worker who brings you strawberry cupcakes for no reason.
One could argue that I have a slightly-too-involved inner world and need to socialize myself better, and one would definitely be right.
At the same time, it’s feeling more and more like I’m shifting planes, dancing in and out of my human reality. Like we all are, if we pay attention.
We can all access divine love and comfort and wisdom — whether it looks like Jesus or the universe or the Flying Spaghetti Monster — and we can all interact with it and learn from it as often as we need, as often as we please.
The veil has gotten thin, my friends. It’s reminding me that the density of this reality isn’t all there is — and, as we keep moving toward the light, we all get lighter.
And I’m enjoying the hell out of it. Because Jesus is the best sort of friend there is — and he doesn’t skimp on the wine.