The thought comes to me at first through a weed. Lots of them. Creeping in and taking over my wild, hairy garden. As I push the shovel under the weed, the thought springs like a spiral, upward into my brain. This is the problem, I think to myself. The problem is that we are not dealing with the root. We being the Christians, and the root being all the sickness, the terror, the sorrow that is washing over our world.
But, then the next thought comes, more bright and honest and a little angrier than the first: Nobody is asking what would Jesus do. Nobody, being many of the Christians that make the headlines and the question is just that. What would Jesus do?
What would Jesus do. . . now?
Remember the nineties? Remember the bracelets, and the t-shirts, and the concerts? We were swimming in scripture and maxims and we knew that we were going to change the world. We were the generation of hope and we wore that truth from Head to Toe. What would Jesus do? Oh, we knew and yeah, we were going to dish it. Like crazy.
What happened? Well, I can’t answer for your life, but mine. . . well, I got lost. I got lost in my stuff. I wasn’t dealing with the roots of things and spent quite a few years just trying to survive. I feel like my soul finally got the first breath of fresh air nearly four years ago, but wow, once I became awake, I realized how much I had to catch up on. . . and how much I had to let go of.
I say this, sweaty with garden dirt encrusted on the edges, because I don’t want to lose this thought. Things get lost. All the time. Love gets lost, relationships get lost, and it’s because we don’t stop and take the moment by the tail as it’s whizzing by us. So many times a day, I feel like I stop and say, “Oh, what was I forgetting?” because I am making myself dizzy. The world does it’s own fabulous job of trying but I am the one that has to slow down and stop and say what I need to say.
So. What would Jesus do? Now. After a week of shootings and sorrow and anger and frustration? First, I think He would stand beside those lives that were lost. All of them. Regardless of color, race, orientation, and authority. He would stand with all of their families and He would cry. This is not okay. Hatred, the hatred of humans is not okay and Jesus would have mourned. Deeply.
What would He do after that? I confess that I see Him mourn but I struggle with seeing how He would fight. I don’t know how I need to fight. The first fight that I make is on my knees. The second? Well, I do know that the fight that He started way back when was over people making it difficult to get into His Father’s house. He literally whooped ass on that one. It’s true. He was livid. And, so, for me, I can fight to make sure that nothing is keeping anyone from my own church, from my own walk with Jesus. That if you want to know more and understand what it is that I’m doing and why I live the way I do, then please, sit on my porch, sit at my table. Come to my church. I would love to tell you.
After that, what would Jesus do? I think He would get into peoples lives. Again, regardless of any kind of made up, messed up status quo. He would talk to them. He would ask them questions. He would find out what’s going on, what they’re afraid of, what keeps them from His Father. I think He would laugh with them. Hard. I think He would cry with them even harder. He would not be afraid of their questions or their fears and He would love them.
I’m not sure that I’ve ever told anyone this but John 3:16 has kind of peeved me over the years. It’s been thrown around so flippantly that it’d lost it’s meaning for me. But, in this last year, I’ve heard that verse and understand it more clearly because of the violence, and the hatred, and the waring that has gone on. This is what God did:
This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, His one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in Him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.
God got to the root and the only thing that could deal with that deep, scaring, spreading root was Love. His love. He did not carry signs. He did not build walls to protect His kingdom. He did not demand that He get His way. He gave His Love, through His Son, to rip out the very thing that is shredding this world and our hearts into bits: Sin. And, He dealt with the enemy that brought sin into the world in the first place: Satan. He found the source and He gave everything.
Yes, what would Jesus do? Please, my brothers and sisters in Jesus, please start asking that question again, but remember to ask what would God do? What has He already done? What is He doing right now?
Who knows. . . maybe it’s not too late.
Maybe. . .