Authors note: the only thing you can learn from a dummy is not to be one. But with an open mind and imagination we can learn a lot from fictional stories.
As I look at the picture to the left I wonder what Jesus is thinking? It looks like he is looking into the far reaches of time, perhaps he is looking deep into my life today August 16, 2013. I hope the artist will forgive me for using my imagination and see Jesus waiting for me to come and spend some time with him.
“Crusty, where are you?”
It puzzled me to think that Jesus could not see me standing in front of him. “I am here Lord, can’t you see me?”
“I can here your voice but I am unable to see you.”
“But Jesus I am standing right in front of you. Can’t you see me?”
“Do you believe in me, Crusty?”
I couldn’t believe what Jesus was asking me! He knew everything about me. He knew I believed in him. “Jesus, you know I believe in you, don’t you?”
“I hear your words, Crusty but belief is more than just words belief gives substance to our words.”
Deep inside I began to understand what he was suggesting. Was it possible I didn’t really believe in Jesus? But said to myself, “I must believe in him because could see him and if I didn’t I wouldn’t be able to see him. “But Jesus if I didn’t really believe in you wouldn’t you be just a voice. And I see you so I must believe in you.”
“Crusty, I will tell you of a great mystery but when you hear it do not try to understand it just let it simply take you into a deeper relationship not only with yourself but with me was well and even into a deeper relationship with others.”
He paused for a moment as if he were trying to formulate the words he would use to tell me something I would not be able to understand. As I waited for him to begin I silently asked the Holy Spirit to help me not just listen to Jesus’ voice but to hear his words as well.
“The reason you can see me is because I believe in my relationship with you. The reason I cannot see you is because you do not believe in your relationship with me.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! How could he say I didn’t believe in my relationship with him? I began to rehearse all the difficulties and adversities he’d blessed me through. There was the USS Newman K. Perry and Viet Nam war. There was open chest surgery for removal of my Thymus Gland, I almost died from complications but he pulled me through. Then there was 12 hip operations. Nearly 42 years of working in a factory. And 45 years of marriage!
“You can also see me because you believe in my relationship with you. You believe and see me because of the innumerable times I have blessed you throughout your life. But do you really believe I want a relationship with you? In that question lies the great mystery?”
“But if you have blessed my life and I recognize those times doesn’t that mean I believe in your relationship with me?”
“I think it does,” I tried to sound confident.
“Do you remember why I can’t see you, Crusty?”
“Because it is belief that gives substance to our words.”
“That is true, but the reverse is also true.”
“Lord, I don’t understand what you mean by that.”
“Crusty, is it possible you see me because of the blessings I have given you?”
I was ready to say yes but suddenly the impact of what saying yes meant. If I said yes that would mean my relationship with him was based not on him but based on what I needed him to do. Interrupting my thoughts, “It’s okay if you say yes Crusty because all your relationships are based on needs. But needs come and go. Some of the relationships you depend on from others to help you fulfill your needs will one day be unable to help you. Do you know that will mean?”
“It means when that happens the two-way giving relationship will become only one way then I’ll need to decide whether or not I want to continue in the relationship. But I don’t understand there will never come a time when you’ll become unable to help me fulfill my needs.”
“Has it ever occurred to you that I may have needs too?”
Deep inside I knew he wanted me to acknowledge that even though he was Jesus, the Son of God he had needs but I couldn’t think of what his needs might be. Perhaps he needed me to continue to email and post the Glory Seed Devotionals. Perhaps he needed me to continue to author articles for my website and Natural Spirit Ministries. Perhaps he needed to proclaim the scriptures. Perhaps he needed me to continue to write books and self publish them in the event someone might stumble on them and purchase one. Again interrupting my thoughts, “Remember the person who can no longer fulfill your needs?”
“Yes,” I answered.
“Remember you mentioned the choice of whether or not to continue the relationship?”
“Could it be I need you to continue in relationships where you are the only giver?”
“I never really thought about being only a giver could be something you needed but now that I stop to think about it I can really see your need for me to do so.” A couple of people came to my mind but when I thought further about them it wasn’t they couldn’t help me they chose not to help. I was ready to mention those when, “Now how about someone who chooses not to help fulfill your needs?”
“That’s where the mystery comes in doesn’t it?”
“It’s always easy to give to someone who can’t really give anything back but to give to someone who refuses to give is harder but who will give them what they need if no one does?”
“I understand what you’re telling me what you’re asking me to do but I’d almost to need to be you and I’m not you and I’ll never be anywhere close to being you!”
“Would it be possible for you to do if you would do it to me first and then through me?”
I remembered what the Apostle Paul wrote about be able to do all things through Jesus, “Yes I could do it?” Suddenly I recalled him asking me earlier about my belief in my relationship with him. And I began to see that relationships need to be based not on what we can get but what we can give.
“I can see that my relationship with you must include the things I can do for you not what you can do for. And that extends to all my relationships as well even if I never get anything back from a relationship. I can see that is how you love me and with your help I can love others like you love me.”
Suddenly he disappeared. “Jesus, I can’t see you!”
“What does that mean?”
“It means that your relationship with me is not based on what you see but on your deeper belief in me. Do you understand?”
I knew what he was saying but he didn’t ask me whether or not I heard him he asked me if I understood and suddenly I knew I didn’t need to understand I only needed to believe. “Jesus.”
“What is it?
“I don’t need to understand I only need to believe and back up my belief with action.”
“I see your sprouting a new hair cut. And by the way you’re not far from the Kingdom.”
Grace and Peace,