It’s hard to imagine that God could take human form in the body of that guy that sits on the corner of Grand and Main asking for a handout every afternoon while holding a sign that says “lost my job” or “ran on hard times” or “need money for spaceship”.
But perhaps, in a fit of boredom from trying to decide who He’s going to strike with lightening next, God decides He’ll put on His hobo suit and see just how bad thing are down here.
He sets up on the off-ramp of the highway. He stands with long stringy hair and in tattered clothes. He holds one of those cardboard signs that looks like it’s been folded a million times so He can fit it in His back pocket. It says, “Anything helps! God bless!”
Several cars whiz by acting as if they don’t see Him.
“Why don’t those people just go get a job?” thinks one of the pedestrians as they scurry by.
“What a lazy ass. Some people just looking for a handout.” thinks another.
Finally, after about 10 minutes, a car stops and hands Him a five dollar bill.
“Well done my good and faithful servant,” thinks God, “You passed the test. You gain admittance into heaven.”
The individual nods and smiles to who he thinks is just a homeless man but is actually God. You know… the Creator of the Universe.
That individual is you.
You just so happened to drive by God in human form on your way back home from work and, without even knowing it, gained admittance into heaven.
You are one lucky bastard. I wish I had that kind of luck.
Do you also know that it doesn’t work this way?
Have you heard the expression, “Jesus could be anyone!” Well, in the most literal form you could ever possibly understand, you just gave Him five bucks.
Fortunately, God doesn’t gain your admittance to heaven through random acts of kindness like helping build a house for the homeless because “you hadn’t done something like that before” or giving money to a homeless person because “they had a dog with them”. Your admittance is dependent on one thing: your acceptance of His love. Or even your acceptance of the belief that He could love even someone like YOU!!
Now, it does become a lot more complicated (and I hope to get into that much more on this blog), but when you really drill down to the heart of the Christian religion, it is love that keeps it beating.
I never understood this concept much of my life. Even though I think I knew better, I would imagine God watching over me with a play book. He would grade me on all my actions. Checking all the good things I do and weighing them with all the bad. If I hadn’t given a homeless person a buck or given back the extra dollar the attendant at 7-11 gave me with my change then I was making a bad play and demerits would be cast in my direction. Too many demerits and I may be suffering from heat stroke for the rest of eternity.
What I now know is that grace saved me from having to worry about making the right play every single time. I don’t have to “pass the test” each and every day. Quite frankly, if each of us had to worry about passing a test each day, then we all would fall into the fiery pits of Hell and God would be lonely. We are incapable of doing the right thing each and every time.
This brings me to the point of this post. It is called “Anyone” because I don’t know that the expression “Jesus could be anyone” necessarily means that Jesus could be that giant three-eyed mutant sewer worker who wants a bite of your tuna sandwich as a test to get you in to heaven. It means that anyone, including you… could be like Jesus.
While comparing yourself to Jesus sounds a bit like blasphemy, the very act of being like Jesus is one that can drive a former Grand Dragon of the KKK to renounce his hatred or a hardened professor to convert to Christianity that she genuinely hated for so many years.
The next time you stop to do something nice, the person receiving your act of kindness (or “grace”) towards them is receiving the very same treatment Jesus dispensed to His people over 2000 years ago. In this instance, Jesus is alive and well in all of us.
Jesus could be anyone.
That anyone could be you.