This has always been a tough week for me. In grade school it was customary to have Good Friday off, and the ABC affiliate usually ran “The Greatest Story Ever Told” at 3:30pm.
I wasn’t crazy about that movie. Even my third grade self found it violent and just plain mean to Jesus who seemed to me a very nice guy — complete with Breck shiny hair and an extremely enviable BMI.
Not even the thrill of dying eggs and the smell of hidden chocolate could take the edge off the heavy gray, usually drizzly, not necessarily “Good” Friday.
It gets chilly here in Southern California. On one particularly brisk-breeze-off-the-ocean day, I was scheduled to meet Mr. Two-Day for a little rendezvous complete with a movie and
I figured I would find him in a warm and welcoming flannel shirt, smelling of Old-Spice or Irish Spring and smouldering kindling — you know — those manly, man by the sea, chilly day smells .
I was wrong.
He was wearing this sweatshirt. A Two-Day original.
My first thought was…
My second thought was WWJD?
And then it hit me…
He’d probably laugh.
Seriously, this was a man who personified joy, you can’t tell me he didn’t relish a good joke now and then. I’m sure there was many a night around the campfire when talk strayed from psalms and proverbs to “a priest, a rabbi and a frog walk into a bar…” he had to snicker.
It’s hard for us to remember that Jesus didn’t arrive in the manger with that full beard, Breck shiny hair and size 10 sandals. At one time, he may well have been an ambivalent ten-year old who looked Joseph in the eye upon being grounded for a boys will be boys afternoon of camel tipping, and said “you’re not my real dad!”
I’d even like to think he enjoyed the flesh – minus the sin. He dated the super-models of his day, but he didn’t covet them. He just dated them. No matter how gorgeous the arm candy, he would always ask the all-important question “are you married to my neighbor? Because, if so, this isn’t going to work.”
Jesus was a man, and a lucky one at that. He had friends. At least twelve — most of us have two or three we would enjoy spending the bulk of our days with. He had twelve –okay, eleven, but even so, eleven is a good number.
We’ve all had that one friend who cocked us before the crow could deny us three times…or something like that (sniff, sniff — is that smell your burning ears, Nina G?)
But, yes, we’ve all had that one friend (not).
So, let’s talk about this week. The anniversary of the unthinkable cross-bearing walk to Calvary. Wasn’t there a nay-sayer anywhere? A good Samaritan? A formerly blind guy who really owed it to him to speak up? To say: “Wait a minute, fellas, this is wrong. In fact, Jesus is just alright with me.” in classic Doobie Brother’s style?
Was the mob-mentality that powerful? Where were all the super-models when Jesus was persecuted?
Supermodels — they’re no friend in time of real need.
Borrow a push-up bra need? Maybe.
Real “stop the madness, un-hand Jesus” need? Fail.
Now that that’s understood, you guys out there can clearly comprehend that dating a supermodel will bring nothing but pain and suffering.
Jesus was a man, that’s true, but what a man.
He knew that life here would be brief, but he was brilliant at time management. It’s not easy to change the world in 33 short years, and no matter what incredible stupidity the bad guys put him through here on earth; the gray-day unthinkables we would continue to talk about and learn from for the next 2000-some years and probably 10,000 more to come, Jesus would be hangin’ out with his most awesome Dad for eternity.
And, that’s just alright with me, because when your Dad is God and you’ve got nothing but time, that’s pretty cool indeed.
One day when I get to the gates of heaven and knock hard,
I plan to use my credentials:
“Yoo-hoo! Remember me?…I wrote that article.”
“Oh, yes.” The gatekeepers will reply.
As the electronic pearlys open I’ll hear the quasi-welcoming words.
“He’d like a word with you.”
No matter. I’m in. And, maybe I made him laugh, something he surely loved to do.
I’ll wear the sweatshirt.