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What would Jesus do?

Breadman's Daughter| Views: 983

Last Sunday morning I had one of those ‘What would Jesus do?’ moments. I’m not talking about the Jesus that’s been hi-jacked by politics and manipulated to suit a whole host of crazy that has nothing to do with the real Jesus, the one who conveyed the most important commandment. Love one another.

I had the Jesus moment in front of a church, which may seem a likely place to have such a moment. But not to me. I was not attending this church. I just happened to be walking by. I was showing my daughter’s dog Kirby around the neighborhood. We were actually across the street from the church when I spied with my little eye steps that were rainbow colored. This delighted me. I had to take a picture, which is what I often do when charmed by something. Since it was a church, you might say I was in seventh heaven and enraptured by the sight.

There were two women standing in front of the church when my little eye did the spying so I waited until they were finished their conversation before I crossed the street to take my photo. Once they departed, we crossed the street. It was a bright and sunny morning. Truly glorious and praiseworthy. In fact, it was so blindingly brilliant I couldn’t see the screen on my iPhone so I sought illumination in the shade of a nearby tree. Paradoxical but true.

My back was turned from the rainbow stairs for less than a minute, just long enough to open the camera on my phone. When I turned around there was a young woman sitting on the top step. Her hands were shielding her face. And she was weeping. Not ugly crying, a pathetic whimper or loud sobbing. Her tears were hushed and restrained. And all the more heartbreaking.

I slipped the phone back into my pocket.

I was torn in that moment. What would Jesus do? Reach out? Extend comfort and kindness? Climb the rainbow stairs and sit beside her? Hold her hand? Ask her if there was anything she needed? Could I help? Did she want to talk? When she was a little girl did her mother tell her not to speak to strangers? Am I being creepy or caring?

What was the most loving thing to do in that moment?

I struggled with this simple, yet profound, question during my oh-so brief non-encounter with this beautiful child of God. It was a non-encounter because she was unaware of my presence. She did not see me. But I saw her. I bore witness to her sadness. I saw her grief. I was deeply moved by her pain.

I left her there at the top of the rainbow stairs. And alone with her silent tears. I put myself in her place. Walked a mile in her moccasins. Asked myself what would I want in that moment?

So I respected her privacy. There was a reason she came out of the church and sat on the steps alone. A reason not mine to know. I have been there many times in my life. Not sitting on church steps, but sitting somewhere, crying out all the tears over the inconsolable heartbreak of life. And during those moments, and for tears of this particular essence, I always wanted to be alone. There are no words. No hugs. No holding that can release their sorrowful grip.

Only solitude and grace, beyond all human understanding, can exhaust such tears. They are the very heart and soul of our most fervent prayer. They are sacred, holy and our greatest blessing. They bind and hold us together as the fragile spiritual beings we are, sharing a very common human experience.

Hugs, holding and consoling will come afterwards, when we are thoroughly spent. And they will be welcomed, and embraced. They will come from the ones who love us and sometimes from kind strangers.

As I walked away, I looked over my shoulder and I said a silent prayer for her, one of gentleness and compassion, peace, and above all, love.