Jesus and Me
by Linda Odum Reynolds
I am not “religious”. I was. In fact, I was the A #1 baker of casseroles,
leader of the choir, teacher of the Sunday School, right hand man of the
minister and the consummate Church Lady, God forgive me. And He did by the way.
Anyway, after of lifetime of being a Christian and nifty, neato Church Lady, I
met Jesus. (Wonderful story of that part of the journey filled with sin,
intrigue, falling down more than I stood up, more misery than I ever want to
experience again, and a stripping away of all I always believed myself to be
right down to the bare bones of who He knows me to be.)
Oh…….my ……goodness! Say WHAT?!?!? Meeting Jesus just ten years ago? For the
“But,” I said, “I have ALWAYS been a Christian. How can this be that I’m just
now beginning to know You? I don’t even know who I am anymore!
“Well, what with your Church Lady activities, your running headlong jump into
sin and debauchery, and this recent whining and carrying on, yelling at Me about
forgiveness and punishment and atonement, you’ve been a pretty busy little girl.
And no, by the way, I don’t think it’s a good idea that you go find a leper
colony and dedicate the rest of your life to healing the afflicted. Also, the
signing up to be a nun is probably not a good idea. We don’t have a great need
for Episcopalian/Baptist/Methodist nuns, but thank you anyway. And no, I don’t
know where you can find any sackcloth and ashes, so just stick with your jeans
and tee shirts.”
“So…..so, what do I do now?” I asked in bewilderment.
“Well…..ok. But shouldn’t I bake a casserole or visit the sick or something?
Surely there is something You want me to do.”
“Ok,” I said. “But it sure seems peculiar not to know who I am anymore though it
is mighty nice to know who You are, Sir. I’ve always been the good daughter,
wife, mother, church worker, police officer, fallen sinner, terrible sinner,
worst sinner in the world and Lord you know I’ve been really, REALLY good at all
those things. Of course, You know I’m NOT prideful about these things but I was
the best at them, don’t you think?”
He raised an eyebrow, shook His head, rolled His eyes and said “Follow Me.”
“Lord.” I said. “You know I would NEVER argue with you but it does seem that You
would give me a little help here about telling me who I am now and what I’m
supposed to be doing.”
“Follow me,” He said again and started down the road. I didn’t have much choice
but to follow since He was holding my hand as usual. Of course I could have let
go but I didn’t think that was the thing to do at this point. I was in enough
trouble anyway and there was no sense in letting go and getting lost again. He
was leading, and I was following. I was waiting and watching to see what I was
supposed to be doing but it seemed I was just to keep on following Him.
Oh my, it was nice not to have to DO anything. I mean, we would stop now and
then and I would bake a casserole for someone or visit somebody who was ill. But
it was different now. Somehow I understood I was doing that for ME not them.
That was a surprise I'll tell you. Sometimes we would sit down for long spells
while He talked to me and I rested. Several times I almost fell but He caught me
before I hit the ground and just walked on with me snuggled up next to Him.
Every now and then I would get ill tempered and pitch a fit and yell at Him.
He’s not bothered by that, I learned. I surely would not have done that as the
Church Lady who never scuffed her spiritual Mary Jane’s. But I had already
walked through the mud in mine so it didn’t much matter because He had already
seen they were pretty dirty and didn’t seem to care one way or the other.
When I found out how much He loves me, I found out how much He loves all the
rest of the folks. I suppose I’m very much a fanatic about Jesus though not the
bumper sticker, “Honk if you love Jesus” kind or the “Let me pray for you and it
will get better” kind. Good grief: We’re all grown people and if you want to be
prayed for tell me and I will. But I can’t tell you it will get better because I
don’t have a clue what’s coming next for me much less the next guy.
Now that I think of it, I don’t think that’s right. The Church Lady was a
fanatic about Jesus. She could pistol whip you with her Bible, chapter and
verse. I guess I’m just goofy in love with Him but I don’t have to yell about it
all the time.
So here we are, ten years later just a walkin’ down the road and I’m not worried
anymore about what I’m supposed to be doing or who I am because someplace along
the way He told me. Actually, He told me a whole long time ago but at some point
I heard Him. I know I am supposed to follow Him and I am a sinner saved by
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