Last time I blogged, I was inviting Jesus to dinner- and in His imitable yet seemingly impossible way, He showed up, fixed my oven, and hasn’t left.
By imitable, I mean that Jesus became a man to show us how to live. He showed us how to live with joy and faith, within the limitations of our humanity; setting for us a worthy model of a life that we are invited to copy.
And by impossible, I mean that this man, this Jesus, was also the exact representation of the glory of His Father, and His radiance and goodness shows us a seemingly impossible model to achieve. This side of heaven at least.
And yet Jesus imitably, impossibly, always shows up: a baby in a manger, a 12 year old in His Father’s house, a 30 year old beautiful man… Jesus shows up in the lives of the needy, the afflicted and the oppressed, He shows up for the sinners and the outcasts and fixes them with love. Not by calling out what was wrong with them but offering Himself as the solution to what was missing. Remember the woman caught in adultery? Jesus did not condemn her but saved her. And Zacchaeus, the despised tax collector? Jesus did not judge him but invited Himself for dinner. And Mary and Martha after the death of Lazarus? Lord, if you had been here… Jesus showed up in God’s timing, so that God would be glorified and people would believe that God sent Him but He still wept in compassion for those who had experienced the grief and pain in the waiting. Jesus always showed up, in His time and able to release and reveal what was missing: compassion, mercy, kindness, healing, power, glory.
And then in the Garden of gethsemane Jesus showed up: He did not run, or fight, or protest, He did not hide or defer to someone else. Yes, in His humanity, He was broken and honest, He was afraid and desperate and asked that if it was possible the cup would be taken from Him -but in His Majesty He bowed His head and showed Himself obedient unto death, even death upon the cross. He endured the cross for the joy set before Him- and that joy was you- and that joy was me.
But it doesn’t end in death.
Jesus showed up in death and fixed it so that we need never fear death again. He showed up outside the tomb, upon the road to Emmaus, within a room, upon a shore and He breathed upon His disciples and fixed it so that He would never leave us again. And through the promise of the Holy Spirit, Jesus revealed the truth- that He is in His Father, and we are in Him, and Jesus is in us.
So, when I say that Jesus showed up and fixed my oven and hasn’t left- I really mean that during this period of confinement Jesus has slowly, patiently and with such lovingkindness (has it been 75 days?) brought me to places of revelation in which I realise that Jesus always shows up for me.
And, one of the things I have learnt is to redefine what it means when Jesus shows up.
In our human way of thinking, we can still limit Jesus by the parameters of our own experience and humanity. ‘Shows up’ means that I was sometimes thinking wrongly about Jesus- I believe that He is distant, hiding, absent, late, delayed, occupied, preoccupied- and I have cried out: If you had been here, Jesus… I have lamented- where are you? Hoping that He will hear me and show up just in time…
Yet in response to these questions, He’s revealed a new definition of ‘showing up’ for me. In Jesus’ terms, this side of the ascension and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, to ‘show up’ means to be revealed or to be seen. In other words, His Words: Aimee, I am always here but sometimes you don’t see me yet.
And Jesus has slowly, patiently and with such lovingkindness challenged: Aimee, do you really see Me? Are your spiritual eyes and heart open so that you can see Me as I am? Are you positioned so that I can give you a revelation of who I am for you and what I want to do for you now?
So, Jesus shows up and stays with me and doesn’t leave. Not because I answer- although when I do, that conversation creates the fellowship Jesus loves to have with me. Not because I’ve earnt it by becoming super spiritual and disciplined during this confinement- although He loves that I sometimes stop to have a cup of tea and bible time. Not because these circumstances are so challenging- although He knows that in this season, I am tired and trying hard and He is with me in it.
No Jesus shows up and stays with me and doesn’t leave because that is who He is. Jesus is the kindest, most steadfast, and most loving man I have ever met. Even when I don’t see it, even when the world seems blind to it. Jesus is the kindest, most steadfast, and most loving man I have ever met. Now doesn’t that truth make you smile.