I’m not especially wooed by the images of Jesus I’ve seen since my childhood. The golden hair, the white robes, the gentle, open hands and eyes. I don’t know why it doesn’t do anything for me.
Maybe it’s because it’s one man’s version. Maybe it’s because I want an image that can grow with me. I don’t know. I just can’t get excited about spending time with the Jesus in the picture books. Culturally, it’s likely he looked nothing like that blond-haired, blue-eyed American.
But who says I have to picture him that way, in the first place?
When I let my mind wander to imagine him differently, it turns out he is strikingly handsome. Dark hair, a great haircut, probably some product in it. Maybe he’s wearing a J.Crew shirt, crisply ironed, untucked over his slightly distressed jeans. Perhaps a five o’clock shadow.
Maybe this is the man who waits for me at Starbucks, with his eyes that shine and listen. Maybe this is the picture of the man who waits to hear my every word, to listen and not fix, to love with a beautiful, pure jealousy.
He’s engaging, distracting, inviting, and expectant. He wants to hear what’s on my mind, the silly trivial things and the heart wrenching details. He wants to reach across the table and sweep my bangs across my forehead so he can see my eyes more clearly. He wants to hold my hand and not care who’s watching. He wants to sing loudly in the car to our favorite songs, marvel at the sunset, and always kiss me goodnight.
Forgive me for materializing Jesus. I don’t mean to make light of him. It’s just that he writes openly about the intimacy he wants with me, with you, so maybe I’m not far off.
It’s just that I deeply want to fall in love with this Lover of My Soul.