walking along strip mall streets, in your t-shirt and jeans, you are mistaken for well-dressed, sports car-driving, tv-talking religious guys. yet I missed when they spoke of you, the one I see in that book they hold.
walking through cobblestone lanes you’re confused with robed aromatically scented men. they look up at cathedrals, they hear “your” religion, yet they—like me—miss you.
it’s not the clothes, is it? it’s the power, the wealth, the influence, that religion has and never lets go.
yet you let go, Jesus. you let us be. you’re tolerant (look at who you hung out with!). they—we—object to speaking of you like this, because we think we own you. we don’t.
your preaching is so different to ours. at our best we sound like a methodical drum, but it’s nothing like you. we give them too much to hear; you asked humble questions, powerful questions. you answered (and answer) the questions they didn’t even ask; you even refused to answer.
you spoke and preached, discussed, questioned and answered. yet always your message is You. you’re not “Western”, you’re not theologically trained, you’re not even “Christian”. you’re Jesus. confusing, powerful, you.