Jesus on my Street


Posted by in July's Magazine

I saw Jesus on my street the other day… Well, sort of.

Not like that time when I saw Prince William in Newington. Or Neil Tennant on platform six of Leeds train station. I didn’t see Jesus quite like I saw those two. But I saw him. And he stayed for a while and rolled a cigarette on the bonnet of a car, just opposite my window. Which seemed a bit out of character but who am I to judge?

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It reminds me a bit of the warden when I was in halls of residence who wouldn’t let me get into trouble for anything because he harboured some strange belief that I was an angel. I never liked to burst his bubble that real angels probably don’t disable their fire alarms so that they can sit and smoke cigars while they listen to Bob Dylan, so perhaps I should have been eligible for the fine or reprimand after all…

But alas, as so often, I digress. I don’t know if Smoking Jesus was theJesus but he was my Jesus, who I had been looking for. I am doing something called Spiritual Direction, you see, which is a bit like counselling only its free and you don’t have to talk about your father. (If there are any spiritual directors reading this, I know that’s not what it is really, it’s just a cheap gag and a literary device to gently hint that I have what the kids today call Daddy Issues.)

I was encouraged to imagine I was having a conversation with Jesus, but I couldn’t because I didn’t know what he looked like. And so my office mate would regularly walk in to find me staring at google image search results, and smile and say, “aw, are you looking for Jesus again?” I couldn’t ever find him, they were all too pale, too earnest and frankly, not badass enough looking to be myJesus.

But then I saw him on Constitution Street. He walked right past me just near The Hideout, where I am writing these very words. Remarkably I saw him again in John Lewis – where frankly, the Son of God would have every right being – and so I was able to get another good look at him. I didn’t think too much more about it, but have been happy to finally have my Jesus picture sorted.

Then, after a particularly challenging and crappy few days, when I had prayed from a deeper sense of misery than usual as I said, he rolled up on my street. And the thing is, up until that point I couldn’t really do the whole imagining you are talking to Jesus thing. But now I can, even if just a little bit. I canimagine him saying; “I came. You called and I actually came right to your house. And I waited. I stood around for ages and rolled that cigarette (and I don’t even smoke because I am Jesus for goodness sake), but you didn’t even come and say hello.”

This stubborn lack of listening, my perpetual state of Not Knocking Then Moaning That It Isn’t Opened Unto Me was hammered home to me even more recently. An incredibly beautiful friend of mine, who, back in the day, I often shared moments of extreme misery with over cheap pizzas and booze in the student union, posted on social media that she was mainly surviving at the moment by listening to Father Figure by George Michael.

Not being acquainted with the track (and if you aren’t either please stop reading and go look it up and put it on. It takes a while to crank up so if you start now it will be in full glorious swing by the time you get to the denouement of this article), and in the midst of another crappy week, I was keen to give it a whirl.

Now, what I am about to say here may be challenging for some but I think that all of spirituality, psychology, sexuality and the mystery of the Trinity itself is actually summed up in Father Figure by George Michael. So too is my own lack of faith, my unwillingness to go and chat to cigarette rolling Jesus: Sometimes I think that you never understand me. And yet, still, I wouldn’t quite let it in. The moment I started feeling vaguely better I wanted to do it All On My Own again, and go back to a daily routine sansFather Figure by George Michael. But George or Jesus or whoever else had other ideas and a small window opened on my computer and started playing Father Figure entirely of its own volition.

As if saying, for literally the love of God woman, put your tiny hand in mine.And, finally, I might be nearly ready to understand Him, at least a little bit. To find the something sacred I won’t find with google search. Father Figure. Preacher Teacher. At least I will hold on. And something tells me, together, we could be happy.

PIC CREDIT:www.bbc.co.uk

PIC CAPTION: Michael Sheen as Jesus in The Passion, Port Talbot 2011

 

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