Today I was visited by two extremely intense people, who as soon as I gave them a little moment of my time, they asked me: “if you die today, where would you go?” I lived this question for many years, but honestly I never asked this question to anybody. Why? Because I hope I do not live
waiting and hoping on what would happened when I die, instead I will live hoping and believing knowing that the “kingdom come” is not a future place to be, but a present moment to enjoy. As Brennan Manning calls it: What makes the Kingdom come is heartfelt compassion: a way of tenderness that knows no frontiers, no labels, no compartmentalizing, and no sectarian divisions.” This is for me the answer of that question. So for the first time I sat in my living room –having two strangers asking me a question about my future—being confident of what I was going to answer. So I breathe in, and breathe out, and said:
-Thank you very much for being concern about my future, I can see that you truly know me, and have walked with me for the last 41 years. Thank you for caring every time I cried, laughed, got angry, rejected, loved, hated, and embraced. I can truly see your sincerity for me. (Of course if you
know me, you know that I have a blunt sarcastic sense of humor). Thank you for caring about my spirit without caring about my soul. Thank you for coming to my house as a stranger without even asking me about my story. I am not a number of your statistic chart for your church, neither a goal for your guilty conciseness because you have not shared the “good news” to your neighbors. Before I answer this question I would like for
you to answer just one simple question for me, how many undocumented immigrants have you extended your hand to help without any hidden agenda to come to your church, just for the sake of love?” Silence came into my house as the new guest. To honestly answer your question I will say: “I do not know, but I am not worry about it”. I prefer to live trying to make a difference in our community and make of my life on earth, my
The two strangers, after a moment of fellowship with Señor Silence, kept their difficult task to convince me that “Jesus is the answer”, that there is no other way to heaven than him, and they made sure I knew their sincere concern of my spirit going to a place they call hell. I was not going to reveal them that I served as a pastor for 14 years; I wanted to pretend just for one moment. So I continue my statement to them.
-So how come the Jesus you know, is not the Jesus I know? Let me read to you the Jesus I know. So I grabbed my laptop and opened an article I wrote on uncomplicated spirituality on May, 2010, it said:
“I believe there are two kinds of Jesus in today’s world: First, the one that is taught and creates a subculture that
excludes people who are different. Second, the one who walks in the red zone of a city, who visits a bar with their friends, who sits among gay and lesbians listening their stories, who works with the undocumented immigrant for minimum wages, deplorable conditions and the constant rejection and racial comments of the local community. This Jesus hangs out with a Persian man and learns from him, without questioning. It is not the one who keeps asking himself if this person “has prayed the prayer”, but looks at him not with anger but compassion, not for a statistical number to be reported at the end of the year, but as
someone He can open his house for hospitality.
One Jesus writes entire collections of books to create laws on how people need to act in this world, and serve in a “church”
he never started it, because for him is people what makes the difference. If you cannot follow these rules, you are asked to leave, or simply the door that was once open for you to come, will be closed when you leave. But the second Jesus, gives you his hand and tells you: “Do not worry, we are going to make it!”.
There is the Jesus of suit and tie people who will ask strangers: “what are you doing here?” or “please do not park in our
parking lot, it belongs to us”. It is the Jesus of the relax ones, who suggest you to dress casual and listening to current teaching but always with the understanding that you will adapt eventually to their lifestyle. The second Jesus does not care on how you
dress, how you are taught; he is not concern about the effective ways of discipleship and the many good programs for children; he will go to the movies, enjoy a meal at your place while drinking a cup of wine, play at chucky cheese and win many tickets to be exchanged by a cheap toy. He joins his friends and set up a tent and jams at Hippie Jacks. He is not only the one of revivals and
big worship conference. He is among his people, doing what they love the most.
He sits with the Buddhist, the Muslim, the Hindu, atheist, and shares the goodness of what he lives, but never confronting, judging or even trying to convince them of their wrongness. He also gives himself the opportunity to learn from them. He will send text messages back and forward with a new friend or update his twitter so people will know what he is doing all the time. He even has a Facebook account to create a networking so he can truly be known, and even post funny videos so others can have a laugh.
He sings karaoke, he does not care about being laughed, he is surreal, creative, out there, random, and fun. He dances, even though sometimes is criticized. He can cry with with someone and dry their tears with his fingers or do lots of belly laughing when making a bad joke. This Jesus listens in his ipod to good Cuban Son, lady Gaga, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay, and Juanes. He has Rob Bell and Pema Chödron in his podcast, and many games so he can play while waiting in the doctors’ office. (ups! May be he does not really get sick!!) He reads all kind of books from different authors and many different ideologies, why? Because he wants to sympathized with others. He fights against ignorance, human injustice, and intolerance. He is learning to recycle and be a green Jesus. He may study a Master in Divinity, but he also goes into Mechanical Engineering, Sociology, and Computer Science so he can
develop his own website, or get into an Education program. This with the whole purpose to be out of the four walls of a building into the world His Father-Mother created. Oh! of course He has a Father and a Mother and both are heavenly. Some times He believes in nature, mother earth, or just simply the universe.
He prepares a meal to celebrate his friends’ achievements. Have coffee in Starbucks or even support the local coffee shops. In summer He wakes up early and shops for fruits and vegetables in the local farmers market; he dances in the club and supports every event the City does. He wears uniform, shorts, chaco sandals, jeans, tie; have long hair, short hair or no hair at all. He speaks Spanish, English, German, French, and Chinese; even though he lives in the United States and in a small southern city; he understands the beauty of a colorful mosaic, and what this brings to his community. He is a man, a woman, a doctor, a gay or lesbian, transgender, queer, a nurse, a teacher, a football player, a musician, a husband, a kid. He lives in you, so this means he is well represented in the community; creating a much diverse world.
I once followed the first Jesus, now I am living the second one, but I am still getting to know him, and He keeps
Señor Silence was again as loud as he can be. The two guests apologized for taking my time, left me a little brochure and departed my house
in the company of their own silence. This is the first time I have been able to really share what I believe and who I am now. I hope they got the message.