Sunday, May 4, 2008

"I remember the first time I had feelings for Jesus.

... and I remember sitting at my desk, and I don't know what it was that I read... but I felt a love for Him rush through me, through my back and into my chest. I started crying...

I remember thinking that I would follow Jesus anywhere, that it didn't matter what He asked me to do. He could be mean to me; it didn't matter, I loved Him, and I was going to follow Him.

I think the most important thing that happens within Christian spirituality is when a person falls in love with Jesus.

Sometimes, when I go forward at church to take Communion, to take the bread and dip it in wine, the thought of Jesus comes to me, the red of His blood or the smell of His humanity, and I eat the bread and wonder at the mystery of what I am doing, that somehow, I am one with Christ, that I get my very life from Him, my spiritual life comes from His working inside me, being inside me.

... I think the difference in my life came when I realized, after reading those Gospels, that Jesus didn't just love me out of principle; He didn't just love me because it was the right thing to do.

Rather, there was something inside me that caused Him to love me.

I think I realized that if I walked up to his campfire, He would ask me to sit down, and He would ask me my story. He would take time to listen to my ramblings or my anger until I would calm down, and then He would look me directly in the eye, and He would speak to me; He would tell me the truth, and I would sense in His voice and the lines in His face that He liked me. He would rebuke me too, and tell me that I have prejudices against religious people and that I need to deal with that;

He would tell me that there are poor people in that world and that I need to feed them and that somehow this will make me happy. He would tell me what my gifts are and why I have them...

I think He would explain to me why my father left, and He would point out clearly all the ways God has taken care of me throughout the years...

The first generation out of slavery invented Jazz music. It is music birthed out of freedom. And that is the closest thing I know to Christian spirituality. A music birthed out of freedom.

Everybody sings their songs the way they feel it, everybody closes their eyes and lifts their hands."

[Donald Miller - Blue Like Jazz]