Monday, June 5, 2017

Hitting Jesus

Street Art
Los Angeles




I almost hit Jesus today. Of course at first he came as a Man. I mean -- I didn't know he was Jesus or think he was Jesus. He was a man riding a beat-up bike on La Cienega, and I was driving my car toward a sick friend's house near the airport. I was bringing her a pastrami sandwich and some french fries, planned to stop and get a grape soda. He had long black curly hair and brown skin. He didn't have a shirt on and his pants were dirty and rolled up, but I think that was so they didn't get caught in the spokes. He darted out in front of my car and it seemed purposeful, not like a death wish but more to get my attention. There are days on the streets in Los Angeles where it seems like you narrowly miss death more times than twice (because haven't we all narrowly missed death at least once?), and today was one of those days. You've got to really concentrate when you drive in Los Angeles, but you can also daydream, and it's easy to get complacent when the cars are backed up and you're moving forward by inches. It's a little like going to mass, when you're kneeling and sitting and standing and saying the prayers but you're also thinking about what you're going to eat when you get home or whether you'd rather be the saint that defied everyone and was burned as a witch or the one who carried Jesus' cross on her back up the hill. Escaping death would include nearly killing someone else accidentally as well, because let's face it. Life as you knew it would be over if you accidentally hit someone with your car. I jammed my brakes and looked straight at him, a curse on my lips, but then he looked at me with his dark brown eyes and I knew it was him. Jesus. I'm not religious, you know. I don't even believe in God the Creator. I say I believe in Love, but that sometimes seems forced. As a Catholic child, I was certain that Jesus would come back dressed like a beggar and fool everyone, but I also fantasized about living in an orphanage on cold English moors, so I'm not reliable that way. This all happened in an instant -- the man on the bike, me slamming the brakes, a curse on my lips that was really Jesus! and it was him. A psychic hit, is what I call it. Because why the hell would I have thought the man was Jesus if he wasn't? Isn't that the way he's coming again? Or is he just out there, biking around with no shirt, his pants rolled up to avoid accidents, making eye contact with the needy.





18 comments:

  1. I read this with my jaw gaping open. This is stunning. That last line.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "What if god was one of us..."

    ReplyDelete
  3. You are a wonder. I hope that story helped your friend, too. Love.

    ReplyDelete
  4. That was such a wonderful read this morning. Thanks for the inspiration. Yes, on a bike, or in a tent along the homeless street, in the mission waiting for a turn at the lunch counter, and in other such places, that's where Jesus is. Jesus is not in that bright brick and stone edifice down on the corner that says in bright illumination, “The First Church of Jesus Christ, etc...well Jesus may be there too but certainly not exclusively.
    Interesting, so many of us were raised Catholic, "In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti," who are not religious today.
    Have an awesome day...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yep, that was him. I think when he comes back, he'll look like Osama Bin Laden and we won't let him into our country. I like it that he's riding a motorcycle. Beautiful piece, Elizabeth. This is Verna, by the way.

    ReplyDelete
  6. As a student nurse I did a placement on a psychiatric unit and was assigned a patient who told everyone he was Jesus. He was calm and intelligent and I immediately liked him. After a week of interesting discussions with this kind man, I half jokingly told my preceptor that perhaps he WAS Jesus, and we should all be ashamed of keeping him locked up when he had so much work to do in this world. She was not amused and told me that psychiatry was obviously not for me. I still wonder though....

    Kris M.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The world has gone so crazy we could all use a little bit of Jesus in our life. Not the Jesus that certain religious people follow who tells us how awful we all are. A kind man. Someone that is there when we are tired and hurting. A person who gives without reward. I am glad you saw him today.

    ReplyDelete
  8. You always make me think, Elizabeth! I love this, and yes, I'm sure it's exactly how Jesus would return.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yes, I always think if Jesus actually ever even existed, he would show up that way.Also perhaps as a person starving to death in some country that no one ever hears about, writes about, cares about.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Don't get me started on Jesus, Elizabeth.

    ReplyDelete
  11. the "Quakers" believe God is in everyone, so why not Jesus?

    This story is so beautifully written, I have a very clear visual on it all, as if I were a movie or t.v. director/producer and am mentally setting up the shots in my head. The pan of the camera, the glint of the sun on your windshield as you see this guy, and his clear, transcendent look into your eyes. Wow. It should be a movie.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great post. You do know that Jesús is a very popular name in both Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries, don't you?

    Greetings from London.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow is all I can say. Your not excellent writing leaves me speechless. Wow.
    Xoxo
    Barbara

    ReplyDelete
  14. This is wonderful and extraordinary writing. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...