Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What If You Saw Jesus Smoking?

About a ten minute boat ride up the river you come upon a little place we like to call, Port Kaituma. Actually everyone calls it that because that is what it is called. Just try to imagine a town where roughly several thousand people live. It is in the middle of the Jungle but do not let that fool you, it is a happening place! It is actually where several worlds collide. You have the Canal that literally ends at the water front. (Port) The Canal leads to the sea therefore you have the fishing industry which makes it's way to PK. You also have several large sea worthy vessels that make port here with supplies for every store and home in PK. Then PK also has the only air strip around. I use the term airstrip loosely seeing as just the other day it was closed down because of cows on the pothole filled runway. This airstrip makes PK a huge link to the capital city, Georgetown. Finally you have a thriving lumber industry which also starts somewhere in the rain forest but comes to an end in good ol PK. So all of these worlds collide in the same place.
To envision this, just imagine red mud streets during the rainy season and red dust streets in the dry. Houses and stores made of anything from scrap boards to concrete. Everywhere you turn you are looking at trash which has been thrown on the ground. In the jungle there is no sanitation services so what is not burned is thrown on the ground and eventually everything makes it to the river. Then from the river it floats down to our house but that's a different devotional. As you walk down the road you see people, male and female, adults and children in various states of dressed and undressedness, going here and there about their business and listening to rather loud music. Babies are busy drinking their breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper, snack, high tea, brunch, etc. The smell in the air is that of fish mixed with trash and sewage, did I say that, in the jungle there is no sanitation services. But no one really seems to mind, everyone is just doing what they do.
The other day as I was sitting at the port a man walked by who in my minds eye looked just like Jesus. His hair was shaggy and not combed but not nappy either. He was very strong looking but that could be because he was carrying a huge load of cargo from one of the ships. Like many of the other men at the port he did not have a shirt on but he was fashionably wearing this years model of rubber boots. What little I saw of him, he seemed quiet and composed which is not true for most of the men working on the ships. Plus he was always around the boats much like Jesus. But the real thing that got me was that he seemed gentle and his eyes seemed caring! Ok, maybe that is stretching it a bit but needless to say he resembled the mental image I have of what Jesus would have looked like.
From that time on, I would look forward to seeing "Jesus" when I went to PK. As always he would be running around, carrying something or just laughing with other people. Then one day it happened! There Jesus was in the front of a shop and he leaned over to someone and lit his cigarette off the end of the other mans cigarette. He then walked off smoking while my heart was broken. Jesus did not smoke cigarettes! They are gross and cause cancer and and and!!!!
This event put me in a place of heart searching. I know that man was not Jesus but at the same time he looked like Jesus and from what I had seen acted like Jesus. Up until now that is. I felt like Jesus was trying to teach me something, the real Jesus not the man in PK.
John 1:10-11 says, "He (Jesus) was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him."
When Jesus walked the earth, those who were the religious leaders, the ones who had been waiting and searching for the Messiah saw Jesus and they were the very ones who were put off by him because He did not fit their mental image. They had a preconceived notion of who and what the Son of God was going to be. They could not see past the fact that this Jesus healed on the Sabbath, He picked grain on the Sabbath, and He did not become the political ruler. There He was, the Son of the Living God! The Messiah! The Prince of Peace! Right there in front of them yet they did not know Him. How sad to be so close yet to be so far away because of their own preconceived ideas of who He was going to be. They were so sure that their mental image of the Son of God was the truth that they killed the Truth in the process. A savior so close they could have touched Him yet they did not receive Him.
This all makes me wonder. What would I do if I saw Jesus smoking? would I still worship Him or would I disown Him? Would I say that couldn't possibly be Jesus because I just know He would not smoke! Yet how often has God come to me to be His ambassador among the lost and I say, no way! God could not possibly call me to go there or to do that! That's not God, at least not the God that I serve! That couldn't possibly be Jesus, with a cigarette hanging out of His mouth! I know who Jesus is because I can envision Him in my mind and that is not Him!
"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14 They may have seen the only begotten of God but many did not recognize Him. What would you do if you saw Jesus? Fall down and worship Him? Stand and praise Him? What if He pulled out a cigarette and started smoking it?

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