“Have You Found Jesus?”

As a joke, someone asked me if I’d found Jesus.

The question was a joke, but here’s an answer that isn’t.

I tried very hard. I was zealously Christian. I prayed so hard and so fervently that I literally had rug burn on my forehead from grinding my face into the carpet while I knelt crying and squirming, my heart pounding, begging God to give me the Holy Spirit, begging to feel the touch of Christ the way the preachers on TV said I would.

It never happened, and I gave it a VERY genuine try. I got rid of all my music, my books, I deleted all my poetry and the stories I’d written, I sacrificed everything to God, so that he could remold me. I spent a year reading nothing but the Bible and watching nothing but Christian television, I learned to play hymns on piano. I prayed dozens of times a day.

Absolutely nothing happened. I gave up so much and received nothing. Yet still Christians bark at me that I would know Christ if only I gave up my sinful ways, not knowing that I’m a better Christian now than they are. I know more, I did more, and I tried harder, but in the end, it was all just plain bullshit.

I found Jesus in the only place he ever lived: the communal imagination. And my imagination is too beautiful a place to fill with so stagnant a figure as Jesus.

2 thoughts on ““Have You Found Jesus?”

  1. Dude — you probably searched the wrong place. It seems you did it all alone. But as Jesus said “where two or three are praying together, I am between them” (my quote is not precise, I’m quoting from memory and from a different language — Polish, but this is the sense — Christianity is about community)

    • I appreciate your sentiment, but I promise you, all the conclusions I’ve come to about Jesus come from both my own personal experience and my own deep consideration of the facts and the ideas presented. If God exists as he’s depicted in the Bible, then he is a monster and I would be morally obligated to stand against him, on the side of personal freedom and autonomy. As for Jesus, there are some times when he seemed nice enough, many others where he seemed callous, rude, and cruel. If I do find myself believing in a deity, I would hope for my own sake that I might choose one with better moral character and deeper philosophical intuition.

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