There are times when I wish Jesus was real.
(Don’t take that the wrong way. I’m not having a crisis of faith, at least not right now).
Flesh-and-blood real. Filling out clothes, taking up space in this room, face and limbs and beating heart real.
How amazing would it have been to be alive when He was? To walk the earth with the One Great King? To share a meal and then hike down a dusty road with Him, bonding over bread and blisters. To be able to approach and ask questions (“Hey, Jesus, when all this is over and you peace out and I’m dead – can I sit at your right side in heaven? Just wondering.”) and hear His response right away.
I pour the water into my mug and watch it swirl over the teabag, the pomegranate tea staining the water pink, and wish that Jesus was there. There in a way that is solid and human and easier to believe when I can see. How good it would be to have Him as a best friend. We’d drive down the road in the middle of the night, blasting Mumford & Sons while the cool air streams through the open windows. We’d meet on quiet mornings, sipping coffee and chai and chatting about weekend plans. I could ask Him my questions and hear His response, spill my doubts and fears and insecurities into the air instead of the pages of a journal. I’d know that He loves me because He hugs me when I’m crying and answers my calls at 4 a.m.
But the room is empty, it’s just me and my tea, so I curl my legs up onto my chair and wrap my hands around my mug. I speak my thoughts into the silence. Jesus does not appear, pull up a chair, and answer the thousands of questions floating around in my head.
Yet He is here, I know He is here because He has promised He always will be. So I seek Him out, find Him in cups of tea and pages of my Bible, in hugs from friends. In leaves that change color and in the sunshine on my face, in songs that resonate in my heart and writing that is achingly beautiful. If He were real, flesh-and-blood real, I would miss those things.
I’d be too busy talking at Him, and waiting for Him to speak in words that are words, that I would miss His words that aren’t words. I’d miss the way He talks to me through everything but words.
So I smile into my mug and turn up the Mumford & Sons, knowing that the room is empty but I am far from alone, and He is far from silent.