Sunday, February 27, 2011

Imaginary Jesus

I just finished reading a book called Imaginary Jesus. It's a bit trippie but a good read. It's outlandish and funny with bits of startling depth scattered through out. I recommend it. The main character in the book is confronted with the realization that he has quite happily replaced the real Jesus with an imaginary one. The apostle Peter appears to him in a communist vegan cafe in downtown Portland, Oregon and proceeds to get into a fist fight with the imaginary Jesus. Yes, that is how the book begins. It goes on from there as the main character has to decide if he wants to find the real Jesus or stick with the comforting Jesus he has imagined up. As it turns out there are many imaginary Jesus' lurking in his life and they chase after him or he chases after them throughout the rest of the book. Apostle Pete and a talking donkey named Daisey are his help in addition to one trip back in time to see when the Apostle Peter first meets Jesus.

Of course I can't help but wonder if there are any imaginary Jesus' lurking within the walls of my mind. If I have fashioned my own personal Jesus to fit into a nice shape that I can make sense of and find comfort in. The problem with the main character's Jesus is that he was like the real Jesus but not real so it was really hard to unwrap and disrobe the imaginary one and find the real one. The real Jesus is mysterious and not under anyone's control. He is.

See, I've been really tired of late and disheartened. I've been seeking to follow after Jesus and it's very hard. I've got troubles that have troubles and I can't seem to leave them with Jesus. He seems slow in answering my distress call. I feel adrift in a sea of surging, swollen waters that threaten to overtake me. My sighs signal out an SOS. I know the real Jesus never leaves me but I wish He would speak up. My ears seem blocked up. This is the same problem the hero of the book had. He had something he needed to say and hear from Jesus. The real Jesus, not something of his own making and it took a whole book to find the real Jesus and when he, the hero, found Jesus it was worth the pages of wrestling, of seeking and seemingly not finding. That SOS sent out by the hero resonated within the longings of my own heart. I will keep seeking and I will keep wrestling. It is worth it all to be near the real Jesus.

Here is another song that I have been listening to called "Please Be My Strength" by Gungor:

I've tried to stand my ground
I've tried to understand
But I can't seem to find
My faith again

Like water on the sand
Or grasping at the wind
I keep on falling short

So please be my strength
Please be my strength
'Cause I don't have any more
I don't have any more

I'm looking for a place
Where I can plant my faith
One thing I know for sure

I cannot create it
And I cannot sustain it
It's Your love
That's keeping me

Please be my strength
Please be my strength
I don't have any more
I don't have any more

And at my final breath
I hope that I can say
I fought the good fight
Of faith

I pray your glory shines
This doubting heart of mine
And all would know that You

You are my strength
You are my strength
You and You alone
You keep bringing me back home

Oh, You are my strength
You are my strength
You and You alone
Keep bringing me back home

It's You and You alone
Bringing me back home

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