It's so beautiful. He's there. Jesus. Standing peacefully 15 paces down the beach by the water's edge. And as the waves lap at his feet and the sun reflects off his auburn hair, he beckons me. Follow me. I love it here. I come here whenever I can, because it's so... different.
That's the nice Jesus people paint. I would paint Him like that too. That's the Jesus people want to see.
On the other hand, that's not the Jesus I have met lately.
Oceanside Jesus says, "It's all good. It'll be ok," and wow. A lot of people need that Jesus.
Let me describe the Jesus I've been meeting lately.
The bell clangs and I run to the corner of the ring. I crash into the chair, legs wobbly and heart weary. "I can't do it, Coach. I can't do it." Clothes torn and wet with blood and sweat, I look through eyes swollen shut. My husband rubs my shoulders, pours water down my throat. "I can't do it. I'm done. I'm done." And then Jesus gets in my face. In my face. He puts His hands around the back of my neck and pulls my forehead to His and His face is just as mangled as mine. More so. But His eyes stare straight through mine and He says, "You're not done yet, Champ". (He calls me "Champ".) "You're doing great. You had a few setbacks, but now you know his angle. You've got this. You've got this."
"I can't do it. No. I'm done, I'm done".
"You're not done. You. are. not. done. I'm with you all the way, okay? You're not doing it alone. You trust me, right? What are you afraid of? You trust me?"
"Yes. Yes, I trust you. Ok. Ok."
"I don't kn..." CLANG!! He pulls me close, breathes peace into me, hope, love, and even joy. It is a crazy concoction of courage. I get back into the ring.