“Am I a person, Mary?”
“Of course you are, Jesus.” That’s a silly question.
“But do you look out for my interests like I’m a person?”
Philippians 2:21 struck me. “For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.”
“You’re God,” I said. “You care about kindness, love, obedience, me being like you. I try to be those things.”
“Am I just a force in the universe? Or am I a person who has food preferences just like your husband?”
When I spend time with Matt, I think about what he wants to do. When I go out with friends, I try to defer to their interests.
“I’m sorry, Jesus. You’re the essence of everything good, but I forget that you’re a person. I forget you have a personality, likes, dislikes, desires.”
I guess it’s easier thinking of Jesus as a concept of goodness. I can’t hurt a concept’s feelings. Being rude is a mess-up, but kindness isn’t hurt by it. I act like Jesus is a concept so big that puny me doesn’t affect him. I made a list of dos and don’ts, a whole Bible of them, and act like an almighty, unaffected teacher hands me grades.
My husband would never settle for that. A checklist of Matt’s preferences could never be a relationship. It’s dehumanizing, unfeeling, robotic.
But Jesus is a person just like my husband. He laughs and cries. I hurt his feelings. He loves to see me smile. He’s protective of his family, and never answers a question directly.
I want to know him, to learn his heart just like I’m learning my husband’s. I want to be able to finish his sentences and read his mind. And I want to stop forgetting about him and leaving him in the corner like the world’s most neglected middle child.
Being a good wife doesn’t make a marriage. Having the house clean and making Matt’s favorite dinners don’t make a relationship. Neither does being a good Christian.
Jesus is a person, not an idea. My obsessing over doing the right thing is like cleaning with Q-tips and ignoring Matt. I need to get to know Jesus, his interests, his personality. I want to learn to look out for his interests just like I look out for my husband’s.
“Jesus, I’m so sorry, for treating you like a distant concept. I’m sure that hurts you. Please help me to get to know you. I want to look out for your interests.”