Several years ago, in a Bible Interpretation class, my instructor asked us to close our eyes and imagine what it might be like if Jesus walked in the door at that very moment. He gave us two minutes to fully immerse ourselves in the experience. Then we shared our thoughts and emotions.
Many of us were moved to tears.
Some felt guilty about past indiscretions or judgmental behavior. Some felt relief at his arrival. Some thought about the extreme and expansive love and warmth he brought into the room. Others were frozen in their seats; they wanted to run to him, yet they waited for him to approach them. A small group couldn’t contain themselves and flew into his arms the moment they saw him. Everyone, it seemed, approached his appearance differently.
As I began to imagine it, I became aware of the door of the room opening. A bright, white light preceded Jesus into the room. As he entered, the room was filled with a calming heat, as though I had entered a pleasant, warm bath.
I watched him as he looked around the room and smiled the broadest, accepting smile I had ever seen. And I was stuck to my seat. Though I wanted to run to him, I could not; I was frozen in space and time. He slowly walked toward the front of the room, embracing those who ran to him, and reaching out to those who did not. It seemed, even though he did not walk through the rows of seats, he was able to touch everyone in the room.
When he reached my row, he looked deep into my eyes; I had a sharp intake of breath. It was as though my inhale took him inside me, profoundly and intensely into my heart. At that moment, I was aware he knew me intimately – my past, my present and my future. I did not see his hands move, but I felt his embrace envelop me – safe and full of lavish grace and unconditional love.
There was no judgment in his gaze or in his touch – only full acceptance as his sister, daughter of our Father, for he was the Son who came to save, to reconcile, not to judge.
While I was fully aware of the depth and height and width of his love for me, his eyes reflected my love for him. He knew. I didn’t have to say a word. And I also knew he had given this love and this reflection to every person in the room.
“Your two minutes are up. Please share your experience with the class.”
Thank you to Dorris Vanover for the inspiration for this post.