I woke up this morning thinking about how much Jesus and I have in common. (Do I say “have” or “had”? It’s really not clear to me if he’s dead or what. I know he came back on or around Easter, though I don’t think it was as big a holiday at the time. The Bible books don’t make it entirely clear whether he stayed back, and if so, which Apostle he went to live with.)
If you haven’t read the Bible stories about Jesus, by the way, you should, because they’re kind of interesting. I think there are four basic overviews—John, Paul, George, and the fourth may or may not be Ringo. They kind of tell his same story over each time, but with different angles, different versions. It’s kind of like the “All in the Familly” episode where Mike and Archie share conflicting accounts of the guys who came to fix the refrigerator, except they’re pretty much more in agreement that Jesus was a good guy and didn’t have a knife.
I don’t mean to being blasmatic, incidentally, comparing myself to Jesus in any offensive way. It’s my understanding that he was a terrifically nice guy, like Steven Spielberg, and while there are conflicting accounts that he may have been black (at least according to Mr. Jefferson on “All in the Family”), and/or incredibly homely—and I’m not sure where that came from, but I didn’t invent it—I’m pretty sure he was very wise and probably had a good sense of humor, although there’s no record of him having had a blog, as far as I know.
Actually, I was thinking about how we were both misunderstood in our own countries. Like him, I feel that I’m regularly frowned upon for not just my annoying capacity to speak the truth—and the more-annoying capacity for those around me to ignore it—but also for my inherent inability to connect with my fellows. It’s a real problem, as we both know. I understand that at parties and such, Jesus was usually very shy and stood off alone a lot, especially during the faster songs. Some of those pictures you see, like the famous “Last Supper,” seem to show him as the life of the party, but really that’s more of a fictionalized depiction. (Plus, he knew the Apostles pretty well and felt much more comfortable around them anyway.)
What I really identify with about Jesus was how he would always say these seemingly cryptic things that people didn’t get, but really they made a lot of sense. For instance, I was trying to explain to my wife why we should keep the shades drawn on the east side of the house until after noon, then we could open them, but should shut the shades on the west side. She still can’t seem to grasp it, but I know it makes sense when you don’t have air conditioning. See, Jesus went through that kind of thing a lot, and back then no one had air conditioning.
Realistically, I understand there are probably some things we don’t have in common. Like Jesus, I know, used to like to fish, and I don’t really do any fishing anymore, although I did a little when I was younger, but really it’s kind of a barbaric practice better left to Polynesians and southerners. I like eating fish, of course, and have had numerous good experiences with both lobster and haddock. When I was little I hated fish, however, which again makes me think of Jesus, because I don’t think he hated anything, except women. Not to imply he was gay or anything—which is fine, because some of my best friends are gay, although I tend to be in denial about it—but I myself happen to like women even more than haddock.
Jesus and I both like to walk, too, by the way. I just love walking, although I can never get very far in sandals, the way he did. I’ve walked in various shoes, and I’m not being metaphoric. I mean, I’ve worn my good Florsheims, sneakers, cowboys boots … It’s interesting how feet—at least my feet—adapt to changing conditions (meaning changing shoes … or changed shoes). Sometimes I put on shoes that I haven’t worn a lot and walk, then my feet hurt. But after a few walking experiences, they don’t hurt anymore. Then when I return to my previous shoes—meaning my former shoes, or the shoes that were—(in other words, to paraphrase the Bible—before this pair of shoes was, these sneakers am!) … See, when I get that first pair of shoes back on, now suddenly they hurt again (my feet, not the shoes), and the whole process repeats itself, except with different shoes.
This is very much like Jesus, I think, because he was always turning the other cheek, which metaphorically, if you stop and think about it, is very much like my turning the other shoe. I tend to believe that if Jesus lived today, he’d most likely wear a nice pair of old, brown shoes, like a British youth. I just don’t think he’d go in for any of these new fangled kinds of sneakers, or even sneakers at all. Even if he were on the soccer field—I don’t mean in a tourney, of course, but just a pick-up game—you’d probably see him playing in an old-fashioned brown shoe, complimenting his casual street clothes. That’s what I like about Jesus. Despite his savior role and all that fame he attained, I suspect he was very down to earth and probably stood his ground fashion-wise. I like to think I’m the same way.
If Jesus were alive today—or if he is alive and I ever get the opportunity to sit and have coffee with him—or tea, or lamb’s blood or whatever—I want to ask him how he manages to keep such a good attitude about things. I suspect it has to do with his fame. It’s much easier to be a maverick when you’re famous, like Alan Arkin. This I wouldn’t know, for my struggle to maintain integrity as an artist, a wag, and a concerned citizen unfolds in a veritable vacuum of non-appreciation, contempt and misunderstanding.
As usual, I'm not sure I've made myself clear, but I know that if he does read this Blah-ugh!, Jesus gets it. Amen!