I hope I’m not going crazy, but every once in a while I have these conversations with Jesus inside my head.
I try to keep them inside my head because I no longer work at home, and if I spoke my half of them out loud, my colleagues would think I was suffering from Elwood P. Dowd syndrome; chatting with an invisible six-foot white rabbit named Harvey, or worse.
One of those conversations went sort-of like this recently:
Me (reading Matthew 5:48 with my usual incredulity): “Lord, did you really say that? ‘Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect’?”
Jesus (grinning): “My sheep recognize my voice.”
Me: “I recognized Your voice; I just wasn’t sure about the words! Don’t you know that’s impossible?”
Jesus: “With God, all things are possible.”
Me: “But with me, they aren’t. I can’t be perfect.”
Jesus: “Look, I make all things new.”
Me: “Lord, ‘new’ isn’t ‘perfect.’ And it’s been a long time since You made me new. Why should I even try to be perfect, when I can’t?”
Jesus: “Sell your possessions and give to the poor.”
Me: “There You go, changing the subject on me again! Oh, wait. — I remember; You told that rich young guy to sell his stuff if he wanted to be perfect. I know You said it would help me lay up treasure in heaven. But if I do, what will I eat here? What will I wear? What will I drive?”
Jesus: “Your Father knows you need all these things. Look for His kingdom and His righteousness first, and He’ll give them to you.”
Me (a little whiny now): “All right; all right. If I sell some things and give, will that make me perfect?”
Jesus: “Only the Father in heaven is good.”
Me (really worked up now): “Okay. Okay, I can be good. I can try. But can’t I just ‘be,’ Lord? Do I always have to ‘do’?”
Jesus: “Whatever you did for the least of my brothers, you did for Me. Whatever you did not do for them, you did not do for Me.”
Me (despondent): “But I don’t know what to do! I try to do some things. I teach now and then. I blog. I write those ‘HeartWorship’ things for the church bulletin to encourage others; I try to build up my friends; my family; my kids ….”
Jesus: “Do you really, really love me?”
Me (a bit hurt): “I think I do. I know I do. YOU know I do. –Hey, isn’t that what Peter said?”
Jesus (smiling again): “I have found my lost sheep.”
Me (relieved): “Whew!”
Jesus (still smiling, but looking at me intently with one index finger raised): “Feed my sheep. Be perfect.”
Conversations with Jesus can be really frustrating. It’s like He’s talking in riddles, or circles.
Especially when I only hear what I want to hear.