“Excuse me,” I said as I walked into the room. “I’m looking for Jesus. I heard that he might be here.”
The woman shook her head. “Jesus hasn’t been here for years. Who’s asking?”
I smiled. “I’m Jon. I’m one of the chaplains here. Someone said that Jesus might be in this room.”
She looked tired. Weary is probably a better word. Tired is fixed with a good night’s sleep. Weary, that can take a long time.
“That’s the oddest thing I’ve heard. I’m guessing it would be nice if he were here. I mean, really here. He might fix things. But he’s not. And things are beyond fixing.”
I waited quietly. I’m learning that people are admitted to the hospital for medical things. But sometimes people end up in the hospital for other reasons.
There are strange connections between hurting bodies and hurting relationships. We do as well as we can with the hurting bodies. But the hurting relationships need a different kind of attention. And a deeper kind of healing.
When I read about the healing miracles Jesus did, they often had implications for relationships. We often only see the body part. When a man on a blanket is lowered through the roof, Jesus heals his body. Almost as an afterthought. First, he says, “your sins are forgiven.”
Think about what that freedom would mean for the man’s relationship with the men who lowered him through the roof. Think about what that would mean for the man’s relationship with the God who he may have thought was punishing him with his broken body. Think about what that would mean for his relationship with himself, to be forgiven.
As I think about the conversation at the beginning of this post, the made-up conversation, I wonder what would happen if I said to the woman, “your sins are forgiven. Whatever they are, I don’t need to know. But I know that they are. Forgiven I mean.”
She might laugh at this chaplain who was looking for Jesus. But it’s possible that both the woman and the chaplain might realize that Jesus had been in the room all along, just waiting to be noticed.
And I wonder about the other places you and I walk into rooms, into conversations, into work. What if we said, even if just inside our heads, “I’m looking for Jesus. I heard that he might be here.”
Taken from BeforeYouWalkIn.com, an unpublished collection of chaplaincy reflections.