Incarnate

I’ve been struck, recently, by this pair of frightening ideas.

 

Just standing, waiting for a bus or for the light to change, or running on an elliptical or walking home from work; in the quiet or with music in my ears, I realize, I remember—

Jesus had feelings.

Jesus had feelings. He was happy, he was annoyed. He was angry.

He was scared.

He had feelings. He had feelings just like me, He had feelings just like the ones I’m feeling. He was filled with rage and His jaw clenched, His nails bit into His palms, and you could see it, if you looked at Him, on His face and in the tense straight line of His shoulders. God angry and enraged, because something wasn’t fair, because it was inconvenient; cursing fig trees and turning over tables because he’d just fucking had enough.

 

Jesus, ashamed and embarrassed. Because had He done enough? Had He done too much? Because He knew what they were saying, and who cares if they were wrong, it still hurt.

 

Jesus terrified and lonely, alone in the desert, in the wilderness, alone in a crowd of people screaming His name. Terrified because how was He supposed to carry this. What was going to become of Him?

 

Jesus lonely, just like me, desperately wishing just someone would get it, in the moments when God the Father just didn’t understand, when He didn’t carry a body on his shoulders and when His disciples didn’t carry the light of Godhood in their chests.

Jesus lonely, when all you need and crave is another human that can nod along with authority while you complain, and then tell a story that you can see yourself reflected in.

 

Jesus wishing, longing, for someone to take Him and hold Him close. For a woman—for a man—who would enjoy His body and offer theirs up in return, for someone who would cup His face and tell Him they thought He was pretty, that they liked looking at Him and being with Him and hearing Him laugh and they were glad He was there.

 

Jesus needy and hurting.

Just like me.

 

And willing to undertake all of that, just for me.

Just so He could truly know what it was like. Just so I would be able to trust Him when He said that He did.

 

And Jesus stripped and naked, crouching on the floor, while soldiers beat and spit on Him. On God.

 

Jesus in pain and filled with rage, while all of Heaven strains and screams to be let loose, to be set free to rip down and tear apart the animals who would dare to touch, to flay, to desecrate the God of Heaven.

And Jesus, gritting his teeth and doing nothing, with the power to do everything, while his body rips and bleeds and every nerve He made screams in agony—because Alex needs this. Because Alex needs this to happen.

Suffering pain, but also suffering indignity, suffering humiliation, and loneliness and fear and dread and misery,

Just so that I can be Ok.

 

And I think,

How am I supposed to meet this person? How am I supposed to stand, or kneel, or crawl before someone like this?

How am I supposed to do anything but just shake apart, rip to shreds and quake to dust, before someone like this? Before someone who is all glory and power like this? Before someone who loves me this much.

 

I didn’t understand Jesus, and— there’s still more than I can ever know— but things are starting to fall into place. His actions have started to match His words in a way I never saw before, and,

And now I’m terrified.

I am standing at the foot of Sinai, and thunder and glory are blazing on the summit, and I do not want to Go Up.

But I feel it, I feel it inside me, this pull, this thought.

I must get to know this man.

And I feel it, I feel it inside me,

This man loves me.

And this love matters more than anything else I’ve ever known.

But it terrifies me.