My son is a toddler, as Jesus was once a toddler. He is on the cusp of being a little boy, just as Jesus once was at the cusp of being a little boy. Each time I am with my son, I am aware he makes me come into an encounter with the holy, into contact with Jesus and the divine. We, my son and me, race, me walking and him riding his Big Wheel, using his feet against the ground as he has yet to grow large enough to pedal. He pronounces us both winners and he is right. Each time I look into the eyes of my wife, I know Jesus looked into the eyes of people. He looked with deep love that I can only imagine. The act forged holy by his gaze. I live in a deep sense of being alive or abiding in Jesus, even as I forget.
Recently, in another post, I was asked what are my practices were in encounter God. I pray, listen to music and go to worship Sunday, and I also thought of how I try (and fail most of the time) to remember a number of questions within my daily life.
To live open to the spirit is to be open to wonder. The practice of wonder forms the backbone of prayer in a number of ways: wonder in who Jesus is, Who is Jesus? Asking that as a doctrinal question will give truth and some pat answers: son of God, God incarnate, fully God and fully man. All of which are true for my faith. The doctrines can be more than answers. They are launching pads of wonder. What does being the son of God mean? What does being fully God and fully man mean? If God was fully man does that mean that activities that are fully human, like eating, running, playing, have been made holy by God? For where God goes, the ground becomes holy. Jesus eat, ran, played and was with his friends and followers.
The story needs to be told and told and told in wonder. God became man, lived among us, died horribly on a cross and rose to be with us again. I respond in wonder to this story. Who is Jesus is not a multiple choice question, but a lifelong essay question. One answered by our constant awareness of Jesus in our midst. He is with us to the end of the age. We answer it with Jesus being with us and we being with Jesus. When my son rides his tricycle, I ask about the nature of Jesus , did he play as my son does? When I hold my wife’s hand I ask who is Jesus. To be a man is to touch of the divine, not be the divine, but be with the divine, for I am not God. These moments last eternal as they seem just fleeting. Who is Jesus? Asking the question within my encounters with others transforms these encounters into the potential of love appearing. When we ask Jesus in when he was there and he answers, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40).
I read this and think of my wife, my son, my friends, the strangers on the bus, my co-workers, and all of the people I encounter in my daily existence.