Encountering Jesus. It seems like a wonderful dream, a hope that will come true after we leave this mortal life and join him in heaven. I can’t help but wonder what it will be like to see him face to face. What will he say, what will he do? One way we can catch a glimpse of him is to read the gospels. The first four books of the new testament are full of stories about people encountering Jesus.
I love those stories. To me, each one is an outline of how Jesus responds to his people. As a writer, my imagination tries to fill in the blanks. What was happening in the people’s lives on the day they met Jesus? What did they think of him when they first looked into his eyes? People back then were no different that we are today, so we should be able to get a glimmer of what it was like.
Several years ago, I was going through a spiritual dry spell. My pastor told one of those stories and made it come to life for me. For months the story played over and over in my head until I finally wrote it down. Since then I have rewritten other stories trying to answer the question, ‘What will it be like to see him?’
The woman at the well cries in his lap, Jesus’ tears mingle with hers as he shares her pain.
The demon possessed man is restored to his right mind and Jesus tells him to stay and witness to the people of his city because the people there sent Jesus away.
Zacchaeus, the tax collector, is despised and scorned by his people, yet Jesus comes to his house for dinner and shows a better way.
Lepers are touched, the blind see, the lame walk and it goes on and on. We are like these people, hurting, despised, untouchable. Jesus drew them in, loved them and gave them hope. He does the same for us, if we seek his face.