Midweek Musings

“Jesus Showing Up”


           According to the Gospels, Resurrected Jesus showed up a few times before the Ascension. He showed up along the road to Emmaus, in a locked room, in the garden, and along the seaside. There’s no real rhyme or reason to his appearances; he was just sometimes there.

           It seems to me it’s no different today. Perhaps he isn’t as recognizable as he might have been to those who were with him when he lived and died; but he shows up. Sometimes in unlikely places and in unlikely ways. Frederick Buechner writes about a time he experienced a surprising presence of Christ.

           He writes, “I remember an especially dark time of my life. One of my children was sick, and in my anxiety for her I was in my own way as sick as she was. Then one day the phone rang, and it was a man named Lou Patrick, whom I didn’t know very well then, though he has become a great friend since, a minister from Charlotte, North Carolina, which is about eight hundred miles from Rupert, Vermont, where I live. I assumed he was calling from home and asked how things were going down there only to hear him say that, no, he wasn’t in Charlotte. He was at an inn about twenty minutes away from my house in Rupert. He knew something about what was going on in my family and in me, and he said he thought maybe it would be some help to have an extra friend around for a day or two. The reason he didn’t tell me in advance that he was coming was that he knew I would tell him for heaven’s sake not to do anything so crazy, so for heaven’s sake he did something crazier still, which was to come those eight hundred miles without telling me he was coming so that for all he knew I might not even have been there. But as luck had it, I was there, and for a day or two he was there with me. He was there for me. I don’t think anything we found to say to each other amounted to very much. There was nothing particularly religious about it. I don’t remember even spending much time talking about my troubles with him. We just took a couple of walks, had a meal or two together, and smoked our pipes. I drove him around to see some of the countryside, and that was about it.

           I have never forgotten how he came all that distance just for that, and I’m sure he has never forgotten it either. I also believe that, although as far I can remember we never so much as mentioned the name of Christ, Christ was as much in the air we breathed those few days as the fragrance of our pipes was in the air or the dappled light of the woods we walked through. I believe that for a little time we both of us touched the hem of Christ’s garment. I know that for a little time we both of us were healed.”

           I hope Christ shows up for you this week. In a conversation with a friend, in the reading of the sacred texts, in a sunrise or a moment of stillness. May you find healing and comfort in the presence of the Resurrected One.



You are the Light of the World!