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Farewell to Jesus September 20, 2009

Posted by Phil Groom in Christianity, Theological Reflection.
Tags: ,


This is Jesus.

He’s been a good friend these last couple of years, always there watching over me. He was there before me; he’ll be there long after me, I guess. But he isn’t mine and I can’t take him with me.

He’s standing on the mantelpiece in our bathroom. Yes, I do mean mantelpiece: our home — the home we’re about to leave — is a old vicarage converted into upstairs and downstairs flats, and when this room was refitted as a bathroom, they left the fireplace in place.

He’s standing on a blue cloth because I’ve just given him a shower: he was getting a bit dusty. But other than that, he hasn’t moved since the day we moved in: the bathroom mantelpiece is where we found him and it’s where we’ve left him. I think he’s in good company with the cream cleanser and my deodorant.

I’ve thought about moving him around a bit: maybe stand him on the TV digibox, see if he improves our reception; or by the wireless router, see if he gives us more bandwidth; but on the whole, I kinda like him where he is.

He watches over me when I perform my morning ablutions (Sue will tell you, it is a performance), but he doesn’t intrude of interrupt, just stands there quietly.

He’s not really my kind of Jesus: the Jesus I read about in the Gospel was a Mediterranean peasant, a wildcard who stirred things up, annoyed the powers-that-be, led a group of rebels. I can’t imagine this Jesus leading a group of rebels. I guess one thing this Jesus and the gospel Jesus have in common is they wear their heart on the outside: this Jesus wears his heart on his breast; the Jesus of the Gospels wore his heart on his sleeve, all his emotions raw and open for all to see.

Another thing — the thing that stands out most to me, the thing that has prevented me just throwing him out, the thing that makes me hope whoever moves in here after us will want to keep him too — is he’s got no hands.

Every morning — every time I visit the bathroom — he reminds me of that old saying: Christ has no hands on earth but ours.

I don’t know whether I can live up to that challenge: to be Christ’s hands here on earth. But with him standing there, I know I can’t escape it. Even in the bathroom.


1. Dave Marriott - September 20, 2009

You made me laugh, Phil. I appreciate that! All the best with the move.

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