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Alex's Letter

I am a 19 yr-old college sophomore, and I saw the Jesus Laughing image about a year ago in a church basement. It just kinda struck me, 'cuz Jesus was supposed to be a prophet, a holy guy, and I saw him as loving and all. Yet I had only seen him as someone who had gone around with good news, teaching and healing, and then being a sacrifice. the only way I saw Him as human was in the form he came down in, adn I really only saw Him as an extension of God.

The photo stayed in my mind, etched in the back, and I might have remembered it once or twice in the past year. Jesus being human is a neat thing for me to say sometimes, and maybe hear once and a while, but I saw Him as human because of the form He came in, and I felt He did this for humility.

This weekend, I returned back from a retreat, where I had broken in realizing how astray I had taken my life, with the deep sexual errors I had made over the summer in a recently-terminated relationship. And it was because of other items that happened as well: people commiting suicide, friends getting badly injured, a family member in surgery...that I saw Jesus sitting alongside the Father, flipping switches to cause things to happen in my life, without human care, hoping I might figure out why these things are happening, a calling from God. I also saw from the retreat how I could not bring myself to approach Jesus, for he was such a holy guy to me. I never thought that Jesus really wasn't soley up above, that He was down here, saddened by what was happening, and sorrowed by how it tore me.

I think a reading we had on Jesus being in the home of our heart was what reminded me of this image, and how Jesus is just a great guy, really great guy, who feels for us. I think he would laugh with me at the enjoyable Christian fun I have, and cry when I am down as well. Yes, the image doesn't just show me Jesus laughing, it shows me Jesus having emotion. It makes it equally as easy to see Jesus crying. And that is what is just as important to me, Jesus crying as well as laughing. A God... being a human friend, and laughing with me. And a God...being a human friend, and crying for me. The guy had feelings, and that has made Him more approachable, for it is easier for me to go to a friend with how messed up my life got, and to ask forgiveness, than to go to a God. So I am wanting to have that image in front of me now more than ever as I try to repair my errors over these past 5 months. Keeping the image in the front of my mind, instead of the back, has shaped things better.

I now see Jesus on more of a friendly level also. Earlier, I would only deal with Him when my mind was clear, and I was in a religious mood. But he's a friend, human in likeness, even though He died for me a ways back. And I let myself think.... I let friends hang out in my room when I have work to do, or I'm just too tired. And I see them most of the time, even when I am down. Why should I treat Jesus, another human friend, any different? So I see Him now sitting on my bed in my dorm,silent when I am busy, humorous when I am jovial, and concerned when I am sad. I can justturn to talk to Him instead of putting myself in "the mood" to do so. And it is kinda amusing to imagine a God hanging out in my room, raiding my fridge every once and a while. (Who drank all the soda?) But that's how Jesus is....a human friend. And this image made me realize that.

Alex

"Do all the good you can, by all the means you can,
in all the ways you can, in all the places you can,
at all the times you can, to all the people you can,
as long as you ever can"
--John Wesley

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