We walked together, along the shoreline. He, skipping pebbles over the shoulders of breaking waves. Me, just looking at him, thinking that he looks like any other guy, playing by the sea. I throw a few pebbles too, and manage to show off my pebble skipping skills. He pauses, and looks at me, saying “you’re good!”. I respond, “Well you’d say that about everyone, wouldn’t you!” He laughs with “But not everyone, including me, is as good at skipping pebbles as you are, John C.” I cheekily answer, “Okay Jesus C., I’m okay with that.” We both laugh. “We’d better not start calling each other ‘JC’” I said, “or else people will get all mixed up! That’s a joke, by the way. I know that you, Jesus, are vastly different from me.” “Vastly different?” he questioned. “Well,… all that Son of God stuff about you JC,… sorry… Jesus.”
He sat on a mound of sand, looking out over the Sea of Galilee, scratching his beard, in contemplation. I sat close by, staring at him, wondering what was going through his mind. Does God dictate to him? Or does he just think like the rest of us, when looking for an answer to someone’s statement? Speaking to the sea, he responded “We’re not that different, me, you and humanity. Let’s just say,… our journeys are somewhat different, but our destination is always the same.” “Okay” I said, “but I do have trouble with the actual, physical, Son of God bit!” “I know, and I thank you for your sincerity John. Just think of us as all being sons of God. That’ll help you.” “Thanks, I appreciate your help, but I also have a lot of trouble with that ‘Immaculate Conception’ bit, too.” Jesus smiled, then grinned “Don’t get bogged down in the detail, and remember that, sadly, the church sometimes has its own interests in mind when recounting the details of my life. So let’s just leave it at that, okay?” “Thank you Jesus.”
We got up and started walking along where the gentle waves washed our feet. After a while, he stated the fact; “You have a question for me.” “Y…Yes” I admitted. “Back in the time that I’ve come from, someone has recently upset me very much, by behaving very unjustly towards me and telling awful lies about me. I refused to respond directly to such injustice, and tried to be compassionate towards them. So, as in many challenging situations, I asked myself; What would Jesus do? Would he allow an injustice to go unaddressed, and ‘turn the other cheek’? Would he not defend himself and make that person aware of their wrong-doing, so that they could better themselves? Doesn’t that person need to be told about how they have behaved? So… my question is… What would you do?”
Jesus stopped walking in the waves, and stood still amongst them instead, looking out to sea. I did the same, beside him. After a few more waves and a rapid change in current, he asked, “Do you feel that? The sand and pebbles being drawn out from beneath your feet.” “Yes” I said, as I found myself having to lift and move my feet, in my reactions to stop myself from falling over. And he whispered, close to me, “Do you allow the waves to do what they do? Do you tell them they are doing wrong? They’re just following the easiest path. Without anger or blame, you accept that the waves are washing the sand and pebbles from beneath your feet, allowing them to do as they wish, in the knowledge that your mindful reaction will stop them from unbalancing you. Your balance is your peace with yourself and God. Treat others like the waves, just doing what they do, and know that you are always at peace.” as he held my hands reassuringly, in his.
As we started walking again, we saw two fishermen casting their nets out into the sea. Jesus walked over to them, as I waited aside. After he had spoken to them, they immediately left their nets, and followed him, away from the beach, as he waved goodbye to me. And so my walk with him, by the Sea of Galilee, ended.
But now, every day, I still walk with him and ask, “What would you do?”
John Crosbie. December 2015