My friends reminded me today how much I luv the book Blue Like Jazz. Truly, it’s a top-5-er for me. Top 5 of all-time for me. No…seriously. If you havent read it yet, then you’re missing a huge piece of the Kris pie. Read it. Now. It truly changed the way I think about the person of Jesus.
Is He the guy that this world creates Him to be? Is He selective in who He loves? Do they all look cleaned up and perfect like we try to look on Sunday at church? Does He look at us the way I look in the mirror at times thinking, “well, she’s got potential…but last year at this time, well THAT was when I liked her the best!”? Miller draws the picture of a campfire of misfits/hippies/gypsies/drifters. A scary cast of characters that the Kris of Sunday morning might be inclined to cross the street to avoid. And then he reminds us – Jesus is THERE. Sitting right in the middle of them asking the question we all want SOMEone to ask us, “What’s YOUR story?”
“All great characters in stories are the ones who give their lives to something bigger than themselves. And in all of the stories I don’t find anyone more noble than Jesus. He gave His life for me, in obedience to His Father. I truly love Him for it. I think the difference in my life came when I realized, after reading those Gospels, that Jesus didn’t just love me out of principle; He didn’t just love me because it was the right thing to do. Rather, there was something inside me that caused Him to love me. I think I realized that if I walked up to His campfire, He would ask me to sit down, and He would ask me my story. He would take the time to listen to my ramblings or my anger until I could calm down, and then He would look me directly in the eye, and He would speak to me; He would tell me the truth, and I would sense in His voice and in the lines on His face that He liked me. He would rebuke me, too, and He would tell me that I have prejudices against very religious people and that I need to deal with that; He would tell me that there are poor people in the world and I need to feed them and that somehow this will make me more happy. I think He would tell my what my gifts are and why I have them, and He would give me ideas on how to use them. I think He would explain to me why my father left, and He would point out very clearly all the ways God has taken care of me through the years, all the stuff God protected me from. “ – Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz, p. 238