I had one of my semi-recurring dreams last night. I say "semi recurring" because the dreams happen fairly often, but they aren't always exactly the same.
In them, I am chatting with Jesus.
No, not the Jesus who hangs out in the Home Depot parking lot waiting for an offer for work - although he's worth chatting with because he's got an incredible work ethic, a really solid family foundation, and a keen sense of humor.
I mean the Jesus that so many people SAY they follow, but so often fall short of.
Oddly, me being pagan and all, he and I converse on a regular basis. I think I amuse him.
So, last night we were chatting over tea and cinnamon rolls - he likes my cinnamon rolls - and he was a little...melancholy...
I asked him what was wrong...because I can be sympathetic once in a while if I make an effort.
"What's up, J?" He lets me call him that because he knows I'm just teasing him. So few people are playful with him.
"Oh, you know..."
"Maybe, but tell me anyway."
"Well...people kill in my name, and it makes me sad."
"Yeah...I don't understand why they do that."
"And they're fighting wars in my name. That hurts."
"I bet, you being so peaceful and all."
"And they make laws in my name denying people equality!"
"Mm-hmm...guess they forgot the Samaritan."
"And they attack others, good people, just because those people don't go to my Father's house to worship."
"Uh-huh...and after you warned 'em not to cast the first stone..."
"Exactly! I mean, all I asked was that people be compassionate, kind, and loving, that they leave the judging and all that to my Father and try to live decent lives."
"Sucks. 'Nother cinnamon roll?"
"Yeah, thanks...they're sinfully good." He laughs at himself.
"Pfft. So you wanna come hang out at a gathering some time? I have a spare tent and you can borrow my drum as long as you don't pop the rings - they're a little warped. And there's a place at my table for you if you want to sit with me..."
He smiles that sweet smile. "Are you paraphrasing...?"
"Well, duh. Anyway, you're always welcome to hang, you know. I won't kill anyone in your name or start any wars or attack someone just because they don't worship you the right way (or at all), and I won't deny anyone food, clothing, medicine, education, or shelter just because they don't worship you."
"Sounds nice. No fish, though...I'm kinda over fish..."
"'Kay. Hey, Jesus, I need a favor..."
"You know how to make your own wine..."
"Heh...Cygnus does, anyway...but no, I wonder if you could maybe go visit the people who are shooting at, firebombing, and harassing a friend of mine...maybe show them how much she does for the community (more than THEY do, you can bet), maybe remind them about that whole judging and stone throwing thing?"
"Well...I can try...but you know how difficult it is for me to get anyone to really listen."
"Hey, thanks...I appreciate the effort."
"May I grab some of these to go?" He indicates the cinnamon rolls, which are now back to their original numbers.
"Silly, of course. Sure wish I knew that trick...could use it on a pile of twenties..."
He smiled his enigmatic smile and faded away, and I felt sorry for him. Everything he endured in his father's name, for the sake of love and compassion, for the sake of people who didn't want him and repudiated him, for the sake of people who hadn't been born and might never follow his path...and the folks who claim to live and act in his name? They ignore his teachings and use his name like a club to bludgeon the world into the shape they demand it take.
I think he comes and visits me in my dreams because there's no pressure. I have no expectations, and I don't need him for anything. We are, in a sense, equals - I contain the goddess within me, and he embodies his god on earth.
I wonder what the world would be like if more of HIS people acted like they truly followed HIS teachings...
I bet he'd smile more in my dreams...