This blog by Major Wood is the first in a series of blogs that tackles the question “Who is Jesus?” Read, enjoy and share – and give us your feedback and thoughts as you consider his interpretation of this question.
“Every Time My Heart Beats”
By: Major Kris Wood, Officer Maplewood
I was driving in my minivan the other day, the radio was off, the only sound I needed was the sound of my 4 year old daughter humming to herself. She was creating a tune that was not quite musically accurate but there had never been a more beautiful sound to reach my ears. The sound of children singing makes the hardest hearts quake. It was a beautiful day. The trees were in the process of turning from the green of summer to the colors of fall. The sky was as clear and cloudless; the blue reflected off of my daughter’s eyes as she gazed with amazement at the glory passing her side window.
“Daddy, Jesus is talking to me,” she said. She said it as if it was a common occurrence, not something supernatural or incredible. I got the feeling that she was used to Jesus talking to her. “What’s he saying?” I asked. I wanted to encourage her so that I could understand where her mind had wandered as we drove in the minivan and she hummed her tune. “He told me not to drink alcohol,” she said. I was surprised. I expected her to repeat what she had heard in church; “Jesus loves me.”
“That’s a good thing to remember,” I said. I have to admit to being at a loss for words.
She hummed her tune for a moment, contemplating something profound. I watched her through the rear view mirror. Her right hand was twirling her light brown hair in circles.
“Jesus talks to me every time my heart beats,” she said. Again, there was a frankness to her statement that made me feel like she was in constant conversation with Jesus.
I had to ponder what she was saying and still focus on safe driving. Her last statement hit me as something more profound than a four year old should utter.
“Does he talk to you all the time?” I asked. I saw her shake her head in response; as if I were a total idiot.
“No, Daddy. I said; ‘Jesus talks to me every time my heart beats.’ My heart goes, ping, ping, ping; and Jesus talks to me.” I had been scolded by my daughter; put into my place. How could I be so slow as to not understand that obvious truth?
I turned the corner and drove a block farther down the street where my office is located. There was nothing that I could think to say or ask, so we rode the remaining distance in silence. Then, she spoke once again; “Daddy, do you talk to Jesus?”
“Yes. I talk to him all the time,” I said. She thought for a moment.
“Does he talk to you through your heart beat?” she asked. Great question indeed.
It is obvious to me that my daughter talks to Jesus. She knows that he is real. Somehow she has made the connection with him, yet so many ask the question, “Who is Jesus?” They do not seem to know what my daughter understands; Jesus is real. I recently asked people on Facebook to answer the question: “Who Is Jesus?” I have received responses from all over theUnited Statesfrom people I know well and people I do not know at all. I have heard over and over the standard answers that Christians around the world give for that question: “The Son of God, My Lord and Savior, Lamb of God, Emmanuel, God With Us, The Human Manifestation of The Creator God, God’s Gift To The World.” All those are true Biblical statements about who Jesus is, but they do not reach the place where a personal connection is made, like when my daughter said, “Jesus talks to me every time my heart beats.” She seems to have tapped into the mystery that goes beyond definition. In some miraculous way, Jesus is real to my daughter. She does not know or understand any of those descriptions that people have given of who Jesus is; but she knows Jesus.
Who do you say Jesus is? Is it a standard answer that comes to mind or is it the unspeakably personal feeling of being connected, in touch, with the eternal? Jesus asked his followers who they said he was. Simon Peter answered by saying, “The Christ, the Son of God.” (The Messiah). Yet, later when Jesus spoke to Peter he asked Peter personal questions that probed to the heart of the man. “Do you really love me?” he asked Peter. Peter replied, “You know I love you.” It was a personal, even painful interaction for Peter since only a short time before he had publically denied knowing Jesus or being one of his followers. To Peter, Jesus was more than just the Messiah, he was his friend. Is Jesus your friend? Many people know about Jesus. Many others have heard about Jesus, but Jesus desired to have a personal relationship with each of us that goes beyond labels and titles. Jesus longs to speak to you through the beating of your heart. Every beat, every breath, every thought, every movement; they are all a gift from God. They tell us that we are still alive; they allow us to live. At the very center of living we find a person, not distant and unknown but close and caring. We find someone who loves us in ways that cannot be put clearly into words. We find acceptance, caring, love, peace and hope. Most of all, we find a forgiving and welcoming friend. It is time to move past the religion of Jesus, the things done in his name, the impact his life had on the world and all that those things imply, and find a personal friend.