Somehow, Jason and I had the exact, specific time that this was going to occur and (because I was with Jason) we were running late. For once, I was not annoyed at his lateness and as we made our way back to where Jesus was going to be I told Jason that Jesus would wait for us. I marveled at the colors of the sky and the beauty of the clouds and the sense of happiness I felt.
We got wherever it was that we were supposed to be and there he was. Jesus.
Except, he wasn't.
Well, he was. He just didn't look like Jesus to me. He looked like a little kid.
In the dream Jason said, "Is this a trick?" Surely this child, this little brown-skinned boy, was not Jesus.
He was though and right in front of my eyes he became a friend of mine. This friend has taught me more about love and forgiveness and compassion than any other person in my life, ever.
I held my friend and wept. Tears of joy.
As I held my friend, she became a homeless man that I one time handed two dollars. He became the Girl Scout troop I continued to support even after people yelled at me about how the United Way was awful and didn't deserve my money. They became a little Syrian refugee. He became a friend of mine who is a lesbian and was afraid to tell me. A little girl I used to sit with on the bus. The changes continued on and on until finally the person standing in front of me was how I've always seen Jesus in my head. A guy about my age with dark skin, a dark beard, and kind eyes.
He told me there was work to do. There was still work here. His work: helping people who need help, loving people who need love, and spreading kindness and being positive every single day.
"Even when you feel snarky Stephanie," Jesus told me, because my Jesus says things like 'snarky'.
I woke up and felt both sad that the dream wasn't real, and a huge sense of peace.
As a believer I was always taught that Jesus loves all of us. Every one of us, even if we don't look the same or come from the same place. I've been so distressed, so very sick, about the news lately and all the overwhelming negativity and just pure hatred being spewed.
I can't help but think my dream was a reminder. Jesus still loves me. Jesus still loves that homeless man, that Syrian boy, and my dear sweet friends. He wants us to love one another. Even in an uncertain world, even in these crappy times. He wants us to love one another. To be kind to one another. To not exclude one another. To not hate one another.
That is what Jesus is to me. Love. Acceptance. Community.
You will never convince me otherwise.