During the summer King’s Harbor Church puts on a BBQ for the Homeless on the last Friday of the month. As the mobilization coordinator I play a part in putting these BBQs on. This will be my third summer working with Nik and his team and it is a ministry that is close to my heart. Last night we had an excellent group of volunteers and I found myself able to relax a little and sit and chat with some of our guests. Toward the end of what was one of our best nights, I was walking past a table when a man called me by name (I had a name tag on) and asked me how i was doing. He was sitting by himself with two big plates of food so I sat down next to him. As i sat down I noticed he was wearing a cast on his foot, so conversationally I asked him what happened to his foot. He whispered “they broke it…because I’m Jesus Christ”. “oh” is all I could think to say. Realizing he was “off” I smiled and offered him some ketchup for his hotdogs and burgers. After some more light conversation he asked me my name again and I told him and asked him for his name. ” I already told you. I’m Jesus Christ. I’m not lying. The son not the father. Although some people call me Douglas. It stands for Divine Savior, I’m not lying”. I had a choice: to walk away from this crazy man or sit with him and continue a conversation I could tell he was enjoying. A verse popped into my head about Jesus telling His sheep that they had fed him when he was hungry and they said they had never seen him when he was hungry and he said whatever you do for them you did for me. I said ” you know Douglas, I’ve always wondered what Jesus would look like if he was here and I think he would look like you.” He smiled at me and took a big bite of his hot dog. He said something about how good the food was and how hungry he was. I said “probably not as hungry as after the 40 days in the dessert”. I said it more to see if he knew what I was talking about but he looked at me and laughed. “That 40 days was nothing. I once went 5 months.”
“Yep, they broke my jaw”.
We talked about that experience for a while and then the conversation lagged. He started talking about something random and then mentioned that his shadow had ran away. This was too much for me.
“Like Peter Pan?” I asked with a big smile on my face.
“Did you sew it back on?” Ha-ha, I was feeling light hearted now that he was claiming to be Christ and Peter Pan.
“Amy, don’t make this a joke. Please let me finish.” It was soft, firm rebuke that asked for respect. So I adjusted my attitude and listened. He told me how his shadow had run away but that he didn’t want it back because it felt so right. It made so much sense to me.
“because Jesus is light? Is that why there’s no shadow?”
“that’s right’ he said. ” after that i found some people with shadows and I took them. i put them all on me, but they got angry that I had taken them and i had to give them back. Now I don’t have any shadow because they wouldn’t let me take them.” Douglas was very sad when he said this and i teared up as i thought about the sin that Jesus took on himself.
“I’m the creator you know” He said later in the conversation. “You see that tree?”. He pointed across the parking lot.
“yeah, its beautiful” I said.
” You think that is beautiful, you should see my favorite quasar”.
“What’s a quasar?”
“uh..look it up”. Unfortunately I missed what he had to say about his favorite quasar because I was wondering what kind of drug paraphernalia a quasar might be.
We had a lengthy conversation about many things. i asked him questions about his idea of success and about his preference to mass over a christian church service. It was all very interesting and I enjoyed the idea of asking him questions as if I were having a conversation with Jesus. At the end I stood up and said “Well Douglas, it was nice to meet you.” He looked at me with his piercing blue eyes and said “oh Amy, you know me”.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
qua⋅sar /ˈkweɪzɑr, -zər, -sɑr, -sər/
–noun Astronomy. one of over a thousand known extragalactic objects, star-like in appearance and having spectra with characteristically large redshifts, that are thought to be the most distant and most luminous objects in the universe.