Who Do You See?

WHO DO YOU SEE?

His glowing smile captivated me. In all the previous Easter pageants I attended in churches, I witnessed Jesus somberly healing the blind and casting out demons. Jesus just did not smile. But this -- this was different!  There I sat in the third row of the Branson theater, captivated by a joyful, laughing, smiling Jesus!

The Jesus actor, Randy, is a long time family friend.  Literally four generations of our families have been friends. The day after I saw Randy portray Jesus, our families ate together in his home. My heart was still reeling at this new Jesus that Randy portrayed the night before and I couldn't help but ask. How did He know Jesus smiled...and (gasp) laughed? Randy and I were raised in the same rigid legalistic culture that taught us about a Jesus who was always disappointed in us.  We were just one step away from being zapped because we were still not good enough. So how did Randy come to know and portray a joyful Jesus?  With a grin on his face Randy gave me a glimpse of a cheerful Jesus who delights in me. He painted a new picture of Jesus that transformed my sight!  Suddenly I saw Jesus smiling and joyfully, playfully looking back at me from heaven's throne room.  Randy introduced me to paying attention to how I saw Jesus in my imagination.

It really makes a difference how you see the Messiah in your mind's eye.  Is it the somber, sorrowful Jesus looking down on you, or is it the radiant, joyful Jesus with unconditional love for you?  The picture of the Jesus you know mirrors back to your followers in your life and leadership. Who do they see in you?  

Close your eyes and imagine joyful Jesus. He delights in you, not because of how you lead, but because you are His creation.  And he really, really likes you. Ask Him what He likes about you.  Go on, ask Him!  How does He respond? I have no idea what He says to you, but I am sure there is a smile on His face and a twinkle of joy in His eyes as He answers.