I love you, ‘as long as you stay in your box.’

Jesus had just fed the five thousand men; also add in the women and children. That was a lot of food. He then started to thin the crowd with some tough teaching; he did it on purpose. Jesus? He doesn’t need a popular vote. Crowds? NBD.

Finally after the great stirring and movement, the slipping away of shadows, he looks at his disciples and says, “Are you going to leave to?” My translation said it this way, “Phil do you like me?” Oh not literally, but that was the question that confronted me. I responded with my best ‘christianeze,’ “I love you, Lord…” I was already onto the second stanza, “…and I lift my voice…” and the Lord interrupted, “That’s not what I asked. Phil do you like me?”

Caught and cornered, I was just like the 5000 ‘taste and see’ ‘stand and watch’ and ‘be amazed’ crowd. I immediately was uncomfortable with this unboxed Jesus/God. I couldn’t point at the Pharisees, I was struggling with the same Jesus who doesn’t care about my rules or protocol. He was cutting with the question. He still is.

As long as I could enjoy, watch and predict a miracle, as long as I could stay at a safe distance, ‘did I say predictable distance?’ As long as my religious, feel good rhythm went uninterrupted, then, I was all in.

In a moment there was no box, no sterile wrap no full stomach bringing on the yawns, there was just the super, simple, transparent, vulnerable Jesus. “Do you like me? Yes or no?

The only option is reciprocating transparency.

A God without a box, people that love without a condition or stipulating labels? Maybe we could start a movement.

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