Have you all heard the song, “If I Could Have a Beer with Jesus”, by Thomas Rhett?
I heard it the other day as I was mom-ing around, grid-locked by rush hour traffic – the airport on my left side, bustling with jumbo jets and cargo flights alike, corporate offices and fancy hotels on my right side, and dusk settling in front of me.
Goose flesh rippled on my arms and my heart fluttered.
Was it the words? Rhett’s voice? The melody of the guitar? That fact that the radio was playing a song about Jesus?
I don’t know, but the song followed me home and has been haunting me ever since.
But haunting me in a beautiful, blessed way.
I’ve been turning the idea over in my head ever since I heard it – what if I could have a beer with Jesus?
What would I say? What would I ask?
How would I act? What would I wear??
Would I even be able to speak, or would I just bumble around and be an idiot?
I’d like to think I could maintain my composure, but I know what would happen immediately.
I’d burst into tears.
Because that’s what I always do in the presence of someone who intimately cares when they ask me how I am.
Not because I am not well, but because it pushes my emotions over the top when someone asks me with total sincerity, and I find it immensely humbling when their focus is solidly me and my well-being.
And if it were Jesus doing the asking. . .
Well, Lord help me.
What would I ask him?
I would ask him what he wants from me.
Really – who and what does he want me to be? What does he want me to do. . .?
. . . In life? All things big and small?
How does he want me to spend my every days, and what does he want me to accomplish big picture?
What is my God-given role before I leave this earth?
I would ask him to bless me and forgive me.
I would ask him what I can do for him.
I would ask him how he’s doing.
And what would he say?
What would he say about our world right now?
I think his heart would be torn. Bits of happy, and bits of terribly sad.
If I asked him if there was anywhere he would like to go, what would he say?
Would he want to visit Jerusalem? Ground Zero in NYC? Would he want to stand in the beauty of the Grand Canyon or the Alps? Or would he want to spend his time in the ghettos and dirt poor parts of the Appalachians? Maybe Haiti or Tijuana, Mexico. Possibly the Middle East?
Where would he want to go?
And I would thank him.
I’d thank him for the classic and cliché things – the roof over my head, the clothes on my back, the food I have to eat, my loving family, our health and our friends.
I am blessed beyond measure, and I know I am fortunate for this. It’s not the case for everyone.
But then, I would dig deeper.
And I’d thank him for all the blessings in disguise.
I’d thank him for my struggles.
I’d thank him for the lessons he’s teaching me.
I’d thank him for putting me in situations where I’ve been forced to stand up for myself.
I’d thank him for building me up and testing my faith.
I’d thank him for challenging me and guiding me – even though I am blind and at least partially crippled for a good portion of it.
I’d thank him for dropping just the right people, books, phrases, experiences, sunsets, into my life at the precise moments that I’m able to decipher that they are messages purposefully composed from him to me.
And I would just sit.
I’d sit in his presence and feel His Love and know that all is well.
And I believe that is where we would part ways.
With his hand on my heart and his love coursing through me, pumping strength and faith through every vein in my body and breathing life into my soul.
I believe I would feel the warmth of his palm on my cheek as he parted – a soft tingling brush that says, “I love you” and would leave my insides aching for our next happy hour.
Today, as I sit at our Thanksgiving meal, and grace is being said, I will bow my head in silence and go to that place where I can feel his hand on my heart. I will live that for a moment, and I will be thankful for all things – traditional and non-traditional.
I will be still for a moment and feel His grace, and I’ll ask him to bless you too, and send you my love.
Happy Thanksgiving, Friends.