Jesus Loves You

 

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My uncle Pat was one of those guys who stood on freeway overpasses and held huge signs that read Jesus loves you. He wasn’t a batshit crazy dude, either, just seemed to really enjoy his service. My dad used to say to him—my dad being a cutthroat corporate cat, quite distinct from his brother—that from that distance Pat “couldn’t tell if they were honking to thank him or to tell him to jump.” Myself, I don’t think it ever even occurred to Pat that anyone would not like him sharing Jesus’ love with them. It might sound surprising but Pat wasn’t really out of touch or anything. He just lived real thrifty—ate at the dollar store and lived off a tiny pension from a Boeing offshoot where he manufactured something for twenty years. But Pat was one of the first to get the new iPhones when they came out and you’d see him up there, waving his Jesus sign a little wonky because he was checking something out online, in his palm. Well, Pat got so interested in the world of social media that one day he decided to paint a hashtag on his sign right in front of the message–#jesuslovesyou. There’s not a shred of doubt in my mind that Pat though it would be funny, dynamic and that just maybe he’d get something trending on Twitter that would actually broaden the circle of the Lord’s love. Of course, what Pat got was a pileup of cars just north of his overpass within two hours of painting his sign with that hashtag, a steel pretzel scream of an accident that sent no fewer than three commuters to the love of the Lord. You might think that Pat would be traumatized, or charged with a crime or else just too full of guilt and sorrow to go on. You’d think maybe that he’d take a dive off that overpass after all. But that didn’t happen. Pat whited out the hashtag, put his phone on airplane mode, and stood splay-legged on that overpass, waving that sign at the interstate five days a week for the rest of his life. That’s faith, I guess.

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