Meeting a guy with Jesus hair: what to say to a Jesus person who doesn’t really know Jesus
“Anyone who receives you receives me, and anyone who receives me receives the Father who sent me.” — Matthew 10:40
Yesterday I’m in a tech store buying a new cell phone. For those who know my inability to stay sequential, here’s the surprise: it went really well. Why? I walked in and carried my ADHD card throughout the appointment, so the credit to this experience goes not to me but to Bradley.
Bradley is my guy. We are paired. He’s polite, funny, and, above all, insightful. He carries this whole retro sixties vibe thing with a casual, inquisitive beat, and he gets people. He asks good questions. I didn’t think of it then, but as I read Matthew 10:40 this morning, I smile because Bradley has Jesus hair.
Jesus hair today isn’t what we see rendered in artist depictions. It’s pulled back, the softer version of the “man bun” in that the length of Bradley’s hair is well… like Jesus’.
In the time it takes to select and configure a new phone, Bradley shares a trait I have not read about but, after yesterday’s experience, now know Jesus must have had — curiosity. After a couple of deeper questions on my part (theology comes with me), Bradley shares what Jesus must have said AND demonstrated to those who experienced Him. Maybe in Bradley’s words you hear Jesus, too. “I’m curious about everything.”
It gets better. This twenty-something meets my questions and enjoys them. We volley religion and philosophy while contact info is beamed from my old phone to the new.
We arrive at interesting places. I’m grateful. I talk from my location — church and church life — and ask why religion today does not speak to him. He had a “huh” moment. After thought, he answered in the way current studies and polls reveal — that worship in churches today is fine but the infrastructure doesn’t speak to a whole generation.
This gets even better because Bradley quotes scripture in one breath, “We are built in the Father’s image” https://carm.org/questions/about-people/what-meant-when-it-says-man-made-image-god and, in the very next breath, gives his life mantra, a version of the Golden Rule. This thoughtful, gentle soul lives in peace and harmony with others, or like those he does not know through religion, he (like the rest of us sinners) tries to live in peace and harmony with others.
Jesus and Bradley are a lot alike, and I move far beyond soft brown hair when I say this. The Son of God challenged the norms and the hypocrisies of the day. When asked directly, Bradley did the same.
So, what happens next? We all just go home. Religion dies. Through your device you can read these words if you choose, but that’s about it.
Or is there more?
There is more. This verse here in Matthew 10 is true. When we are received — when we intentionally connect with each other like Bradley and I connected at the end of a long sales counter — the esoteric becomes tangible, the obscure becomes real. God is present. God is received, and God is shared.
It is a high when God is shared, received or exchanged. When God is seen in and heard through others — even if it’s just a spark in darkness or in thought expressed in a bustling retail store — it’s a moment that is rejuvenating, liberating, or, at its most basic level, is at least good, good enough to continue.
I have Bradley’s contact info. Will I share this post with him? You betcha. Will I pray there will be more between us? Yes. Why? Because God isn’t finished talking in us, to us and through us.
What do you say to a Jesus person who doesn’t really know Jesus? I suggest you say what will help you both. “Let’s talk more.”
PRAYER: We are built in Your image. Help us see what that means not apart but together in ground that we make holy — be it in a church or over long countertops. In Your perfect plan, keep bringing us together, enabling us to hear You through what we say, quote, and live. Amen.