Let Him ask His questions
He said it so matter-of-factly. “Ask my ex-wife. I’m as cold as ice.”
He isn’t as cold as ice.
I’m sure he’s been hurt. I’m sure he can be distant. He may not hold a great deal of empathy for others.
But I’ll say this again. He’s not as cold as ice.
I’m talking about the front desk guy at the big-name dealership where I recently had my van’s oil changed and tires aligned. His name is not Miles, but I’ll call him by that name here.
Miles and I go back two years or so. In this time, I have found him to be honest, caring, and attentive. He’s smart, too. This is helpful as I don’t know much about tires, or oil for that matter.
As soon as Miles said he’s as cold as ice, I realized he isn’t listening to who he is, or who he can be.
There are two other guys I can think of who aren’t listening either. Or at least they weren’t listening. One of the two is Cleopas. The other is unnamed. Both are traveling home to Emmaus after the profound heartbreak of Jesus’ death during Holy Week.
The two travelers meet someone they don’t know as they begin their return trek to the lives they knew. They share the heartbreaking news about Jesus’ death to their companion.
Their companion is Jesus, only they two don’t recognize the Risen Christ walking each step with them. As their conversation begins, Jesus asks them to share what, exactly, has happened.
After they answer, Jesus shares scripture. Starting with Moses, He leads them through the Old Testament prophets. Each prophet points to Jesus, the Messiah who will raise from the dead to rescue sinful souls from a world of loss to an eternal world of love.
Talk about good conversation? The duo admires and appreciates their traveling partner so much that they invite Him to dinner. It is there, in the breaking of the bread, that the two realize who Jesus is.
Cleopas and his walking partner are not Miles. But the two with Jesus and Miles hold something we all hold in common: life includes hard blows and deep loss.
I don’t know Miles’s story. I don’t know your story either, save for this. We are all on a journey through life. Our road may be nothing like the one the two in scripture are on, but we are traveling. Too often, we don’t know who we are traveling with, and that’s Jesus.
We don’t know it’s Jesus because, like the two in scripture, we are upset, shortsighted, or unaware. Maybe we’ve been heartbroken. Maybe we’ve been dumped. Maybe our hopes have crashed. Maybe we made a promise and somehow what was said has collapsed. Maybe we are like Miles in that we think we’re as cold as ice for any number of reasons.
It’s likely Cleopas and his friend are not cold as ice, but they are certainly numb. The very One they had hoped to be King and Savior had died. The hype was over. The hurt was settling in. Promises, promises lead to the same old, same old.
I didn’t say anything to Miles when he said what he said about ice. I should have. It was as if an engine inside me was finding its gear to move forward and faltered, or maybe I just needed better tires. As a single dad of six with a baby who was up for a couple of hours the night before, I was tired—really tired.
But this journey isn’t over. I’ll send this column to Miles in care of the big-name dealership. Addresses are easy to find.
I invite you to send or share this column to the Miles in your life. Or maybe you realize you are like Miles in that you have traveled miles—miles that make you say to yourself what isn’t true.
This is true. Jesus is love. Good love. Warm love.
Let Jesus ask His questions and, in time, you’ll see His warm love melts ice.
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