Tag Archive: Road to Emmaus

Sometimes I think I’m demented.  Something is wrong between the ears.  Those who know me are laughing right now, I’m sure of it.  Because I was born the last of four, my uncles used to joke that I was dropped at birth.  It’s safe to say my brain does not work the same as others.  My family was full of analytical brainiacs with accounting or mathematical analysis dominating our lineage.  Then along comes John.  

I could do the accounting.  I aced Accounting I and II as an Education major.  It didn’t make the business majors happy.  The only problem…I couldn’t stand it.  I don’t see the world in those terms.  I see colors.  I see so much more than two numbers added together.  Without question, I always felt like something was wrong, and maybe, just maybe, I was switched at birth.

That can’t be the answer.  I look like my father’s mini me.  At the end of the day, I’m more of a circular reasoner than a logical thinker.  It’s sort of like my kayaking treks.  Some people paddle down the river.  Not me.  I try every crossbow, inlet and swamp entrance I can find.  It takes the boring out of the paddle.  

I don’t know what anyone calls my condition.  I’m not sure anyone cares.  However, I love the context of the Bible, not just the words we read.  I want to know what Jesus laughed at.  We don’t find him laughing in the Scriptures.  He was a man, and he cried.  He had to laugh.  

I want to know what Jesus did for fun.  Did he play any of the popular games of the day?  Did they play “I Spy with My Little Eyes?”  How about “Would You Rather?”  I chuckle when I imagine Jesus playing “Would You Rather.”  I can see it now.  Jesus would be wrapping up the game with, “Now for the last one.  Would you rather spend eternity in hell or in heaven?”  See, I told you in the very first line.  I have a demented mind.

I would love to know what made Jesus cry when he came upon Lazarus’ family after he died.  I would love to know what Jesus talked about after his resurrection on the road to Emmaus.  I want to get an idea of the tone of his voice, especially when he puts the low down in a sense, on the Pharisees with the 7 Woes.  Sometimes I think we make Jesus like a robot.  No way!  Doesn’t a part of you want to know what kind of personality he had?  

I’ve been around some who make Jesus out to be passive-aggressive. Jesus to them is a cool, calm cookie looking to strike at the optimum moment.  Then there are those who make him out to be a Type A get-it-done type. Nobody wants to cast him as a Type D, but, then again, we sure don’t have him happy.  Maybe he was all three personality types. Actually, they now say there are 16 different types.  Really, my mind is swimming now.  My sarcastic side wonders if Jesus had a God-complex.  Yup, I’m close to losing it.  

I read recently where the Sermon on the Mount in the Bible is actually more than likely the CliffsNotes edition.  Do they still have CliffsNotes? They were the boiled down edition of the novel we were supposed to read and then write a book report about.  Those bad boys saved my grade point average without question.  Back to the main point.  The Sermon on the Mount is the edited version.  I want the unedited version.  Maybe then we can stop taking guesses about what “pure in spirit” really means.  

The older I get and the more I look into the Bible, I see colors.  I see so much more than the Bible teachers told me.  It’s a story.  It’s an incredible story.  In many respects, it’s an unbelievable story.  But that is just it.  It’s so incredible, but it fits together.  See, incredible stories don’t hold water.  This one does.  Unbelievable stories don’t have connection.  This one does.  

It really is a simple story.  We are the ones who make it an incredible story.  It’s God and a special creation called man.  Man has a problem.  He thinks he knows better than the One who set him up in an incredible situation.  Let’s face it.  None of us used to walk naked with God.  So man decided he knew better.  Then it all went south.  Most of the Bible is about how man tries to make it right.  He only has one problem.  He can’t.  God keeps trying to show him and grace keeps flowing, but man is so warped with the god complex that, no matter how hard he tries, he fails.  God gives man an out.  His name is Jesus.  He is the Son of God who came to set the captives free, bind the broken-hearted and give sight to the blind.  Man now has hope.  It rests in the sacrifice of Jesus.  All a man or woman has to do is believe and follow Jesus.  That’s it.  The early believers called it “The Way.”  I love it.  So beautiful.  They didn’t call it the First Church of whatever.  No sir.  It was “The Way.”  That’s about it.  

The gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke and John tell us what Jesus said about “The Way.” It’s pretty simple.  It boils down to…”Man’s way or God’s way?”  Man’s way has its problems.  God’s way is full of incredible love, indescribable grace and unbelievable mercy.  Now you choose.  Only, choose wisely.  

 I warned you I don’t think or process like the average joe. 

I told the family we were going to make the trip from Orlando to Weeki Wachee to see the talking mermaids.  They all turned their head in unison and laughed.  “Talking mermaids?” they asked mockingly.  I would have wagered my next paycheck that the mermaids in Weeki Wachee talk under water.  I was sure of it.  I told them I’ve seen them and heard them.  By now, my family thought I was crazy with a capital C.  They also were not very happy I was dragging them away from the vacation capital of the world to see “talking mermaids” a few hours away.  

I won’t bore you with the details of that failed excursion, but we did see mermaids.  The only problem was they didn’t talk under water.  They mouthed the words from a prepared audio presentation.  Let’s just say, I continue to bear the burden of “talking” mermaids, and it was over 20 years ago now.  

It amazes me the perspective we have as children.  My parents, for some reason, took us to see the mermaids about 50 years ago.  That’s how long the Weeki Wachee mermaid show has been in existence.  We probably went because Dad hated crowds. I was mesmerized as a 10- year-old.  As a young boy, I was amazed by every aspect.  

Now, as I think back to that day, I know why everybody else had a weird smirk on their face and never talked about going back.  My mom giggled as we left.  It didn’t leave me scarred or anything.  Instead, I am intrigued with the various moments in life that have left clear precise pictures in our brains and those that don’t.  I wonder how it works that certain times, events, and people are clearly stamped in minds.  

On my office wall there are various displays of art and photography.  There is one picture that is distinctively different than the others.  It is an old print that hung in my parents’ living room for years.  As that same 10-year-old that thought mermaids talked, I would have sworn the picture was as big as an automobile.  I can remember sitting on the steps leading upstairs and staring at it for hours sometimes.  I would make up a story surrounding the event it depicts.  For some odd reason, the Road to Emmaus picture with Jesus talking to two men left an impression on me.  So much so that when mom asked if I wanted anything as she moved, I asked her for the print.  She knew I would make that one request.  

As I look at it today, it clearly is set in a western motif of what was a Middle Eastern setting.  I don’t really care.  That is not the point of the picture.  It’s also not as big and not quite as beautiful as I remember it.  However, the quality of the print is not the point.  It’s the three men off to the lower right side.  Jesus and the two men are clearly talking as they walked.  From the Scriptures, it’s right after the resurrection.  Jesus shows up to these two discouraged and doubting men as they were traveling back home after realizing their hope, Jesus, had been crucified.  

As they walked, Jesus appeared and walked with them for quite some time, talking about life events, and their emotions, and thoughts both good and bad.  The journey was long, but Jesus went the distance.  Why didn’t he just say, “Here I am boys; don’t worry.”  We don’t know, but one thing is for sure, once he ate with them at their rest stop, they couldn’t declare that he was a ghost.  Instead of a ghost, they met the living Jesus.  

So why does this one stand out to me?  On the wall in front of me are picture of eagles, nature, an alligator, my dog, some flower-pots, and the Beaufort marina.  The artist, Sonja Robinson of Savannah, gave me her Talmadge bride painting that sits to my left.   They get attention, but the Road to Emmaus print gathers my heart.

Jesus walking along the road, talking to two men.  Jesus taking the time to comfort weary hearts.  Jesus living out his teachings about walking an extra mile with someone in need.  Jesus doing what he said.  Jesus.  

Here I am of feeble mind having talking mermaids and the Road to Emmaus print plastered inside my cranium.  The difference 40 years later?  One is clearly a fantasy.  One continues to reveal the truth.  Jesus is on my road of life talking to me on a regular basis.  He is still encouraging me when I have days of doubts.  He is still leading me when I can barely see one step in front of me.  He is still walking and talking with me.  It was his promise.  And mermaids don’t talk.