“How would Jesus live your life, with your personality, with your talents, with your life experiences, within your life context, if he were you?” This question is posed by spiritual formation giant Dallas Willard in his classic book, The Divine Conspiracy.
I was stunned by this simple twist of the spiritual formation directive to “become like Jesus” on which I have based my life for decades. I have been reflecting on it ever since. How would Jesus live my life as a 75-year-old mother and grandmother married to a proud African-American, with two de- grees, retired from jobs in education, volunteer man- agement, and spiritual formation, currently on the edge of formal church life, living with cancer and diabetes on a limited, fixed income? How would he look at the world through my eyes? Here is how I imagine he would live life with me this week:
♥ He cries with me at the horror of war so proudly played by proxy nations in the cities of Syria. He yearns to take the wounded children, the grieving parents, the exhausted and ill-equipped doctors and rescue workers in his arms and arms and give them rest.
♥ He looks with holy fire at the white washed sepulchers in some American Church leadership roles who speak in Biblical terms about moral purity with seemingly no love in their hearts and spare no words to shame their victims.
♥ He emotionally high-fives the Parkland teens who speak the truth to power with passion and with no stake in the game but sorrow and anger for the loss of their teachers and friends – and their feelings of security.
♥ He dreams of ways to remind President Trump and his allies in the White House and Congress that the first shall be last and the last shall be first and that those who sorrow and are persecuted and mourn and hunger and thirst for righteousness and justice will be blessed.
♥ He quietly prays for President Trump because he, too, houses the image of God. He prays that he will learn that only the love of God can fill the huge hole in his heart.
♥ He looks with horror at the desecration of the beautiful garden he gave us to live in. He speaks against the selfishness and scorn that is ruining his creation.
The fruit of daily imagining how Jesus inhabits our personality, talents, life experiences, and the context of our life is not that we will necessarily learn to do everything Jesus did, but that we will learn “how to do everything [we] do in the manner that he did all that he did”(Dallas Willard).