Last night I fell asleep and dreamed that I spoke with Jesus. We met on a hill and spoke a while sitting on a bench under an olive tree. The grass was so green and the sun was warm and each black olive seemed to gleam like a star. He told me all about himself and his adventures. Showed me how he walked on water by play-acting on the edge of the bench while I watched. He smiled when he jumped off and raised his hands up over his shoulders as if to say “Tah-dah!”

When we finished talking, we walked together down the hill. The earth was soft like after a spring rain and our feet squished on the path. After a few steps a man reached out his hand to us.

“Help me the man said.”

In his other hand he held a sign that read “Hungry – anything will help. God bless.”

I turned around and found that Jesus had walked on. So I ran to catch up with him.

“Hey! Jesus, can’t you help him? He’s hungry, and he supports your father.”

Jesus moved his mouth, pursing it with indecision, then waved his hand dismissively and kept walking down the hill.

“How come you didn’t give that guy some food?” I asked.

“You mean that whole loaves and fishes thing?” he said, “Better to teach a man to fish, then he’ll be able to feed himself.” Then he tapped his finger to his forehead and nodded at his good thinking.

The day was warm so we decided to walk into the shade. As we got closer to the trees we saw a shape hidden beneath a checkered tablecloth. Out peeked a terrible face, pale and blistered. And the eyes were blood shot.

“Help me!” she begged, “this disease is unbearable.”

Jesus stopped wide eyed and mumbled something like I’m sorry, then headed back the way we’d come and refused to look back. Again I ran after Jesus.

“Woah! Why didn’t you help that poor woman?” I asked confused.

“Sometimes people have to suffer. That’s how we grow as people,” he said softly. So I continued to follow him. He must know best.

Finally we reached the bottom of the hill and there were buildings everywhere. They were white and the streets were full of people going about their day. Ahead there seemed to be a festival with bright tents and smiling people and I breathed a sigh of relief. Thank God! I thought. No one will need help here.

Then all of sudden an earthquake hit and the buildings began to crumble. There were screams all around, but I never heard them shrieking. Jesus shielded me, his hands on my ears, but I could still see everything. There were people everywhere badly hurt and everything was ruined. For a third time I asked him a question.

“Jesus, what are you going to do about this?” my lip was beginning to tremble, “you have the power to heal them! Why don’t you help?”

He looked at me with big wide eyes and started to cry and shout.

“But I can’t!” he screamed, “I can’t!”

“What about all those miracles you performed?” I scoffed at him. “Was it just a lie?”

Jesus paused a moment, his brow furrowed like he was thinking, hard.

“Oh! I know.” Jesus replied. And he ducked into store where the door had fallen down. Back out he came with a glass of water full to the brim. He held the cup out to me and waved his hand over the glass. The water turned to wine.

“Neat trick, right?” He nodded and smiled and offered me the glass of wine.

“What the hell,” I shrugged, then chugged the whole glass at once so fast I had to sit. He crossed his arms across his chest and just continued smiling.

Sick of him I struggled to get up. I was a bit wobbly at first and couldn’t tell whether it was him or the wine. I bowed my head and breathed hoping it would pass. Then a breeze whipped up and brushed the hair back from my face and Jesus screeched as his robes were lifted from his skinny legs. He tried to keep the robe from lifting but it was too late. A pair of boxer shorts waved with the Superman sign; a “JC” instead of an “S” and it made me laugh.

So I walked away from Jesus and made my way back up the hill. A funny thing happened though. I followed the same path we had walked together and saw footprints heading down, but could only find one set, and they were mine.

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