The only Jesus I know

When I was in Third Grade I was sitting around a table with a bunch of other boys in my class. I began telling a joke, and, when I finished the joke one of the kids pointed at me and said “Mike, you’re stupid. You’re not funny.” And, the other kids started laughing at me because of this.This simple memory was shameful for me and began a self-talk down the future where I told myself “You aren’t funny enough. They won’t like you because you can’t make them laugh.”

In the past few years, I have learned that I need to slow down my life, in order to find a healthy prayer life. There is no more important spiritual practice to me than prayer. It is the way that I am intimately connected to God and who he is. Six months ago, I had found myself with a new group of people where I felt inferior and that cycle of thoughts continued “You aren’t funny enough. They won’t like you because you can’t make them laugh.” In prayer I heard Jesus say to me “If you never make anyone laugh, I will love you as much as the funniest person in the world. If you spend time with me, I will laugh at what you find funny.”Its healing prayers like this, that make me fall in love with Jesus daily. Jesus, is intimately connected to my broken humanity, to my sense of suffering, and he affirms me, nurtures me, consoles me and provides for me.

I can only imagine that if I am loved individually like this, then he must love others like this. And, if he must love others like this, then he must want me to do the same as well. It would be easier for me to reach down and pull Theological facts out my head, but, it’s truly Christ-like, to share in that suffering with them, to listen to their own brokenness, and, laugh with them if their insecurity is not being funny enough.

The Jesus I know, wants to make things right. Individually, communally, globally. He loves all of these things so much, that we wants to be in the trenches. He wants us to be pulled out, so we may enjoy life. To love what he loves, and, as he loves. To smile and laugh, to enjoy the sun and the rain. To embrace the colors of the seasons and the notes of music. The Jesus I know, wants me to also participate in this redemptive liberation. This is, the only Jesus I know.

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9 thoughts on “The only Jesus I know

  1. dude i totally vibe with this. i like being funny;; i like making people laugh. in college I made more people laugh by making fun of myself when i bombed. after a while, that’s why a couple of people found me to be funny and would comment as such. through all that, i rooted my identity in Christ as much as I could because that’s where my sense of self worth is.

    (but, hot dang, it sure is fun to make someone cry laughing.)

  2. felicemifa says:

    Amen. I have been thinking quite a bit lately about the same thing, of not having to be anything in particular in order to be loved. For me it’s not being funny but being accomplished, successful, and in constant motion. I think the crucial piece of this realization, and the one that you highlight really well, is that it should translate into our love for others, and inspire us to love without limits.

    • mfries05 says:

      My favorite quote ever comes from a Philosopher named John Caputo who once said “If Love is the Measure, the only measure of love, is love without measure.”—– Goes well with your last thought.

  3. theericfleming says:

    I’m learning that I need to slow down my life quite a bit myself, what helped you to? The line about redemptive liberation is great. For me that looks like getting my hands dirty and doing social justice work like helping at a soup kitchen. God didn’t bless me with the ability to just listen to someones problem but He did bless me with the ability to go and do something about it.

    • mfries05 says:

      Hey Eric,
      Grateful that you’re able to participate in the kingdom by doing things like social justice through soup kitchens. I think some are called to rehabilitate the person, and, some the system. You might be a system guy.

      What has helped me slow down? Accepting that there is tension in the process of learning to slow down. And, accepting that learning to be silent and slow down is a practice and it takes time to adjust to. To me, its a part of what Sabbath looks like for me. It also took a realization that I don’t have to be a people pleaser, I am loved as I am, so I don’t have to do everything everyone else wants me to do.

  4. Mollye says:

    I’m wondering if this is the same Mike Friesen I know of. Are you Bob Funk’s nephew? A friend of mine from college just linked me to your blog and I thought, “No, that is way too much of a coincidence.”

  5. Mollye says:

    …aaand I agree with you.

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