I got on the train this morning, and shortly after taking my seat, I heard Jesus calling me. “Excuse me,” he said–the smell of alcohol on his breath was overwhelming. I looked up and the young man asked, “Hey, man, do you have a couple of bucks I could have? I need to get a new driver’s license, which is four dollars, and I don’t have any cash.”
I lied, saying, “No, I’m sorry I don’t have any cash with me.” (I had $3 in my pocket.)
He polled the rest of the car, but no one would give Jesus any money. One woman, who like Jesus was wearing pretty scruffy clothes, told him about a place where you could get public assistance for stuff like this on Jefferson Street, downtown. Jesus asked another guy to borrow his phone, a guy who’d already refused to give him any money. I heard Jesus tell the person on the other line that it would be good if he or she could just send $150 dollars to keep him afloat until he got paid by his job. He assured this person that he would not use the money to drink, and that he had not had anything to drink for over two weeks. He said, “I love you too” as he hung up.
The ticket taker boarded the train, and Jesus made a speedy exit–Jefferson Street was still many stops away.
On reflection, considering this very literal view of “whatsoever you do,” I wish that I had not lied. I wish I had told Jesus that I would not give him any money. And, I think if faced with Jesus sometime in the future, I would feel comfortable with taking that stand.
What do you think, is “Would You Do This to Jesus?” as good a tool as “What Would Jesus Do?”?