I’m not sure why, but those bracelets crossed my mind this week and I began to rethink the question behind the initials — what would Jesus do?
Ten years ago, the answers seemed so obvious. Jesus wouldn’t disrespect His parents, tease a nerdy kid in school, get drunk or have premarital sex.
Things aren’t simple anymore, though.
Now I wonder if Jesus would shop at Wal-mart and how He would act around someone who is gay.
If He were a journalist, what kind of stories would He write? How would He spend His money?
And does W.W.J.D. always have a definitive answer?
Jesus was the only one person who seemed to know what Jesus was going to do while He was walking the Earth.
Even His closest buddies could not figure Him out. Just when they thought they had, He would say something odd like that the Son of Man had to be rejected, killed and then raised from the dead after three days.
Somehow, God is the same yesterday, today and forever and yet can still be completely unpredictable.
I kind of like that. I want to have a relationship with a God who can shut me up like Job because He understands all the things that are too wonderful for me to know.
Still, I believe that God sets standards and wants me to follow in His footsteps. The problem is that lately I have no idea how.
There are a lot of things within His power that I can’t do.
I can’t rebuild my hometown brick by brick. I can’t give money to every storm survivor I meet. I can’t heal anybody or make someone happy again. I can’t be in multiple places at once. I can’t eliminate prejudice, pain or hate.
In short, I can’t make life any easier.
So what am I, with all my imperfections, supposed to do about a world that is suffering?
While I was ruminating on the topic of this column, I picked up the Bible for inspiration and found it in John 21.
Three times, Jesus asks Peter if He loves Him. Three times, Peter insists that he does. Three times, Jesus gives everybody’s favorite flawed disciple the same instructions — “Feed my sheep.”
This verse is usually applied to pastors because they have certain responsibilities to their flock, or congregation.
However, we are all supposed to love our neighbors as ourselves. When I love someone, I want to take care of them.
I think I’ve been trying to fix God’s sheep. All He’s asking is for me to feed them.
Lately, I’ve gotten upset because of all the things I want to do but can’t. There are some things I can offer, though.
I can listen. I can love. I can smile instead of frown. I can hope and I can trust and I can encourage others to do the same.
Also, I can continue to write about the positive things that are happening all around me.
Yes, downtown Cordova is a heartbreaking sight and will be for some time, but a lot of people are working hard to make sure it is built back better than ever.
Yes, a lot of anger and injustice blew into town on April 27, but true community pride can’t be dampened by any storm.
Yes, too many people are still suffering, but there are others who are serving.
Last week, I spent a short time with a group of Mennonites who were volunteering in Cordova. One of them made the comment that they were representing Jesus during their stay.
God has been very good to me and my family. I have not always represented Him the way I should, and it’s important that I do better.
Asking what Jesus would do might have kept me out of trouble in the eighth grade. At this point in my life, I think I need to pay more attention to what the Good Shepherd is doing every day and whether I am helping Him or hurting Him.