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My Rascally Savior

I nursed my resentments and disgrace like young plants, watering them, trimming back the dead leaves, making sure they got enough sunlight. At times like these, I believe, Jesus rolls up his sleeves, smiles roguishly, and thinks, “This is good.” He lets me get nice and crazy, until I can’t take my own thinking and solutions for one more moment. The next morning, I got on my knees and prayed, “Please, please help me. Please let me feel You while I adjust to not getting what I was hoping for.” And then I remembered Rule 1: When all else fails, follow instructions. And Rule 2: Don’t be an asshole.

In this excerpt by Anne Lamott from her book titled “Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith,” she speaks of Jesus as “roguish.” Upon consulting thesaurus.com to make sure it meant what I thought it meant, here are some of the synonyms I discovered, much to my delight, adding more slashy, timid pencil marks to my mind’s always shifting and surprising sketch of Jesus: “scalawag.” “black sheep.” “trickster.” And my personal favorite…”rascal.”

Is it possible, just as in a friendship or a romance where one repeatedly uncovers attributes that draw one to another more and more, that I could like Him, love Him, even more? It doesn’t sound like that would be a good or a smart realization…I have this imposing sense that I should already know everything there is to make me love Him. Here in my thirtieth year, shouldn’t I have the laundry list of attributes memorized by now? Feeling very small and elementary, slightly behind the curve, I should be punished by some ugly, wiry-haired teacher sort with “I already love Jesus perfectly” write-offs on the blackboard. I know that I should already love Him as much as is humanly possible…but here is more. How can that be?

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