For whom are you looking?

Jesus said to her, "For whom are you looking?" John 20:15

Sometimes, often enough, Jesus isn't the Jesus I am looking for. Mary was looking for someone who was dead. Jesus isn't dead. I can be that way. Sometimes I look for the Jesus who isn't.

Sometimes I look for Jesus where I put him rather than where he is. Mary put him in a tomb. I can do that. Perhaps I put him in the tabernacle---good place, lock and key, he can't escape from there. Or, I put him on an adoring pedestal. I feel safe when he is there. And he is there. Still, I can conveniently (for me) limit him to that space. I have discovered that I can treat Jesus as a memory and try to keep him located in one event or experience. When I do that--put Jesus in a particular place or space or time, a place I think he should be--then I have stopped looking for where he is.

I may look for the Jesus to solve my probems, as if he has a magic wand. Jesus is the One who says rely on the God who loves you because there are enough worries for today. (Matthew 6:34) The promise is that God knows them and I am not alone in them. As far as I can tell though, Jesus doesn't mean he takes on solving all those worries. He doesn't seem to want to be my fairy godmother solving my troubles. Rather he is willing to be with me in the worries of the day helping me. 

Sometimes I look for Jesus to heal all my wounds. At times, he is the Jesus whose hem I can touch and be healed. But he is also the Jesus who could not do any miracles in Nazareth (Mark 6:5), and the Jesus who says to Thomas "put your finger here." (John 20:27) Like Thomas, Jesus often teaches me that all wounds are not healed, some are borne in love.

The truth is that sometimes I am not looking for Jesus at all. I am looking for my own idea, my own expectation, my own desire. I want to be the one who tends everything - the one at the cross, the first at the tomb, the one looking after Jesus. I fail to recognize (admit) it is always Jesus tending and loving me first. I don't see where Jesus is because I am not looking for Jesus. I want the Jesus I want. I don't recognize him because I don't want to see him where he is and how he is.

For whom are you looking? Mary was surprised to discover Jesus alive. I too find it stunning to encounter Jesus who is still inviting, still challenging, still loving, still walking among his people. He is still having fish for breakfast with his friends, still giving peace, still saying "go!". Jesus still has wounded hands, wounded feet, and scars on his side. Jesus is still asking questions, still revealing Abba Father, still healing, still weeping, still smiling, and still guiding. His heart still beats and He is still doing what the Father wants done. Is that the Jesus I am looking for?

For whom are you looking? Jesus isn't dead. Jesus is alive!