Jesus called the other day to say he was passing through and wondered if he could spend a day or two with us.
I said, “Sure. Love to see you. When will you hit town?”
I mean, it’s Jesus, you know, and it’s not every day you get the chance to visit with him. It’s not like it’s your in-laws and you have to stop and decide whether the advantages outweigh your having to move to the sleeper sofa.
That’s when Jesus told me he was actually at the convenience store along the highway.
I must have gotten that Bambi-in-headlights look, because my wife hissed, “What is it? What’s wrong? Who is that?”
So I covered the receiver and told her Jesus was going to arrive in 8 minutes, and she ran out of the room and started giving guidance to the kids in that effective way that Marine drill instructors give guidance to recruits.
My mind was already racing with what needed to be done in the next 8 – no, 7 – minutes so Jesus wouldn’t think we were reprobate loser slobs.
I turned off the TV in the den, which was blaring some weird scary movie I’d been half watching. But I could still hear screams from our bedroom, so I turned off the reality show it was tuned to. Plus, I turned off the kids’ set out on the sun porch, because I didn’t want to have to explain Jon & Kate Plus Eight to Jesus, either, 6 minutes from now.
My wife had already thinned out the magazines that had been accumulating on the coffee table. She put Christianity Today on top for a good first impression. 5 minutes to go.
I looked out the front window, but the yard actually looked great thanks to my long, hard work, so I let it go. What could I improve in 4 minutes anyway?
I did notice the mail had come, so I ran out to grab it. Mostly it was Netflix envelopes and a bunch of catalogues tied into recent purchases, so I stuffed it back in the box. Jesus doesn’t need to get the wrong idea – 3 minutes from now – about how much on-line shopping we do.
I plumped up sofa pillows, my wife tossed dishes into the sink, I scolded the kids, and she shooed the dog. With 1 minute left I realized something important: Getting ready for a visit from Jesus is not an 8-minute job.
Then the doorbell rang.
Written by Doug Mendenhall. Doug is an instructor of journalism at Abilene (TX) Christian University and the author of How Jesus Ended Up in the Food Court. He writes a column for the Abilene Reporter News and the Huntsville (AL) Times. Reposted from the Abilene Reporter News with the author’s kind permission.