I Want To Be On Jesus’ Shoulders

Jesus leaves the 99 in the desert to run after the one. Then he puts the one on his shoulders. I want to be on Jesus’ shoulders.

Is it odd that I’m 30 years old, and have been a Christian all this time, and still feel like I haven’t really met Jesus yet?

What’s that bit from George MacDonald: “The love of our neighbor is the only door out of the dungeon of self, where we mope and mow, striking sparks, and rubbing phosphorescences out of the walls, and blowing our own breath in our own nostrils, instead of issuing to the fair sunlight of God, the sweet winds of the universe.”

Am I still chained in that dungeon? I want to be out in that sweet wind. When will I meet him?

But the apostles didn’t meet him until they were about my age, some of them. All that time before they met him, their lives must have been preparing them to meet him. They weren’t ready, before that. I thought I was living, but maybe all this has just been preparation, before I really meet Jesus.

Which of the apostles am I? I hope I’m Peter. It’s too late to be John. Am I Judas? Judas was probably the smartest. I’m smart. Does that make it more likely that I’m Judas?

Smartness is a kind of richness, and it’s hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of God. I’m rich in smarts, but I’m poor in love. No, I used to be poor in love; now I’m rich in love, have love from all sides. Am I the right kind of poor?

But we’re all the right kind of poor. “There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” But none of us are righteous people. Therefore the Lord will rejoice over me.

I want to be on Jesus’ shoulders.



15 Comments on “I Want To Be On Jesus’ Shoulders”

  1. Hear, hear. It has only been in the past year that I could honestly say that I had encountered the living Christ, and not the image/idea of Him that I created in my head (which was distorted by my own fears, anxieties, and negative experiences with people). Praying for the same for you.

  2. Sarah says:

    I feel the most in God’s presence when I can see how poor I am; when I feel like a shoddy, torn, limp ragdoll who’s been left in the rain, and I can barely lift my head up to look up at the tabernacle and think, “I can’t do anything anymore.”

    For some reason, that’s where I find Him.

  3. richard says:

    A sure way to be brought to Jesus and remain with him is through his mother Mary.

  4. Rose says:

    Way to bring tears to my eyes, Joey. Bless you!

  5. grace cheffers says:

    We are all in the same boat. The struggle against self, the struggle for truth.The most important thing is to thirst for the love of Jesus in our life – to want to answer his thirst for us with our own thirst for him, and then our hearts will be in His. I thank God for your faith and your goodness.

    1. Grace! Thank you. So nice to see you here.

  6. John says:

    Thanks Joey. Your words speak to my heart as well. While many of us struggle and doubt, God knows our hearts and struggles and doubts. I pray our struggles always lead us forward, toward His grace.

  7. Barbara says:

    Sometimes I find a strange envy in me toward my daughter who has Down syndrome. She is loved and cherished and, if one can be certain of such things, is going to heaven. Of course as her mother it is not destructive envy, but the shadow is there.

  8. TMC says:

    An interesting thought to add to the story of the sheep on Jesus’s shoulder – The tradition in the area at that time was when a sheep strayed from the fold, the shepherd would go to find him. Then he would break the sheep’s leg carry it home and carefully bandage it and tend to it. Once healed, the sheep would never stray again. This may sound cruel, But I have often wondered why God didn’t just create us ready for heaven. Why do we have to be weak and fallen; why did God create Adam and Eve with the choice for evil? Why are we broken people who hurt ourselves and others? Like the sheep, we are carried in our brokenness on Christ’s shoulders. The most heart felt moment I have ever had of being close to God was in my weakest moment when I had so little strength to offer Him much of anything. It was at that moment that I knew I could offer my whole self to Him. I was no Peter and no John – but I was His creation and was willing to follow my vocation in the simplest and poorest way. Now I am more healed, I have more relationships, I have more things, I have more in general – and it is so much harder to just offer my whole self. Would I become a Judas to protect these things? I pray not and try to simplify my life to avoid becoming overly attached to comforts that can become idols. Like the little sheep, I recall the brokenness and the tender touch of the Shepherd. Even when I don’t “feel” His love, I see the amazing path and the incredible love that has guided me home.

  9. Tara S says:

    TMC – I wonder that too sometimes. There must be something so great and so wonderful about people that it was worth all this.

  10. Pablo says:

    Thanks Joey. This resonated a lot with me. It reminded me of some words by a spiritual author I really like. They’re simple; I hope they help:

    “I have distinguished as it were four stages in our effort to identify ourselves with Christ: seeking him, finding him, knowing him, loving him. It may seem clear to you that you are only at the first stage. Seek him then, hungrily; seek him within yourselves with all your strength. If you act with determination, I am ready to guarantee that you have already found him, and have begun to get to know him and to love him, and to hold your conversation in heaven.”

  11. Believer says:

    Beautifully said, Joseph. God bless.

  12. Joe says:

    You may feel like you have not met Jesus, but he is working through you. I believe in those moments when God is talking to me (a dad with two SSA sons) and many of those moments come as I am reading your blog – and others’ comments posted here. I will be leading my boys to your site and I pray Jesus will encourage them to take a sip.

  13. Daniel James says:

    But you are on his shoulders as are we all. Some of us will feel it more than others, and some of us need to take it on faith (I’m in the latter camp). My prayer is that I remember I am there even in my darkest moments and that my thoughts and actions reflect this. I don’t think that it is ever too late be John, but reading your blog, I can see you as Peter, reaching up out of the swirling waters as He says to you (and all of us), “Take courage, it is I.” As far as the apostles go, I have a real affection for Thomas and imitate him far more than I should.

  14. Rosie says:

    I had exactly the same thought during Mass yesterday–there really are no 99 who are righteous! We’re all the 1 stray sheep.

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