Pickup Trucks

 

TruckBumperStickersPhotography by D. Plasman

Yes, I drive a pickup truck, but this isn’t it. Mine is black and fast losing its battle against the onset of rust. This one is silver sleek; you can come to your own conclusions about the back window and whether or not you could imagine sitting down and having a cup of coffee with the driver.

This window reminds me again why I’m such a hesitant and unreliable follower of Jesus. It’s not that I doubt the holiness that was pleased to dwell in him. I don’t deny that Jesus had such an intimate relationship to the Divine that the only way to describe it is to call him the Son of God.

I’m not slow to believe that he performed works of wonder and acts of healing. (Though I’m a total skeptic when television evangelists and traveling faith-healers claim to do the same—I saw Steve Martin in the movie Leap of Faith.)

I also believe that the execution of Jesus on the cross, administered by the Roman government, changes the way I understand redemption. By practicing non-violent resistance, by not saving himself, Jesus was ultimately saying: “The world’s violence and brokenness—the world’s sin, public and private—stops with me. I absorb it all.”

All of that I believe about Jesus. Belief for me is not the problem. It’s the “following” part that makes me hesitant and unreliable. How do I love people I can’t stand? How do I love my enemy? How do I love the Good Samaritan—the foreigner—in the parable Jesus tells (Luke 10)? How do I love the two religious leaders who passed by? And while I’m at it, how do I love the victim lying half dead on the road between Jerusalem and Jericho? Toughest of all, how do I love the driver of the sleek silver pickup truck?

Maybe I should have sought him out in the restaurant, told him that I disagree with 90% of his window stickers, and bought him a cup of coffee.

 

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3 Comments

  1. Rosanne October 13, 2014 at 3:01 pm #

    Many platitudes come instantly to mind but I will refrain. These folks represent God’s Final Exam. Do you still love me? Can you focus on my redeeming value? Can you find my redeeming value? Can you see, like it or not, that I am a product of a product of a product …. that has brought me to this place and time?

    This does not represent an excuse for such thoughts and, perhaps, behaviour. It is just an attempt to understand how such venom and hatred form.

  2. Chris Goerg October 13, 2014 at 3:12 pm #

    Yup Dan …. I totally get it!

  3. Judy Atwater October 16, 2014 at 9:12 am #

    This “wall” of bumper stickers tripped so many thoughts about my journey. What would my bumper stickers say? I surely had a fortress around my heart for most of my life. Once in a loss/grief recovery seminar the facilitator shared that as children we can erect a fortress of protection that is “grace” at the time but can become a “prison” as an adult. This resonated deeply with me. Jesus “saw” me with extravagant tenderness. I can only practice remembering and trusting this Jesus when another’s walls stop me in my tracks. I am so glad you shared this image and your questions Dan. I appreciate the other comments too.