Air Freshener Jesus.

The other day, I was washing dishes and this toothless guy came to the window and asked me if I’d like to look at the product he was selling door to door. This is a normal thing around here. Guys come through my little neighborhood selling all kinds of things; live plants, eggs off the bed of a truck, sandwich bags filled with laundry soap, lottery tickets. Oh, and there’s a guy that comes by every Saturday selling brooms. He carries a tangle of about 20 brooms on his back and walks down the street, shouting in monotone, “BROOOMS… BROOOOOOMS….BROOMS TO SWEEP THE FLOOR….BROOMS TO CLEAN THE YARD….. BROOOOOMS….. BROOMS IN MANY COLORS.”

I’m totally used to it, so I had already launched into my robotic “NothankyouI’mnotinterested.Idont’needabroom/bananatree/
backscratcher” in Spanish. But he persisted in telling me how much I needed what he was selling and then he pulled out Jesus. …er, Hay-Seuss… In the form of an air freshener. Yes! And when he saw that he had piqued my interest, he made his pitch. “This will protect your home, “ he said, with a sweeping arm to encompass the house from top to bottom, “from bad odors and disasters. “

Bad odors. … AND? Disasters.

So I bought it.

For the price of 500 colones (about a dollar) I bought a fresh scented, disaster preventing Jesus. I wanted to nudge the guy with my elbow and quip, “Boy, Japan sure coulda used these babies.” but my Spanish doesn’t work as fast as my brain - which can be a really good thing because sometimes my that’s-in-poor-taste-filter doesn’t work as fast as my mouth. So, basically, it worked out for the best.

A flowery image of Jesus to protect me. It’s a nice thought. But I don’t buy it.

The truth is that the rain falls on the just and the unjust. Earthquakes happen. Tsunamis happen. Cancer happens. Terrible accidents happen. Volcanoes and Floods and Hurricanes and Bears and Fires and Mudslides and Sharks and That One Critter That Swims Up Your Wiener Hole And Eats Your Guts Out ALL happen. Ok. That last one only happens to guys. But still. Disasters happen to all kinds of people every single day and, as far as I know, a Jesus air freshener has never exempted one single person from the fate afforded them by disaster. Not once. Ever.

Which is exactly why I want to be more careful that I’m not selling a flowery image of Christ, like my door-to-door salesmen.

If I’m telling people to cling to Jesus like their life depends on it, then I’d better be doing a damn good job of directing them toward the real person of Jesus, and not just pitching my own light-weight, douche scented image of Him. Especially when only the real Him will do.

It would be foolish to cling to Air Freshener Jesus, or Bumper Sticker Jesus, or Blog Jesus, when Bible Jesus is where it’s at. This is where we find the Jesus that makes no promise of wealth or success or even safety (she says, with a sweeping arm to encompass the whole house), but instead, offers things like Grace and Mercy, Peace and Comfort, and the very presence of God, with us.

Real Jesus requires no sales pitch, a simple introduction will do.

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This post was sponsored by Joe Sewell, a regular encourager of the VWM. He's a good guy! Please check out Joe's blog, Consider ✝his, and leave him a kind word while you're there. Thanks, Joe!

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Anyone ever try to "sell" you on Jesus?...Did it creep you out?