Faith Stories: Have You Seen My Jesus?

I worked at a local greenhouse for a number of years during the garden season. Customers would bring in their pots and containers and we would custom design them. Most of these orders were completed during the early spring and then be picked up by their owners in mid to late May when the garden season officially starts here in Wisconsin. By June, most people would have all their containers and plants in place and business at the greenhouse would be drastically reduced. Late in June one year, a woman came into the greenhouse when I was the only employee working that day.

 “Have you seen my Jesus?” She asked. I wasn’t quite sure I had heard her correctly, so I replied, “Excuse, me?”

“Have you seen my Jesus?” I must have had stood there with my mouth hanging open and an awfully strange look on my face. I was completely taken off guard, and wasn’t quite sure how to respond to her. So she continued:

“He’s about 6″ tall, is made of clay and has a hole in the top of his head for plants. I brought him in earlier in the spring to be planted.” Somewhat Relieved, I responded that I would look in the greenhouse where we stored customer’s planted containers for her Jesus. I was completely mystified however, because I knew that greenhouse was empty that time of year. I also had no idea what sort of container she was talking about. I was sure if there had been a container resembling Jesus I would have remembered it. Part of me was in a panic because the owner usually handled all customer orders and he was not in that day. What was I going to do if I couldn’t find her container?

I searched the greenhouse. It was completely empty. Rows of big long tables held nothing except for extra garden hoses and empty plastic pots. I turned around and back in a corner, spotted one small clay wall planter. It was 6″ tall with the face of a man with long hair and a beard on it. It had a few pink Impatiens sticking out of the top. Her Jesus. The face on the planter was actually that of Zeus, King of Gods, God of the Sky and Wind in Greek mythology. The owner of the greenhouse had been schooled in Europe and sold a lot of statuary of mythological gods and figures. It made sense to me then, why she thought this was the likeness of Jesus. When I looked at it, I thought it was obvious that it was actually Zeus, having just completed studying Greek mythology with our children. In the eyes of this strange woman beholder though, it was the vision of Jesus. I carefully removed the container and brought it out to the cash register.

“Here it is.” I said.

“Isn’t He beautiful?” She smiled, and gushed with pride while she paid for it.

“Indeed, He is.” I responded. I had no intention of telling her who’s head was really on that planter. If she saw Jesus, who was I to argue? Isn’t it true that we all see Him a bit differently? I wished then that I could see what she saw. Perhaps I needed to look harder.

Where do you see Jesus?

Designer Mom

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