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"And now I'm Jesus."

I have just returned from holiday with my son. His sister could not be with us so, being the only playdate available, I got to be his (mostly) willing accomplice in all the games he devised.

I had one enormous challenge facing me however. My son (being 12?) is the most outrageous rule changer.

No sooner had we established the lilo rules for racing across the pool, than they were changed if I won. "NOT FAIR!" I would yell. "THAT IS NOT WHAT YOU SAID!!" At which point I do recognise that I must have appeared no different to the onlooker than the 12 year old rule changer himself.

"You said it was the first person to touch the side!" "No, Mum, I meant after two lengths!"

"You did NOT say that!!"

"Yes, I did!!"

"OK, Guy. And now I'm Jesus."

"GAAAAH! You can't do that Mum!!"

I thought up this ruse when the kids were little. Whenever we reached an impasse about who was telling the truth - who had or had not cleaned their teeth, who had or had not promised to lend a toy, who had or had not washed their face/hands - I would cut to the chase and make them confess straight to Jesus.

It pretty much always worked given the fact that my kids had known Jesus and taken Him seriously since they were tiny. They would wrinkle their nose, squeeze their eyes tight shut and say, "OK, I ..." (Although, and let's be honest this is human nature, they would also occasionally brazenly continue to defy the truth.)

As I lay by the pool calming down over the sheer injustice of rule changing mid-game, I pondered the brilliance of this "Jesus" ruse.

Extending it further, I pondered how radically my life might change - or certainly my approach to my life might change - if as I meet everyone I think, "And now you're Jesus."

How much quicker might I be to say sorry?

How much swifter to own my fault?

How much more patient to another's pain or struggle?

How much more forgiving when wronged?

How much slower to judge?

How much more passionate to fight for another's justice?

How much kinder?

How much more willing to stand on common ground and just listen?

For in the same way that my "And now I'm Jesus" slows my kids in their tracks, so could it/must it also slow me in my response and reaction to others.

What a genius reminder, I thought to myself as I lay sleepily in the sun. What a genius lens!

Well, God's genius. Obviously.

jsg/august 18

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