Friday, October 12, 2007

Staring at Jesus

I'm curious about something. When Peter, after denying Jesus three times, looked up and met the eyes of Jesus staring back at him what did he think about? Did he even think? Or did Peter just stare back at him. When I was a kid I remember going to Cedar Point Amusement Park in Ohio. I would walk through the gate with my parents and just stare. The roller coasters seemed bigger than life. Or the time when I went to a Carmen concert and had a hard time believing that the person I listened to on my tape player (yes, that's not a typo) three hours a day was actually a real person and he was standing in front of me. Or when I stepped out into Cleveland Municipal Stadium to watch my first ever major league baseball game.

It's called when dreams become reality. Are dreams suppose to turn out that way? Aren't they just suppose to stay, you know, dreams?

So Peter is left staring at this man, who was God, and who had told him earlier that he would deny Jesus three times. This wasn't suppose to happen this way, was it? I think Peter dreamed of staying faithful to Jesus. His dreams were passionate, probably killing hundreds of soldiers as they attempted to take Jesus away. He dreamed of walking on lakes and rivers with Jesus just talking and never once beginning to sink. He dreamed of healing his own blind man, and feeding his own 5000.

And then he'd dream every once in a while of Jesus' prediction...the betrayal. It was frightening. It seemed too real.

Until one night in a courtyard...his dream became reality. And all he could do was stare. I've done it, betrayed Jesus. Sometimes I can muster up an "I'm sorry." Sometimes all I can do is stare. Staring is like being speechless, only with the eyes. And sometimes being speechless can mean a lot more than saying something.

It's as if Jesus just stared back at him as if to say, "Don't say anything...don't even think." Just learn from the moment. And Peter did.

And so did I as I stared at the roller coaster, Carmen and the Cleveland Indians. Sometimes dreams become reality - good or bad. And if you find yourself staring back just consider it part of the journey...and learn something from it.

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