My Friend Jesus likes me so much. Do you know that He lives in my house? Do you know He lives inside of me? Do you know I carry about His death and resurrection in my chest? He goes everywhere with me. He loves me so well. And we have such fun together!
He was swinging with me on the swings with me the other day in Gilham Park. We made friends with two college-age girls who were just trying to pass some time waiting for their cousin. My Friend Jesus, He had things to tell these girls. He wanted them to know of His extravagant love for them, that He is with them in the midst of their tumultuous, stormy summer. There was squeals of delight and looks of astonishment as we showered affection on these girls.
My Friend Jesus, He likes to hang out on my roof with me. The other night, I was all worked up about a number of things. Fear and anxiety was creeping up on me. I was pouring my heart out to Him, because He is such a good listener you know. Sometimes, though you know, I really like to have a sister pray for me when my heart is all messy. I was laying there on the roof, considering going downstairs and asking my sis Meghan to pray for me. Moments later, I was still on the roof, still messy inside, and quite reluctant to go ask for prayer. Just then, Meghan popped her cute little face out the window, crawled out onto the roof, and plopped down beside me. “Our mutual Friend told me to come out here and pray for you.” I began to cry. My Friend Jesus, He likes me so much.
Sometimes when I ask my Friend Jesus, He tells me about treasures in the city for me to find. The other night when I asked Him that, He showed me a picture of my favorite pub McCoy’s in Westport and a red shirt. Two friends and I meandered towards McCoy’s with Friend Jesus… and sure enough, standing right outside the pub was a young fellow in a red shirt canvasing for some save-the-children organization. Before I could say a word, this exact fellow had launched into a speech asking me to donate to save children. I stopped him short. “Do you wanna know something crazy? An hour ago, I was with my friends asking God if there was anyone He wanted to speak to tonight and He told me ‘red shirt at McCoy’s!'” The guy looked stunned for half a second, then exclaimed, “Do you wanna know something crazier? That is the second time this week that has happened to me! Why do you think this keeps happening?” My Friend Jesus and I – oh man, we loved that moment! I couldn’t contain my excitement over this fellow’s life, and proceeded to explain that the Holy Spirit was after his whole heart.
My Friend Jesus likes to hoop it up in the hood. He was there with me and handful of friends as we played a pick-up game of basketball against group of neighborhood guys… and proceeded to whomp on ’em. We won three games in a row. Thanks to my baller of a sista Meghan, one of the fellows jacked up his knee during the game, so afterwards we laid hands on him and asked Friend Jesus to heal him. As we headed down the street back towards home that day, I joked with my pals and my Friend Jesus about the new missional strategy we’d stumbled upon: Play ball. Kick their butts. Play hard. Get ’em injured. Then supernaturally heal them by the power of the Holy Spirit and lead them to salvation. We all laughed. My Friend Jesus, you know, He laughed too.
Last night, I had a hard conversation with a dear girl I love. Sometimes love is really hard. Sometimes the pain that comes with love feels like too much to bear. I was angry and frustrated, and my Friend Jesus said, “Why don’t you put on your running shoes and we’ll pound this out on the pavement together?” Out the door I went, down the street, and sure enough my Friend Jesus went too. He gets it, you know. He has loved the hardest, and the pain that came with His love is insurmountable.
My Friend Jesus, He really likes my friend Myles. And my Friend Jesus, He really likes me too. And we all really like Loose Park, so sometimes on Sunday afternoons we relax there, just the three of us… just all enjoying each other. And Friend Jesus, He always has kind things to say. Powerful things. He tells me, “I live among you. I am a mighty savior. I take delight in you with gladness. With My love, I calm all your fears. I rejoice over you with joyful songs. Though you get overwhelmed by your sins, I forgive them all. I have such joyous things up My sleeve for you, such festivities awaiting you in My Presence.”* I can’t even describe to you what His words do to me. They shake me on the inside. I can’t even explain it. His words are just like delicious, invisible chocolates that explode once I swallow them and fill my whole self with vibrancy.
A few months ago, my Friend Jesus told me that this summer was going to be The Summer of Love. Sometimes I think I know what He’s talking about when He says things like that to me. So I immediately began scheming up what He must have meant – His love pouring out in the streets and parks, lots of lost people finding Home, lots of sick people finding healing, miracles and baptisms, and wondrous things. For months, I’ve been certain this is exactly what He meant. Sometimes I am so clueless. The other night, up at Liberty Memorial, as I looked out over the city in anticipation of summer, my Friend Jesus said to me, “Lindsay, when I said ‘Summer of Love’ I meant soooooo much more than you thought I meant. I meant abundant love for YOU and abundant love for this city.”
My Friend Jesus. Wow. He just likes me so much.
*Zephaniah 3, Psalm 65