Me and Jesus, we go way back.
I went to Catholic elementary school. So growing up, Jesus was always this plastic figure nailed to a plastic cross, not a real presence for me. His words were referenced often at Sunday mass. I imagined him to be such an authority figure that he didn’t seem very relatable to me. In high school, I got very involved in our church youth group. At one of our meetings, I was reminded that Jesus (according to the Bible) would not approve of the thrilling new sexual experiences I was enjoying with my boyfriend. This was not helpful or affirming information, and did not encourage me to get to know Jesus.
In college, when I watched the movie The Mission, I realized I could no longer be a Catholic, or even a Christian. I was horrified to learn of the effects of missionary settlements on native peoples. I felt betrayed by the Church. I no longer trusted organized religion. Any reference to Jesus or Christianity began to seem almost offensive to me.
I began to read books about Native American spirituality, and leaned even further into my love of nature and the outdoors, sources of inspiration that I felt I could trust. My journey led me to meet and marry a priest of a living earth-centered tradition, Ifa and the Orisha from the Yoruba of Nigeria. I became a priestess of Oshun and Orunmila. My involvement in this tradition gradually unwound, along with my marriage.
Years later, finding myself once again without an anchoring spiritual community, I began attending a Unity church. They didn’t have any crucifixes hanging on the walls and they preached about love being more powerful than fear. Jesus was referred to as a wise way-shower. This was where I learned that I could relate to Jesus as a peer. He had been a seeker on his journey, just like me. And furthermore, the Catholics don’t own him.
This is when my real love affair with Jesus started. This is when I realized that Jesus was a freak like me...
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I realized that I could visualize the kind of freak he would have been. Kind of like a cross between a surprisingly good looking vagrant guy (with dreadlocks, probably) busking in the subway, Criss Angel (because he likely had magician skills - for miracles, you know) and the sensitive neighbor guy who reads self help books and can talk about his feelings with skill. I realized what a rebel he was, and how he pushed just about every boundary that there was. What a charismatic guy he must have been! The lack of ego, the gentleness, letting people wash his feet, healing folks, not giving a shit about social conventions or status, telling it like it is - even when it’s hard to be honest, looking like a dirty hippie, hanging out with prostitutes and criminals, offering up his own comfort and well being (and life) for the good of all, sleeping alone in the woods or the desert because that’s what “spirit” called him to do, having the courage to talk about the importance of all kinds of love, no matter what the social circumstance, making any casual social dinner awkward as fuck because he chose to talk about meaningful things rather than small talk, the guts to be vulnerable, playfulness with children, had some sort of masterful relationship with money and the material world (this one is quite debatable but let’s just go with it)… this was someone whose life choices I deeply respected. Chances are, if I met him in person, I’d be all over him!!
As I began to visualize what Jesus would be like in real life, I started to feel organically attracted to him. He started to feel like a healthy divine masculine presence, one that perhaps had been lacking in my intimate life.
On one of my early trips to India, I read the book Tantric Jesus. This book makes a compelling case that Jesus was a Tantric master… which completely confirmed all my desires to welcome Jesus more fully into my life, since at that point, I had been on the Tantric path myself for some time.
So this brings us to the present day, when I’m still really hot for Jesus. I bought this pillow at a thrift store years ago, and it goes with me just about everywhere, just like my love for Jesus. I take him on road trips and he sits in the front seat. I make altars around this pillow (or other images of Jesus) sometimes. Every day when I make my bed, I put this pillow on top of all the other ones.
My love for Jesus is not platonic. It’s erotic, intimate, playful and sensual. I want him all over me and my life, in all the ways.
This year, for Christmas, I’m doing a lap dance for Jesus. I think he’ll love it.