My children,

Your mama loves this man named Jesus, the same name you’ll hear outside. And yet, like with a lot of things, names mean different things to different people. It doesn’t necessarily make one right, or one wrong, just different I guess. So when mama says she wants to share her faith in Jesus, this is what I mean –

Your mama finds the sky her sanctuary; I make my pulpit from the tall pines. I find communion in smoky bars, broken places, with people who don’t pretend. My rosary is each ten of your toes, and while my prayers may seem sporadic, my faith runs deep and comes out in whispers.

Your mama follows the Gypsy King.

My gypsy Jesus, he doesn’t serve on a committee, a cause, a church calendar. He roams this world just looking for people to love. And when he finds them, oh, child- how he loves them…not for their potential, but in the now. He doesn’t care if they see love between a man or a woman, he doesn’t care if they’ve signed a recall petition. He loves them through the beauty queen, the bar scene – he doesn’t want to transform them; except through love.

Never, ever for one second believe that a fictional preteen boy with a lightning bolt on his forehead is the enemy; or the scared girl with no one to turn to who runs to boys, to drugs to keep from despair. The enemy lies in each of us, that enemy named fear. That fear that tries to root out our worth, our identity, steals our name of beloved.

It’s ok to search and hold to truths, but learn that this is fluid and a bit hard to find. And if that truth don’t change a bit with the more people you connect with, seasons you live through, tears you have shed, then honey, you can bet it was never the truth to begin with.

And oh, my darling son who already wears virtue and strength – Don’t you ever stand up completely straight and tall with your ideals that turn to idolatry. I pray that your back is permanently hunched from all the bending low to pick up others, the falling prostrate, the stories you carry the weight of, that pull you deep down into the depths of humanity.

They can keep their Bible studies, their quick tips and brownie clad judgments. Not because I’m better than them, but because these things pull me in. They keep me tight, and bound, and worried, while I watch my view of Jesus slip silently away.

No sweet girl – Fight to join him. Fight to love with a passion that is scandalous. Fight that need to compete. Fight the lies that tell you you’re less than what you are. Fight the pride that tells you you’re more than just enough.

Lose everything. Let life wreak you good. Breathe deep in your living. Let your surroundings sink deep in.

Follow closely this changing figure, who slips in and out of view. When you think you catch hold of him, and confident you speak his voice, look again that you’re not clutching a mirror.

For he is a force of nature, changing with the needs of this world. He roams and wanders, healing with the dust kicked up from his feet.

For what is justice in light of mercy. Righteous in light of grace. Laws in light of love?

So keep loving. Trying. Living. Crying. Until at last it all seems too muddled, too gray, to find where the truth ends and the world begins….

Maybe then…I pray my children, oh how I pray…we’ll see a sliver of that Gypsy Kingdom.

(by Tara, of Pohlkotte Press)